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Gas Processing

natural-gas-to-liquid-containers

Gas processing is a sophisticated industrial method for refining raw natural gas from wells. This involves precise fluid handling, measurement, control, and dispensing to remove impurities such as methane, ethane, propane, and butane. The purified gases are then used for heating, electricity, industry, and transportation, making gas processing essential in the energy supply chain.

  • to produce transportable gas
  • prepared to meet the specific sales requirements (pipeline quality dry natural gas)
  • maximize liquid recovery

Methane is the gas found in natural gas, and natural gas processing is used to remove other gases and impurities. Natural gas processing can occur either before pipeline transportation or afterward.

A gas processing plant encompasses the equipment between the gas wells and the pipeline or other transportation methods.

An Example of a natural gas plant

The purpose of the gas processing plant is to remove the impurities and contaminants from the gas, remove solids and liquids, and prepare the gas to meet the specific sales requirements of the purchaser.

Gas processing consists of separating all of the various hydrocarbons, non-hydrocarbons (such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide), and fluids from the methane.

Pipeline

The gas processing plant takes the raw material (natural gas, pipeline condensate, water, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur). It generates intermediate products (aw make, plant condensate, natural gasoline, and ethane-propane streams) and finished products (transmission quality natural gas, butane, and propane).

Natural gas process

The natural gas process depends on the location and composition of the raw gas and the application of the gas by the end-users.

 

The processing of natural gas to pipeline dry gas quality levels can be very complex, but commonly involves these main processes to remove the various impurities:

Removal of large particles – The first step of natural gas processing is to remove the most significant impurities, for example, sand, with scrubbers. Heaters ensure that the temperature does not fall below a certain level.

Oil, condensate, and water removal – Then, the oil, gas, and water are separated. The gas in this state can still have sulfur and is called sour gas. Sending natural gas through a pipeline in this state is undesirable because corrosion can occur due to sulfur.

Sulfur and carbon dioxide removal – Therefore, the next step is to remove the sulfur and carbon dioxide from the natural gas.

Separation of natural gas liquids – One of the final steps of natural gas processing is known as natural gas liquid recovery, where many of the hydrocarbons besides methane are removed and collected.

The collected liquids serve many uses and can be pretty valuable. These hydrocarbons include but are not limited to propane, butane, and ethane.

The gas to liquid process (GTL) can be defined as converting natural gas into high-quality liquid products that would otherwise be made from crude oil. These liquid products include motor oils, transport fuels, and the ingredients for everyday necessities like plastics, detergents, and cosmetics.

The natural gas processing facilities consist of several different gas processing units, but all typically have:

  • Inlet receiving and compression
  • Gas treating
  • Sulfur removal
  • Dehydration
  • Hydrocarbon recovery
  • Outlet compression

Although there are many options for processing natural gas, no one option is best for all circumstances.

Important considerations when choosing the correct processing method are:

  • Gas composition
  • Residue specifications
  • NGL takeaway
  • Expected long-term inlet gas volume and composition projections

In many cases, the best answer ends up being multiple processing options that change over time as the field develops and then matures due to inlet volume and composition fluctuations.

Gas processing companies strive to optimize production and minimize downtime and operational cost while maintaining safe operation. For this purpose, these gas processing systems must meet stringent process control requirements while being reliable and scalable.

Gas processing companies must find ways to improve plant efficiency and increase throughput without commissioning a complete plant overhaul. Integration of information technology and upgraded operations technology systems can be a cost-effective way to achieve the production visibility required to improve efficiencies.

The natural gas industry has, from its outset, always been wide open to innovation and every kind of modern technology. Technological advances have constantly shaped and re-shaped every industry stage, from exploration right through to final usage.

Scientists, researchers, and engineers need to keep updated with technology and business information for the natural gas industry, including shale gas, LNG, CNG, gas processing, and gas production.

Innovative gas treatment technologies promise to reduce energy consumption. These gas processing innovations could revolutionize the fuel market.

