New in Gas Processing Technology
A. Blume, Editor
BioLNG EuroNet to expand LNG as a road transport fuel
BioLNG EuroNet announced a commitment to the further expansion of LNG as a road transport fuel across Europe with new infrastructure that should ensure the long-term success and mass-scale adoption in Europe.
The members of the consortium, comprising Shell, DISA, Scania, IVECO and CNH Industrial Capital Europe, and cofunded by the EU, will each deliver separate activities that will see 2,000 more LNG trucks on the road, 39 LNG fueling stations and the construction of a BioLNG production plant in the Netherlands.
The LNG retail stations will form part of a pan-European network and be built in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. The stations will be located approximately every 400 km along core road network corridors from Spain to eastern Poland. The BioLNG facility will produce 3,000 metric MMtpy of BioLNG and will use biogas produced from organic waste. The biogas will be sold to end users via the LNG network.
Air Products supplies N2 plants for Netherlands energy project
Air Products and NV Nederlandse Gasunie announced the signing of an industrial gas equipment agreement that will help address a matter of national energy importance for the Netherlands. Air Products will supply Gasunie with three generation plants to produce the nitrogen (N2) needed to condition imported natural gas to the specification required in commercial and consumer applications throughout the country.
The equipment to be supplied by Air Products is part of a response to natural gas extraction issues the Netherlands is facing. The country has long sourced natural gas from its domestic Groningen field. However, that extraction has resulted in seismic activity, which now requires a switch to imported gas. Complicating the new supply issue is that the imported natural gas is incompatible with the applications presently served by the domestic Groningen source.
The plants to be built and supplied by Air Products will provide the solution. They will produce the N2 required to condition the imported natural gas to the correct specification, making it suitable for widespread use in the country. The three plants, to be located in Zuidbroek, near Groningen, will produce a combined 180,000 m3hr of N2 when brought onstream in October 2021. The N2 facility is important for the reduction of gas production in Groningen. As early as 2022, the production of Groningen gas must be reduced to below 12 Bm3y.
QED launches biomethane fixed analyzer
QED Environmental Systems Inc., a manufacturer of innovative environmental products, recently announced the new BIOMETHANE 3000 fixed analyzer, designed for high-accuracy methane and oxygen (O2) readings for biomethane applications.
The new fixed biomethane analyzer is ideal for biogas upgrading; anaerobic digestion of agricultural, farm and mixed food waste; sewage and wastewater treatment anaerobic digestion; vehicle fuel anaerobic digestion; and other biomethane production applications. The BIOMETHANE 3000 analyzer helps users maximize operational efficiency by optimizing the anaerobic digestion process.
The BIOMETHANE 3000 analyzer provides continual measurement of methane, carbon dioxide (CO2) and O2 with a user-definable fourth gas reading of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), hydrogen (H2) or carbon monoxide (CO). The analyzer provides quality readings above the 95% methane level and below the 1% O2 level at first-stage production.
Customizable to site requirements, the BIOMETHANE 3000 analyzer protects operators from O2 issues while preventing the risk of injecting poor-quality gas into the grid network. With its modular design, the BIOMETHANE 3000 analyzer enables hot swapping for serviceability and onsite maintenance, minimizing operational downtime.
Built with an IP65-rated enclosure, the BIOMETHANE 3000 analyzer is certified for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX) and IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres (IECEx) Zone 2 areas. A variety of communication options are available, including Modbus RTU and optional Process Field Bus (PROFIBUS), Process Field Net (PROFINET) and ethernet communication protocols.
With a clear and informative color visual display, the BIOMETHANE 3000 analyzer is easy to install and operate. It operates in a wide temperature range and offers a fully automated calibration function to maintain methane testing accuracy and ensure data reliability in extreme temperatures. It features built-in liquid level monitoring with a dedicated alarm, an optional automated moisture removal drain and a dedicated auto-calibration alarm.
Emerson acquires advanced engineering valves
Emerson has acquired Advanced Engineering Valves, a manufacturer of innovative valve technology that helps LNG customers operate more efficiently. The transaction will enable Emerson, a global automation solutions and technology provider, to offer a broad portfolio of valves to improve process performance and reliability for its customers.
The addition of Advanced Engineering Valves supports Emerson’s “main valve partner” initiative to be the premier supplier of final control solutions for the LNG industry. The acquisition also complements its Vanessa triple-offset valve range to create a single technology leader for process isolation in critical cryogenic and severe service applications.
