Process Improvement Engineering, Consultants and Engineers An Affiliate of:
PROCESS CHEMICALS, INC
.
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Tel: 1+504 887 7714 • Fax: 1+504 456 1835

Email: norm@lieberman-eng.com

LIEBERMAN BOOKS

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By Norman P. Lieberman

TROUBLESHOOTING NATURAL GAS PROCESSING
PUBLISHED BY: LIEBERMAN BOOKS
FIRST SOFT COVER EDITION
ISBN 978-0-9816652-2-1

CONTENTS

PREFACE ............................................................................................... x
   
  INTRODUCTION ................................................................................. xi
   
  SECTION I - TROUBLESHOOTING AT THE WELL SITE
     
1
Increasing Gas Flow At the Wellhead ................................................... 1

Configuration of Tubing and Casing. Wellhead Performance Curve. Liquid Loading. Sustaining Gas Flow. Use of Intermitters. Sand Covering Perforations. Tagging Bottoms.

2
Additional Ideas To Enhance Gas Flow ............................................... 16

Calculating Gas Flow At Different Wellhead Pressures. Coning Water Into A Well. Dual Completion Wells. Gas Recovery During Initial Flaring. Portable Sand Separator. Soap Sticks.

3
Wellhead Surface Equipment ............................................................... 25

The Wellhead Tree. The Master And Secondary Valves. Casing Pressure. Heater Operation. High Pressure Separator. Three Phase Separator Condensate and Brine Tanks. Wellhead Flash Gas Recovery.

4
Wellhead Compression ......................................................................... 36

Head-End/Crank-End Operation. Optimizing Suction Pressure. Horsepower Bottlenecks. Rod load Limits. Fuel Saving Ideas. Field Troubleshooting Checklist.

5
Process Cooling In Remote Locations ................................................ 49

Heat Transfer Efficiency For Gas Cooling. Insufficient Air Flow. Fan Tip Speed. Blade Pitch. Effect Of Glycol Dehydrators. Turbocharger Discharge Coolers.

   
  SECTION II - TROUBLESHOOTING AT THE DEHYDRATION AND COMPRESSION STATION
   
6
Glycol Dehydration ............................................................................... 59

Glycol Pump. Reduced Glycol Circulation. Regeneration Temperature. Flooding Dehydration Tower. Plugged Trays. Effect of Temperature and Pressure. Selecting Dehydration Trays. Overheating Glycol. External Glycol Stripper. Di-, Tri-, or Tetra-Glycol?

7
Reciprocating Compressors ................................................................. 80

Lost Compressor Horsepower. Unloader Failures. Cylinder Temperature. Beta Scans and the Carnot Cycle. Efficiency. Starting Volumetric Clearance. Valve Losses. Excessive Rod Loading.

8
Reciprocating Engines .......................................................................... 90

Cylinder Exhaust Temperature. Vibration Analyzer. Turbochargers. Beta Scans And The Otto Cycle. Engine Efficiency.

9
Loss In Centrifugal Compressor Capacity ........................................ 100

Compression Horsepower versus delta T. Labyrinth Seal Leakage. Rotor Fouling. Split Shaft Gas Turbine Drive. Salt Deposits. Dew Point Solid Deposits. Anti-Surge Control.

10
Gas Turbine Driven Centrifugal Compressors ................................. 112

Exhaust Temperature Limits. Compressor versus Gas Properties. Rotor Fouling. Driver Efficiency.

11
Light Hydrocarbon Distillation .......................................................... 120

Control Problems. Flooding. Tower Delta P. Liquid Level Causes Flooding. Temperature Survey. Foaming. Expanding Tray Capacity and Efficiency. Tray Damage.

12
Amine Regeneration and Scrubbing .................................................. 133

Dirty Amine. Foaming. Corrosion Inhibitors, Reboiler and Condenser Corrosion. Reclaimer Operation for MEA. Filter Operation. Amine Strength. Retrofitting Ideas To Expand Capacity. Energy Savings.

13
Sulfur Plant Operation ........................................................................ 148

Sulfur Losses. Air Ratio. Catalyst Activity Reheat Exchangers. Sulfur Fog. Start-Up Problems. Deposits On Catalyst Beds. Condenser Leaks. Plugged Seal Legs. Oxygen Enrichment. Cascading Seal Legs.

   
  SECTION III - PIPELINE PROBLEMS
   
14
Hydrates .............................................................................................. 172

Effect of Composition And Pressure. Cooling On Expansion. Use Of Methanol. Effect On Wellhead Compressors.

15
Production Metering ........................................................................... 180

Pulsation Effects. Effect of Wellhead Compressors. Eroded, Plugged Orifices. Beta Ratio. Gas Field Balances. Custody Transfer Point.

16
Piping Pulsations ................................................................................. 188

Running Compressors in Parallel. Resonant Piping Length. Pulsation Dampener Bottle. Effect Of Piping Design.

17
Corrosion and Fouling ........................................................................ 192

Monitoring Internal Corrosion. External Pipeline Corrosion. Pipe-to-Soil Potential. Biological Corrosion.

     
GLOSSARY ........................................................................................ 195
    
INDEX ................................................................................................ 203

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