The new brazed aluminum reflux condenser stands in front of
the demethanizer (Fig. 7).
brazed aluminum reflux condenser (EP-2313) slowly because the very cold (-160º F.) streams used in chilling the
reflux could damage the exchanger from thermal stresses.
Fig. 7 shows EP-2313 in front of the demethanizer.
Another part of the process that was watched closely during start-up was the demethanizer and product stabilizer
bottoms temperatures. The demethanizer and product stabilizer side reboilers were used in the new process to precool
the compressed residue gas en route to the reflux condenser.
During start-up, flow rate through these exchangers was low
and the trim reboilers had to make up the balance of heat to
keep the methane content of the NGLs within specification.
There was enough heat available in the trim reboilers that
the product was never out of pipeline specification.
With the new design flow rate of reflux to the demethanizer, the existing residue compressor was at its maximum
capacity. In order to maintain a lower demethanizer pressure, the compressor had to be adjusted. Several exchangers
will need to be cleaned to provide the highest suction pressure possible.
The inlet compressor was also pushed to the limit to obtain
high inlet pressure to the plant. Because the plant is operating
below the design conditions, it required a significant amount
of recycle to keep the centrifugal compressor out of surge.
Guang Lee ( email@example.com) is a process
technologist for Bechtel Hydrocarbon Technology
Solutions (BHTS) Inc., Houston. He has more than
15 years of experience in cryogenic technologies
for gas processing, LNG, and ethylene industries.
He holds a PhD in process integration from the
University of Manchester and a BSc in chemical
engineering from National Taiwan University. Lee is a member of
AIChE and the Houston chapter of the Gas Processors Association.
Sudhir Golikeri ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is manager of gas processing for BHTS. He previously
worked for MW Kellogg, Davy McKee, Amoco
and BP. He holds a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Houston.
Jie Yu ( email@example.com) is a process engineer for BHTS. She has worked on various gas
processing and LNG related studies. She holds
a PhD in chemical engineering from Rice University, Houston.
Patrick Drew ( Patrick.Drew@pxd.com) is a
process engineer for Pioneer Nature Resources,
Dallas. His experience includes working with
cryogenic gas plants, gas and condensate gather-
ing, compression, amine absorption, and glycol
absorption. Drew holds a BS (2009) in chemical
engineering from Texas A&M University.
Bonnie Dumas ( Bonnie.Dumas@pxd.com) is
manager of gas processing for Pioneer Nature
Resources. She previously worked for Mobil Oil
Corp. as a process engineer specializing in fractionation and tower internals. She holds a BS in
chemical engineering from Texas A&M University.
“Rapid North American shale gas development pushes
up global capacities” (OGJ, June 3, 2013, p. 74),
discussing Howard Midstream Energy Partners, incorrectly cited processing agreements as totaling “more
than 350 bcfd.” The correct amount is 350 bcf.