Both Emerson and Advanced Engineering Valves are focused on innovating to deliver superior technology that helps customers achieve project delivery success and operational excellence in their end markets. Advanced Engineering Valves is a leader in torque-seated, friction-free, zero-leakage ball valve technology that drives performance, cost and reliability improvements over traditional ball valves.
Advanced Engineering Valves is headquartered in Verviers, Belgium. Its ball valve design creates a change in safety, environmental and performance outcomes for the LNG industry, as well as for oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical customers.
Brownsville LNG passes draft environmental test
In the report, known as an environmental impact statement, the FERC concluded that construction and operation of the project would result in some adverse environmental impacts, but that those impacts "would not be significant" if the company follows the recommendations outlined in the draft report.Annova LNG's proposed LNG export terminal at the Port of Brownsville in Texas took a step toward receiving federal approval for construction after the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a draft environmental report.
The FERC said in a release that its commissioners will take the FERC staff's recommendations into consideration when they decide on the project. FERC did not give a date for when the commissioners will make that decision.
The Brownsville project includes liquefaction facilities, two LNG storage tanks, a pipeline meter station and marine transfer facilities.
According to Annova, which is backed by Chicago-based energy company Exelon Corp., the Brownsville project will cost nearly $3 B. It is designed to produce 6 MMtpy of LNG, which is roughly 0.8 Bft3d of natural gas. One Bft3 of gas is enough to fuel approximately 5 MM homes for 1 d.
Annova plans to make a final investment decision on the project in 4Q 2019 and put the facility into service in 2024. Other companies involved in the Annova project include Black & Veatch Corp. and Kiewit Corp.
In addition to Annova, at least two other firms are looking to build LNG export terminals in the Brownsville area, including Texas LNG and NextDecade Corp. (Rio Grande LNG).
The US became a net exporter of gas, including LNG, for the first time in 60 yr in 2017. The country's LNG export capacity is expected to rise to 8.9 Bft3d in 2019 and to 10.3 Bft3d in 2020, from approximately 5.2 Bft3d in service in 2018.
Israel develops natural gas power initiatives
Israel's top energy official has confirmed that the government is committed to natural gas becoming the country's primary source of energy in the years ahead.
Energy minister Yuval Steinitz told an international energy and business convention in November 2018 that the use of coal will end by 2030, with a power generation fuel basket based on 83% gas and 17% renewables taking its place. This represents a major shift from present levels—in 2017, power generation comprised 64.1% gas, 32.5% coal and 3.5% renewables.
The transportation sector, the minister added, will run entirely on gas. By 2030, compressed natural gas (CNG) will fuel heavy-duty trucks, and electric cars will use energy generated by natural gas.
Ron Adam, the special envoy for energy at the Israeli foreign affairs ministry, and Yossi Abu, the CEO of Delek Drilling, each provided updates on various aspects of gas export projects that are underway.
Abu noted that exports to Jordan's NEPCO will commence as soon as the vast offshore Leviathan field is operational in 4Q 2019. Construction of an Israeli gas transmission system in the north to the border with Jordan is due to be completed by May 2019, while Jordan is progressing at a similar pace with its own north-to-south grid.
He added that exports to a private company in Egypt, albeit at relatively small quantities at first from the Tamar field, will start around the same time, via the 89-km (55-mi) East Mediterranean Gas (EMG) pipeline that connects Ashkelon in Israel to el-Arish in Egypt.
Export volumes to Egypt will increase gradually once Leviathan comes online and after the final export routes have been decided. These routes could include one or more options to export up to 7 Bm3y of Israeli gas to Egypt.
The parties could use the Israeli transmission system to export via the EMG line; circumvent the Israeli system (and thus avoid the transmission tariff and the congested lines in the south of Israel) by hot-tapping from the Tamar and/or Leviathan offshore lines for a direct connection to EMG.
Another option is to use the Israeli transmission system in the north to export via the Jordanian grid and into the Pan-Arab pipeline via Aqaba in Jordan and to el-Arish in Egypt.
Finally, there is potential to connect the Israeli Leviathan field together with the Cypriot Aphrodite field, via a direct, 400-km offshore pipeline to be constructed directly to the Idku LNG export facilities.
Another export option, discussed by energy envoy Adam, is one that is being promoted by IGI Poseidon, an equal JV between Depa and Edison that is about to commence a detailed FEED study at a cost of €70 MM ($7 MM), to examine the technical and commercial feasibility of exporting Israeli and Cypriot gas to the EU—the one global market where imports are increasing steadily.
