Use online analyzers for successful monitoring
Improved analytics measure moisture and dew points for natural gas components
Using advanced online water and hydrocarbon dew-point
analysis techniques is critical to the efficient and reliable
operation of natural gas liquid-extraction processes, producing
valuable light alkane liquids while the remaining gas is
suitable for sales distribution. At its San Joaquin facility,
Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) initially processed
raw wellhead natural gas by separating residual hydrocarbon
(HC) condensates, followed by glycol dehydration to reduce the
water dew point. Reduced temperature separation was used to
decrease the HC dew point prior to molecular sieve dehydration.
This provided feed gas with moisture controlled to trace levels
into the primary liquid-extraction process. Maintaining
moisture concentrations to less than 0.1 parts per million
(ppm) by volume is essential for reliably operating turbo
expanders. The turboexpanders function is to use the
depressurization of natural
gas to achieve deep cooling of the process flow to
80°C. Avoiding ice formation within the separation
processparticularly the turboexpanderis critically
important for continuous plant operations and to prevent
astronomical maintenance costs. Online
measurement of dew point temperature within the feed gas,
containing water precipitate and hydrocarbon condensate,
enabled PDVSA process operators to extend the lifetime of the
desiccant beds while protecting the turboexpanders from risk of
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