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TREATING DIFFICULT FEED GASES TO LNG PLANTS


Ed Bras Gerard van der Zwet Jeanine Klinkenbijl Paul Clinton Shell Global Solutions International B.V. PO Box 541, 2501 CM The Hague, The Netherlands

ABSTRACT Growing demand for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is leading to increased feed production from more difficult gas reservoirs. These reservoirs may contain higher levels of acid components (sulphur components and carbon dioxide). New production may also end up in more difficult to develop environments, like the arctic, offshore or near shore, etc. Conventional upstream processing in such locations is either infeasible or excessively expensive, so more and more production is by full well stream transfer, thereby reducing the upstream facilities to the bare minimum. The consequences are that the LNG facilities are becoming more complex in design and operation. This paper describes how contaminants (e.g. hydrogen sulphide, mercaptans, carbon dioxide, water, salts, organic acids) and the necessary additives (e.g. corrosion inhibitor, hydrate inhibitor) can be dealt with in the integrated designs whilst complying with ever more stringent environmental requirements (e.g. water disposal quality, sulphur dioxide emissions, hydrocarbon losses). It also describes how the various contaminants and additives can interact (e.g. forming emulsions, solids) and can cause additional problems such as foaming, fouling or corrosion. This is illustrated in specific examples. The paper concludes that a functioning and cost-effective line-up can only be achieved with good input data and by using an integrated approach, in which all the processing steps such as pipelining, separation, stabilisation, treating and NGL extraction are considered together.

Shell Global Solutions is a network of independent technology companies in the Shell Group. In this material the expression 'Shell Global Solutions' is sometimes used for convenience where reference is made to these companies in general, or where no useful purpose is served by identifying a particular company. The information contained in this material is intended to be general in nature and must not be relied on as specific advice in connection with any decisions you may make. Shell Global Solutions is not liable for any action you may take as a result of you relying on such material or for any loss or damage suffered by you as a result of you taking this action.

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PREVIOUS DEVELOPMENTS If the source of the gas for LNG plants contains carbon dioxide (CO2) and only traces of sulphur components, the acid gas is called sweet. If sulphur components are present in higher concentrations, specifically hydrogen sulphide (H2S), carbonyl sulfide (COS) and organic sulphur components such as mercaptans, the acid gas is called sour. In most areas, the upstream gas supply to an LNG plant is typically of a sweet nature. The sweet gas and condensate are dried in the upstream facilities before pipelining the gas to an LNG plant. Consequently, the receiving facilities for such uncontaminated streams are simple. In some areas, the feed supply contains low concentrations of sulphur components and this gas can usually be treated using conventional sulphur removal technology. NEW DEVELOPMENTS Nowadays, the situation is more difficult because of a number of new developments. The upstream supply may be from a sour reservoir or from a high CO2 concentration sweet reservoir, as most of the sweet reservoirs have been discovered and exploited. The upstream drive to reduce costs, improve safety and avoid logistical problems has resulted in drastically simpler upstream production facilities. These typically produce the entire sweet or sour, wet wellstream through a multiphase pipeline to the LNG plant receiving facilities (full wellstream transfer). At the same time, the LNG product specifications become more stringent because of tighter environmental regulations, especially with respect to sulphur components. Meeting the total sulphur specification is generally achieved by deep removal of mercaptans and COS. These components are more difficult to remove than H2S with the traditional technologies (i.e. chemical absorption processes). In Table 1 an overview of the sulphur specifications in LNG is provided, in which it is clearly illustrated that the organic sulphur components will have to meet more stringent specifications in the future. To meet the total sulphur specification and the individual component specifications, a single-step mixed chemical/physical absorption process, or a two-step design comprising a combination of a chemical/physical absorption process and an adsorption process will be required. This is illustrated in the mercaptan example later in this paper. Table 1. LNG product sulphur specifications
France (present) mg/Nm3 Total suphur H2S + COS (as S) 75 5 UK (present) mg/m3(st) 50 5 EASEE (present) mg/Nm3 30 5 California (present) mg/Nm3 18 6 Japan (present) mg/Nm3 8 - 30 1-5 USA (future) mg/Nm3 6

