This paper resurrects a proven technology which saw its zenith in the 1960s, but which, due to changes in gas contract terms, became less common. It is now virtually unknown to engineers new to the field. This is unfortunate because circumstances have changed again, allowing this field-proven process to improve economics in some areas of gas production.
Engineers familiar with modern gas plant operation, particularly cryogenic plants, are acutely aware of the need for gas dehydration. This concern for hydrate prevention carries over into low temperature separation in the field. Although thousands of low temperature wellhead gas processing units have been placed in operation, most gas engineers have not experienced the sound of intentionally formed hydrates as they ricochet around the LTX spinner chamber, nor have they seen performance data which demonstrate the significant cost effectiveness of LTX processing in the field.
The purpose of this paper is to present such data and to reintroduce this proven technology to a new generation of gas engineers. The theory and practical application of LTX processing will be explained, along with the conjunctive effects of condensate stabilization and overhead vapor recompression. In summary, the paper will demonstrate that the road to increased profits is not paved solely by new technology.