Off-shore production/processing platforms often strand valuable associated and/or natural gas reserves due to severe space and weight/or limitations on the platform prohibiting the installation of gas processing and/or treatment facilities.
This paper will describe how one such oil producer, located in the Santa Barbara Channel, met the aforementioned challenges by first demonstrating the effectiveness of Fast-Cycle Pressure-Swing Adsorption through on-board, pilot plant studies, then in a full-scale production unit capable of processing up to 5.0 MMscfd. The Rotary-Valve, Fast-Cycle PSA, which encompasses a space on the platform no larger than 18 ft(L) X 8 ft(W) X 9 ft(H), takes the place of three traditional gas processing plants; an amine unit (to remove CO?) a chiller (to remove C3 compounds) and a glycol dehydration unit, resulting in a dramatic reduction in size and weight, thereby saving the platform millions of dollars in capital costs as well as eliminating any need to structurally change the platform.
In addition, the Rotary-Valve, Fast-Cycle PSA has successfully proven to be able to handle high levels of ethane, allowing the platform to meet and/or exceed stringent California Air Resource Board standards; ethane removal has previously been proven very difficult for other, older technologies, such as refrigeration.