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Experts for Gas Processing

Erik Tiemensma, Sales Knowledge Manager, has over 20 years of experience in flow and pressure measurement and control for gas, liquid and vapour. For many years Erik worked as Sales Engineer supporting worldwide sales channels in finding the best solutions for customers’ applications. At Bronkhorst we are convinced that sharing experiences and knowledge is an added value for customers, when discussing the most suitable products for their applications. As part of this expert panel, looks forward to your challenging flow or pressure questions.
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Eric Heilveil is a 30-year plus veteran in the process instrumentation marketplace. He started out his career working for Emerson Electric and later moved on to work with his current employer Siemens Process Instrumentation Flow Division. Throughout his career in industrial flow measurement he has held positions as a field service manager, a field sales manager, application engineer, product line manager, sales and product trainer, among other roles. Eric has worked extensively in the semiconductor, biotech, water and wastewater, food and beverage, automotive, oil and gas, and chemical industries. His current position with Siemens is as a Product Marketing Manager for flow products. Eric holds a dual MBA in marketing and finance. Based in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, throughout his career Eric has been responsible for business development and marketing of the Coriolis, clamp-on ultrasonic, magnetic flow and vortex flow products. He has been expertly selling, managing, consulting, designing, training, marketing and writing about flow measurement and control products that serve industry for his entire career.
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Dave is Vice President of Sales at Hawk Measurement (HAWK) and has more than 40 years of experience in the process instrumentation industry. Dave started working as an outside sales engineer in 1979 for his father’s company, AO Grumney. While there, he learned the importance of value added selling and superior customer support. He later became a manufacturer’s rep for various companies such as Siemens, Miltonic’s, AMETEK and many others. Several years later, Dave started his own company, Delta Instrumentation, a manufacturers’ rep agency which serves the process instrumentation and automation industries. In 1989 Dave started FLO-CORP, a US manufacturing company of flow, level and monitoring instrumentation. Through manufacturing his own line of process instrumentation, he found it allowed him to gain more control over origin of product, quality and lead times. In 2019, FLO-CORP merged companies with Hawk Measurement, the world leader in level, positioning, asset monitoring and flow measurement technology that provides cutting-edge equipment and complete solutions to the global industrial market. Throughout his wide range of experiences as sales engineer, sales rep, president, owner and CEO, the position he currently holds at Hawk Measurement as VP of Sales, allows him to do what he loves. Dave has always had a passion for meeting new people, building relationships and helping customers solve problems. His values align with HAWK’s as they are committed to providing best-in-class products, services and technologies that will have unsurpassed value to their customers.
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Bob Steinberg is the founder, president, and CEO of Sage Metering. He has over 40 years of instrumentation experience. Before forming Sage Metering in 2002, Steinberg managed thermal mass flow meter sales at Kurz Instruments, Sierra Instruments, and Eldridge Products. While at Weston Instruments, he was a product marketing engineer. He has a BSEE and a BA from Rutgers University.
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Natalie Waldecker, Portfolio Manager Food and Pharma, knows the challenges of the demanding industries inside out. With her broad application knowledge, she is at home on topics such as hygiene design, certificates and cleanability. As product manager for pressure measurement technology, she is also responsible for one of the most important measuring principles for the industry. Natalie gathers her knowledge as close to the application as possible. Preferably directly at the customer’s site, experiencing “real world” practice. She has thus gotten thoroughly acquainted with international customer requirements and knows the ins and outs of the market. With this background, she is able to not only explain technical relationships in an understandable way, but also offer valuable tips and convincing solutions. In the 12 years she has been with VEGA, she has steadily improved her expertise which makes her the right person to contact for new product ideas and tailored customer solutions.
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Dietmar Saecker is temperature measurement expert at Endress+Hauser in Nesselwang, Germany. His experience covers technical sales support, consulting for difficult temperature measurement applications and international know-how transfers, especially in the Life Sciences industry. He also teaches at the Kempten University of Applied Sciences. Dietmar studied Chemical Engineering with a focus on measurement and control technology at the University of Dortmund. Experience from many customer visits has shown him that many problems arise from an incorrect choice of equipment. In lectures and training courses on temperature measurement technology, he demonstrates the complexity of the subject and regularly surprises numerous listeners with his thoughts and experiences. His recipe: “Recognizing trends and sharing knowledge. Because only when we share knowledge can we develop better solutions together.” Dietmar is looking forward to your questions and the exchange with you.
