From the idea through to completion: How to make one gas treatment plant out of two!
The situation with gas is as follows: You get it out of the earth; this is known as extracting or producing gas. Then you prepare it in a plant (gas treatment plant) so that the “crude gas” becomes a gas that can be stored in the gas grid (“sales gas”). The longer the gas is produced from a reservoir, the lower the amount of gas left underground and so, over time, the production quantities decrease – this is called a “natural production decline”. At some point the capacity of the gas treatment plant is no longer fully utilized and this in turn increases the production costs.
Two times Aderklaa
In Weinviertel, Austria, more precisely in Aderklaa, OMV
used to operate two plants: The “Aderklaa I”
plant processed the sour gas produced (sour gas is natural gas containing hydrogen sulfide) from the Schönkirchen field. The gas from the Höflein field was treated in the “Aderklaa II” plant.
Since the natural production decline began to have an impact on both of the fields, it was necessary to consider how to produce in a way that would be sustainable, environmentally friendly and optimized in terms of cost. This is how the idea of “ONE Aderklaa” was born.
Two become one
ONE Aderklaa involved combining the two plants into one in order to achieve the original capacity utilization. Bringing together two plants is a highly complex process and many people’s first reaction was that this is just a “pipe dream”.
“There’s no such thing as no way”, was the reaction of Andreas Ecklmair, Senior Process Engineer, and he developed his idea into ONE Aderklaa. Ecklmair’s team conceived and realized the project. Piping, pipeline bridges, fittings, valves and heat exchangers were designed and installed. And three months later construction work began.
The sense of achievement in the whole team was immense. We successfully realized a 1.2-million-euro project in just six months. ONE Aderklaa has reduced the operating costs of the fields and extended their lifespan by several years; this means that operations and jobs in the region are now secured for years.
ONE Aderklaa was operational in January 2017 and the test run started merely a week later: Gas from Aderklaa II was gradually fed into the Aderklaa I plant. On 20 January 2017 it was finally possible to treat all of the gas from Schönkirchen and Höflein in a single plant.
Following a phase of testing and adjustment, the plant received a permanent Management of Change certification. Permanent operations began in fall 2017, marking the completion of the project ONE Aderklaa: Two plants had become one!
What is sour gas?
Pure natural gas is colorless and odorless; but it can contain certain levels of hydrogen sulfide. If so, it has an unpleasant odor and this is why natural gas with H2S is called “sour gas”.