Amine technology is widely used for natural gas sweetening because of its performance and its operability. The main drawback remains the significant energy requirement for the solvent regeneration. To minimize it, amine solvent compositions are today optimized to control the CO2 co-absorption. Mixtures of MethylDiEthanolAmine with proprietary additives are today the state of the art for H2S elimination with controlled CO2 co-absorption. These solvents allow energy saving, and optimized acid gas composition for the downstream processing steps. However, the optimization of the solvent composition may results in less flexibility of the unit. Deep review of the operating conditions may be considered to maintain the benefit of theses formulated solvents.

Results and conclusions

The GASCO industrial complex, one of the biggest in the United Arab Emirates, is composed of four plants: Asab, Bu Hasa, Habshan and Bab and Ruwais, for the extraction of Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) from associated and natural gas. In some units, the optimization of the NGL extraction process has resulted in an optimization of the CO2 co-absorption and GASCO has implemented formulated solvents. The sour gas feed to these units is affected by the upstream operation, including production wells management. The operating conditions of the amine units must be adjusted accordingly, to ensure that the CO2 co-absorption will not result in severe issues in the amine unit or in the downstream processing steps.

Technical contributions

This paper presents GASCO operational feedback with formulated solvents. In particular, it describes how GASCO has reviewed the operation of these units, to deal with the flexibility of the sour feed gas (composition or flowrate), with the constraint of a formulated solvent. Impact on the amine unit equipment's and on the downstream process steps is also commented upon.

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