Efforts toward energy conservation have resulted in better equipment utilization, better loading of equipment, and more efficient field operations. Optimum BMEP (brake mean effective pressure) and speed are determined for each type of gas engine. Field compressors are being recylindered with variable clearance pockets to operate closer to these conditions. Emphasis is being placed on reducing fuel use in fired vessels used in the separation of oil, water, and gas. Operating efficiency of each artificial lift installation is closely monitored.
Some major part of today's gas-related energy problems are the result of a bad court decision problems are the result of a bad court decision which has not been rescinded, and the resultant waste and/or misuse of gas caused by its artificially low, regulated price. A 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision gave the Federal Power Commission the mandate and authority to control the prices of natural gas sold in interstate commerce. This one action effected 85% of the total energy market from that time to date. The artificially low price of gas (Table 1) effected the price of coal (Table 2), the price of oil (Table 3), and the price of gasoline (Table 4). A listing of government supplied conversion factors is found in Table 5. These figures were taken from the FEA/ A-77/144 pamphlet dated May 1977. A summary of costs is found in Table 6. A gas deregulation bill was passed by Congress 20 years ago; however, it was passed by Congress 20 years ago; however, it was vetoed by the President. It has not been rescinded, and has been a major contributor to effectively discourage the development of new energy sources. There has been little governmental action until the past three years to discourage inefficiencies and waste in the use of energy.
There is no reasonable way to curb the waste and inefficient use of a product when an artificially low price is placed on that product, especially one that price is placed on that product, especially one that has as many uses as natural gas. Does one wonder why natural gas is used in the manufacturing of such a wide range of products including pipe, dishes, fertilizer, clothes, luggage, etc., when the raw material is so inexpensive.
After the 1973 oil embargo, Sun, in cooperation with government conservation efforts, developed a very active energy conservation program throughout its activities. An energy conservation coordinator was designated for each area of operation for the purpose of identifying and documenting possible purpose of identifying and documenting possible energy savings. The role of energy conservation coordinator in Sun's production districts was an addition to the duties of our field engineers.
One of the first objectives in the energy conservation program was to find an energy saving effort with major impact which would involve a lot of people and equipment used commonly in many operating areas. Whereas, electricity had been purchased at a reasonable price over the past years purchased at a reasonable price over the past years and most electrical installations were operating fairly efficiently, the artificially low price of natural gas (22 cents/MCF average in 1973) led to many inefficient uses and wastes in normal field operations. It was in this area we concentrated our first efforts.
Our use of fuel gas in field operations was estimated as follows:
Field Compressors.................40%Oil Treating......................27%Artificial Lift Excluding Gas Lift..............16%Plunger Pumps......................7%Heaters, Dehydrators, etc......…10%
By concentrating our efforts on gas engines, the most people and equipment could be involved.