The demand for natural gas has pushed energy industries toward the discovery of remote offshore reservoirs. Consequently, new technologies have to be developed to efficiently produce and transport natural gas to consumption centers. Common design challenges in all gas processing methods for offshore applications are the compactness and reliability of process equipment. Water vapour is the most common impurity in natural gas mixtures. At very high gas pressures within the transportation systems hydrate can easily form even at relatively high temperatures. Gas dehydration or hydrate inhibition systems for offshore gas production/processing facilities should meet these requirements. It should also be noted that at certain pressure and composition conditions, the presence of heavy hydrocarbons (C2+) in natural gas increases pipeline flow capacity and improves compression efficiencies. Therefore, the development of a compact high pressure system capable of selectively removing water from high pressure natural gas streams without affecting the hydrocarbon content will be needed for especial applications and therefore it will be addressed in this paper. Most hydrate inhibition/water removal systems can only work below certain pressure conditions, are relatively large, and not selective towards water. Therefore, some hydrocarbon condensate is also removed during water dew pointing. The developed technique proposed in this study can be customized for the emerging marine transportation of gas in CNG form where the removal of heavier hydrocarbons might not be necessary and will be equally suitable for any other offshore/onshore natural gas production and processing including subsea production of oil and gas. This paper concentrates on the development of simulation techniques needed to accurately estimate dehydration efficiency to control hydrate in a supercritical flow using supersonic nozzles.

A simulation model linked to a thermodynamic property generator is needed to predict the water removal efficiency under various flow conditions. The computer simulation results for water removal from a typical offshore natural gas stream under various conditions will be presented and compared with conventional techniques. Intensive water dew points down to about -50 to – 60 °C can be achieved without any cryogenic cooling or use of solid adsorption techniques.

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