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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Natural Gas STAR Program Optimize Separator Operating Pressures to Reduce Flash Losses SPE Paper 94373 B. Boyer -

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Presentation on theme: "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Natural Gas STAR Program Optimize Separator Operating Pressures to Reduce Flash Losses SPE Paper 94373 B. Boyer -"— Presentation transcript:

1 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Natural Gas STAR Program Optimize Separator Operating Pressures to Reduce Flash Losses SPE Paper B. Boyer - COMM Engineering & S. O'Connell, Devon Energy Corp.

2 Outline Introduction Introduction Flash Losses Flash Losses Opportunity Opportunity Methods Used Methods Used Conclusions Conclusions

3 Introduction STAR BMPs examples of Optimization STAR BMPs examples of Optimization Many opportunities exist Many opportunities exist Many solutions needed Many solutions needed Flash gas from separators and storage tanks are natural gas product Flash gas from separators and storage tanks are natural gas product

4 Flashing Losses Flashing losses result from oil pressure drops during the separation process Flashing losses result from oil pressure drops during the separation process Flash gas routinely vented to the atmosphere or burned in a flare Flash gas routinely vented to the atmosphere or burned in a flare Sources of flash to atmosphere include separators, heater treaters, storage tanks Sources of flash to atmosphere include separators, heater treaters, storage tanks Higher BTU gas from storage tanks Higher BTU gas from storage tanks

5 Flashing Losses Intermediate flash Intermediate flash Intermediate pressure separators that send oil to low pressure separator or heater treater Intermediate pressure separators that send oil to low pressure separator or heater treater Computer simulations Computer simulations Fixed roof atmospheric storage tanks Fixed roof atmospheric storage tanks Pipeline pigging operations Pipeline pigging operations Gas plant inlet separators dumping to storage tanks Gas plant inlet separators dumping to storage tanks

6 Typical Flash Destination

7 Optimization Opportunity Minimize operating pressure of low- pressure separators that dump to storage tanks to reduce flash losses Minimize operating pressure of low- pressure separators that dump to storage tanks to reduce flash losses Results in decreased gas vented by storage tanks and increased gas to sales Results in decreased gas vented by storage tanks and increased gas to sales Minimal cost to implement with immediate payback Minimal cost to implement with immediate payback

8 Why Optimize Separators? Easy, inexpensive to increase profits Easy, inexpensive to increase profits Gas STAR Program reporting Gas STAR Program reporting Conserves natural resources Conserves natural resources Greenhouse Gas emission credits Greenhouse Gas emission credits Reduce volatile organic compounds (VOC) Reduce volatile organic compounds (VOC) Reduce benzene and other hazardous air pollutant emissions Reduce benzene and other hazardous air pollutant emissions

9 Devon Energy Corp. Case Study Surveyed facilities Surveyed facilities Chose G.A. Ray No. 93 Facility Chose G.A. Ray No. 93 Facility Optimize separator pressures to increase gas to sales minimal costs Optimize separator pressures to increase gas to sales minimal costs Field cooperation – sampling, optimization options, implementation Field cooperation – sampling, optimization options, implementation

10 Method Step1. Choose Flowrate Estimation Method Step1. Choose Flowrate Estimation Method Step 2 – Collect Process Data Step 2 – Collect Process Data Step 3 – Determine existing GOR and flash rate Step 3 – Determine existing GOR and flash rate Step 4 – Determine and implement optimal operating pressures Step 4 – Determine and implement optimal operating pressures Step 5 – Determine new GOR and flash rate after lowering operating pressures Step 5 – Determine new GOR and flash rate after lowering operating pressures Step 6 – Calculate the reduction in vent gas and the monetary value of the vent gas Step 6 – Calculate the reduction in vent gas and the monetary value of the vent gas

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12 Additional Solution Install vapor recovery after optimization when adequate amount of gas vented Install vapor recovery after optimization when adequate amount of gas vented See Natural Gas STARs Lessons Learned document: Installing Vapor Recovery Units on Crude Oil Storage Tanks (www.epa.gov/gasstar) See Natural Gas STARs Lessons Learned document: Installing Vapor Recovery Units on Crude Oil Storage Tanks (www.epa.gov/gasstar)

13 Conclusions Methane emissions Methane emissions Before optimization = 653,000 scf/year Before optimization = 653,000 scf/year After optimization = 317,000 scf/year After optimization = 317,000 scf/year Increased potential net to sales = 336,000 scf/year Increased potential net to sales = 336,000 scf/year Increase profits to approx. $7000/year Increase profits to approx. $7000/year Devon reporting this data to Gas STAR Program Devon reporting this data to Gas STAR Program


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