Mercaptans (as S) 2 6 Notes mg/m3(st) are referenced to 15 C, mg/Nm3 are referenced to 0 C

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The environmental impact of the LNG facilities themselves requires continuous improvement. For instance, the CO2 removed from the process gas used to be simply vented to atmosphere, together with any contaminants such as traces of H2S, hydrocarbons and aromatics. Nowadays it is common practice to eliminate the contaminants by incineration. Sequestering the CO2 by re-injection underground is the foreseeable step for projects with larger quantities of CO2. The design of the LNG receiving facilities is squeezed from three sides:

The feed from upstream is becoming more contaminated. The specifications demanded by liquefaction are becoming more stringent. Environmental emission limits are becoming tighter.

The result is that the LNG plant becomes more complex. A typical complex line-up of a wet and sour gas system, using mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) as hydrate inhibitor, is illustrated in Figure 1.

Sulphur Claus Recovery Unit

Tail Gas TGTU Unit Treating

Solvent Solvent regeneration regen

Incinerator Incinerator

CO2, N2 CO2, N2 Waste product Sulphur Sulphur Waste product LNG LNG sales sales product product

Acid Gas AGRU Removal Unit

Water wash

Dehydration

Gas processing

LNG plant

LPG treating

LPG LPG sales products sales products Caustic Caustic Waste product

From wells

Slugcatcher Slug catcher Condensate Condensate sales sales product product Disulphide oil Waste product Solids Solids Waste product Water Water Waste product

Condensate stabilisation

Condensate condensate treating

To offshore

MEG Glycol regeneration

MEG Glycol reclamation

Figure 1. Complex typical LNG plant

The incoming multiphase pipeline connects to a slug catcher. This is a large separator, up to a few thousand cubic meters, which function is to turn the incoming discontinuous multiphase flow into continuous single-phase flows. It separates the individual phases and sends them to the appropriate process units as summarized below:

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The gas leaving from the top of the slug catcher is routed to the Acid Gas Removal Unit (AGRU), via a water wash if required. The sour components removed from the process gas are further processed in the Sulphur Recovery Unit (SRU) and Tail Gas Treating Unit (TGTU) to produce elemental sulphur and a clean tail gas, which can be incinerated. The treated gas leaving the AGRU is subsequently dehydrated and sent to the gas processing section, where valuable heavy hydrocarbons are extracted, bringing the gas to the specification before entering the liquefaction section. The condensate leaves the slug catcher from an intermediate outlet and is routed to the condensate stabilisation unit followed by sulphur treating if necessary. The water/MEG (Mono Ethylene Glycol) mixture leaves the slug catcher via the bottom outlet and is routed to the MEG regeneration unit (which removes the water and dissolved hydrocarbons). A slipstream of the regenerated MEG is routed to a glycol reclamation unit (which removes the dissolved salts).

In Figure 1 the sour pipeline gas, contaminated with mono ethylene glycol (MEG), is separated in the slug catcher into the feed gas to the LNG facilities, the condensate and a water phase containing the MEG. The condensate is stabilised, rerouting the gaseous components to the LNG feed gas. The liquid hydrocarbon phase is treated in a condensate-treating unit, depending on the concentration of the sulphur components. The LNG feed gas is processed in the Acid Gas Removal Unit where the sulphur components as well as the CO2 are removed to meet the sulphur and CO2 specification required in the LNG product (sulphur specification) as well as the specification for the LNG processing unit (CO2, to prevent freeze out and to meet the LNG heating value specification). The LNG feed gas is subsequently dried in a dehydration unit (typically a Molecular Sieve Unit) followed by hydrocarbon dew pointing in a cryogenic distillation unit (Gas Processing Unit) producing the LNG gas feed. The knocked out liquids are fractionated. The heavy liquid phase from the fractionation unit is sent to the condensate stabilisation unit. The LPG fraction from the fractionation unit may contain some remaining mercaptans and H2S and may therefore require an additional treating step. The sulphur components captured are routed to the SRU. The regeneration gas from the AGRU will contain most of the acids and is routed to the SRU. In the SRU the sulphur components are converted to liquid sulphur. Because the sulphur recovery in an SRU does not fulfil the current environmental requirements, the tail gas from the SRU is further processed in a TGTU, which converts the remaining sulphur components, thereby increasing the sulphur recovery to > 99%. The overall scheme shows three main products: LNG, LPG and Condensate. However, several waste products that have to be properly disposed of are produced as well, including:

CO2 - In large LNG projects CO2 production may be significant. It typically arises from two sources: CO2 removed from the feed gas in the AGRU and CO2 produced by the combustion of hydrocarbon fuel. Capturing CO2 from flue gases requires special amines or mixtures of amines (Refs 1, 2). A next step could be to sequester the CO2 into reservoirs/aquifers, possibly in combination with Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR).