The CEO of Poseidon, Matteo Restelli, explained at the convention that the pre-FEED study had been successful and that the EU is to provide a further €34 MM, as many of its member states are keen to diversify their sources and gas supply routes.
While Israel is clearly making progress in developing and expanding its gas sector, issues are still hindering its development. For instance, on exploration, the government could cancel any obligation for new fields in the next licensing round to connect and/or to supply gas to the local market. It could also fund a feasibility study for a floating LNG project to open other potential export options.
Since the coal-to-gas conversion process should be completed before 2030, once Leviathan is online, a petrochemical sector could be established away from the limited land available on the coast and as far south as the Negev desert. On infrastructure, the government could invest in both gas transmission and distribution networks that still suffer from bottlenecks and are impeding greater consumption, and gas storage facilities.
Finally, Israel could also reach a unitization agreement with Cyprus, a border agreement with Lebanon and become a signatory to international treaties, such as the energy charter.
For the latest, most accurate information on regional natural gas development, join Gulf Energy Information for the 6th Eastern Mediterranean Gas Conference (EMGC) in Nicosia, Cyprus, on 6–7 March 2019. The conference provides attendees with the latest information on the region's developing natural gas industry, and the ability to gain entry to regional markets and seek potential new business partners.
Shell to move forward with Shearwater gas expansion
Royal Dutch Shell plans to expand the Shearwater gas hub in the British North Sea—its seventh project in the aging basin to be greenlighted in 2019. The project, a JV with ExxonMobil and BP, will include a modification of the Shearwater platform to allow production and processing of wet gas, as well as the construction of a 23-mi (37-km) pipeline from the Fulmar Gas Line (FGL) to Shearwater.
The pipeline installation, which will enable wet gas to flow into the Shell Esso Gas and Associated Liquids (SEGAL) pipeline, is scheduled for 2019, while the platform expansion is scheduled for the following year, according to Shell.
At peak production, the wet gas export capacity of the Shearwater hub is expected to be around 400 MMsft3d of gas, or roughly 70,000 boed.
The Shearwater project is the seventh project Shell and its partners have approved this year, including the Penguins field redevelopment, its first major new project in the basin in 6 yr.
Russia's Novatek to build small-scale LNG in Baltic Sea
Russia's largest non-state natural gas producer, Novatek, will start producing LNG on the shore of the Baltic Sea in February 2019.
Novatek, along with Gazprombank, is building an LNG plant and terminal in the Baltic Sea port of Vysotsk with a capacity of 660,000 metric tpy of frozen gas. The plant's capacity could be expanded to 800,000 metric tpy in 2021.
Novatek is the main owner of Russia's largest LNG project, Yamal LNG, which produces 16.5 metric MMtpy of gas.
Honeywell to provide modular gas plant to Cogent Midstream
Honeywell announced that its UOP Russell business will provide a 200-MMft3d gas processing plant to Cogent Midstream LLC. When completed late next year, the new plant will extract valuable NGL from natural gas produced from several counties in the Wolfcamp Formation of the Permian basin in Texas.
Honeywell will design and supply a UOP Russell modular cryogenic plant with refrigeration and dehydration units. The plant design streamlines project schedules and is customized for the unique gas composition in the basin. With the addition of the new plant, Cogent's processing capacity at its Big Lake Plant will increase to 400 MMft3d.
Cryogenic gas processing plants cool natural gas until the heavier and more valuable NGL form liquids, including propane, ethane and butanes that can be used as fuels, fuel blending components and other petrochemicals.
The plants are built in modules in controlled factory conditions and shipped by truck to remote locations, where they are quickly and easily assembled. This process significantly reduces construction time and expense, enhances reliability after startup, and enables customers to begin processing gas and earning revenue more quickly than with field-constructed plants.
The plant is designed to accommodate the NGL-rich gas in the Wolfcamp formation. Its low capital and operating expense and high NGL recovery enable Cogent to meet producer processing needs, while also ensuring that downstream pipeline specifications are met.
Cogent Midstream operates the largest private greenfield gathering and processing system in the Southern Midland basin. Approximately 650 mi of pipeline and three processing plants serve the Coke, Crockett, Glasscock, Irion, Mitchell, Reagan, Schleicher, Sterling and Tom Green counties.