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Kyle Daniels, CEO, is an Aerospace Engineer and the inventor, Chief Engineer, and Head of Product Design of the Dilating Disk Valve™, formerly known as the Shutter Valve™. He holds several patents on the Dilating Disk™ Valve, and is an expert in the field of industrial valves. Mr. Daniels spent his career in the aerospace industry working at General Electric, Pratt & Whitney, and Embraer Aircraft. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University’s prestigious Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering program and received a master’s degree (magna cum laude) from Brown University’s Program in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship. Mr. Daniels is from Miami, FL and has resided in Ohio, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Paris, France.
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Paul de Waal is Dutch and educated as a Measurement and Control /Electronics Engineer. After a start as Instrumentation Engineer at Delta Controls, often outsourced to Shell, he became Managing Director of Sierra Instruments b.v. for almost 25 years. In 2012 he moved to the UK and now works as Business Development Director at Vögtlin Instruments GmbH in Switzerland. Paul has been active is several ISO committees and has a wide network of international relations that he can call upon to support him. (Vögtlin is part of the TASI group). He has practical experience with about every flow meter principle available. Currently his professional focus is application support, product development and international sales promotions. His main interest and experience lies in non-fiscal gas mass flow measurement/control systems and calibration. Gas mass flow meters and controllers used in applications like consumption measurements and distribution, gas dosing, mixing, (leak) testing, flame control, furnace, glass, heat treatment, packaging and analysers. Application for this can be found in industries like Food, Bio technology, Surface technologies, Welding, Medical, Pharma, Energy (Solar, Fuel cells, combustion, etc), chemical, semiconductor, metal industry and many more..
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Pete Graniello is a 20-year sales professional in the process automation marketplace. He began his career working for major national distributors of instrumentation, pumps, valves, and engineered thermoplastic piping systems. Pete’s technical proficiency encompasses all these product segments. In his career, he’s served as an operations supervisor, a technical sales support specialist, a sales & product trainer, and a business development rep. As a subject matter expert, Pete has worked closely with clients in the semiconductor, water & wastewater, chemical, food & beverage, automotive, biopharma, and oil & gas markets to help them find solutions to their process automation needs. He has extensive and varied experience in the process automation world. His current position is as a Business Development representative for Macnaught USA flowmeters. Based in Houston, Texas, throughout his career Pete has been responsible for helping customers find the right solutions to their most challenging process measurement applications.
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Hello, my name is Lee Sandry and I am a Sector Training Manager at Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Solutions. My role primarily involves training sales colleagues to provide customers the best fluid handling solutions in industrial sectors, including water treatment, mining, chemical and construction applications. Being from Cornwall and surrounded by the mining industry, with a father who worked underground, my local environment was always about engineering and mineral processing. My apprenticeship when I left school was with the large mining machinery manufacturer, which has led me onto greater things. My background at Watson-Marlow started in 1996 when I was involved in the production of hundreds of parts that go into the manufacture of our pumps. This was followed with becoming a Technical Support Engineer, working directly with colleagues and customers globally. Site visits and constant customer-facing support at Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Solutions, gave me the opportunity to experience many aspects of installation and operation of our peristaltic and sinusoidal pumps range. My aim is to enable sales teams around the world to provide robust solutions for demanding pumping applications, helping customers improve the efficiency and safety of their manufacturing process. Choosing the right pump can overcome problems that cause other pump types to fail. With no rotors to wear, or seals and glands to flush, peristaltic hose pumps handle abrasive fluids without the maintenance costs of other pumps. Whilst the extremely low shear and high suction sinusoidal pumps reduce product damage and cut waste in high viscosity fluid transfer duties.
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