July 2017

Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment

Upgrade process compressors to enhance production

Centrifugal compressors are production-critical equipment in refineries, petrochemical plants, and offshore oil and gas production facilities.

Centrifugal compressors are production-critical equipment in refineries, petrochemical plants, and offshore oil and gas production facilities. Increases in their capacity are easy to justify, even in a tight commercial market. Payback periods are very low—typically less than 5 yr—compared to greenfield projects. In this specific case, which is from a field in the Caspian Sea, re-engineering and upgrading of the various components of the low-pressure compression trains enhanced the actual volumetric flow capacity of each compressor by approximately 60% (e.g., from 3,500 m3/hr to 5,650 m3/hr). TABLE 1 provides a comparison of the old vs. new operating conditions.

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