Processing of associated gas has often been considered to be economically non-viable due to the cost and complexity of the installations required to process the gas relative to the value of the gas recovered. The result is that the associated gas is often flared, however, with the growing emphasis on reducing green house gas and SO2 emissions, the processing and recovery of associated gas is becoming increasingly linked to development and maturation of oil reserves.
In some locations the associated gas contains H2S, CO2 and organic Sulphur species, and historically the treatment of these complex gases has required multiple steps to remove the different contaminants. In addition, as the acid gas produced is of low quality, further processing in an acid gas enrichment unit is required to enable recovery of the Sulphur in a traditional Claus and SCOT unit combination. In cases where less than approximately 50 metric tonnes of Sulphur per day is produced, the result can be a relatively complex, costly and energy-intensive process facility.
This presentation describes how Shell has significantly simplified the processing of a complex contaminated associated gas mixture by using an innovative combination of two already proven technologies: Sulfinol-X for integrated all-in-one contaminant removal, and THIOPAQ O&G for biological, single step, low tonnage Sulphur recovery without the requirement for acid gas enrichment.
The strength of this solution lies in the combination and integration of the two technologies. The relevance to the industry is that it enables contaminated, associated gas to be monetized, green house gas reductions to be achieved and oil reserves to be developed in a cost-efficient manner.