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Sulphur dioxide - Because of the sulphur recovery efficiency being lower than 100%, some of the sulphur components will be disposed to atmosphere as sulphur dioxide. The principal routes for sulphur dioxide to be emitted to the atmosphere are from the tail gas incinerator and from the combustion of fuel gas containing sulphur compounds. The allowable quantities and concentrations of SOx that can be released continue to decrease, requiring deeper tail gas treating and preventing the routing of some sour off-gas streams to the fuel gas. The SRU may need to handle acid gas from a number of different sources: AGRU, the dehydration unit regeneration gas, and LPG and condensate treating units. The sulfur recovery scheme consequently needs to be tailored according to the particular sulphur species present (mercaptans, COS, etc). In addition, the presence of heavy hydrocarbons, in particular aromatic compounds, may result in fouling problems in the SRU. Sulphur - Historically, sulphur has been either sold as a chemical feedstock or stored temporarily. However, for some of the current projects the reservoir fluid is very sour, such that the amounts of sulphur produced are very large and storage is impracticable, or very expensive when the market for sulphur is low. Moreover, environmental regulations may not allow these large quantities of sulphur to be stored. In this case acid gas re-injection into depleted oil or gas reservoirs might be the solution. Solids - Solid waste, such as the salts produced from the reservoir and corrosion products formed in the wet pipeline, used to be disposed of by landfill. However, more sustainable outlets are being considered instead. Spent caustic - Treating of the LPG and condensate streams results in a spent caustic waste product, which will have to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. Water Water was often de-oiled and disposed of to the sea. An alternative might be disposal by re-injection into a reservoir.

CHALLENGES IN NEW DEVELOPMENTS In this chapter some examples are provided, which illustrate the need for integration of process units. These examples highlight that awareness of the functionality of the different units in relation to each other is essential for making good process designs. Wet slug catcher When separation is done at the wellhead, the arriving gas stream contains a single phase hydrocarbon condensate. With a simple flow controller a draw-off of a steady flow to the condensate stabiliser is obtained. With full wellstream transfer the following phases arrive at the slug catcher, in a mixture:

A hydrocarbon gas phase. A hydrocarbon condensate phase.

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An aqueous phase containing dissolved salts, hydrate inhibitor such as MEG, corrosion inhibitor, as well as any other chemicals injected into the wells. Because full wellstream pipelines are water wet, there will be solids such as corrosion products (e.g. iron sulphides, iron carbonates) and possibly precipitated salts (e.g. of barium, calcium and strontium) suspended in the flowing liquids.

When a large slug, or better called transient phase arrives in the slug catcher, the heavier aqueous phase displaces the lighter (hydrocarbon) to a higher position in the slug catcher, possibly away from its outlet connection. The excess aqueous phase must then be drawn off first before hydrocarbon condensate can be removed from the slug catcher, potentially starving the condensate stabiliser from hydrocarbon feed for some time. The presence of solids causes further problems. If allowed to build up in the slug catcher they can block outlets and can promote under-deposit corrosion. One option is to add a liquid dump vessel downstream of the slug catcher (Ref. 3), see Figure 2. When a slug arrives, it can be rapidly transferred into the dump vessel, greatly reducing the interruption to the stabiliser. A major part of the suspended solids will also be drawn off before they have time to settle in the slug catcher.

Hydrocarbon phase When slug arrives: Aqueous phase fills slugcatcher Slug catcher , stabiliser is starved. starved Solids enter the Slug slugcatcher catcher .

slugcatcher Aqueous phase

Slug catcher

Hydrocarbon Gas Gas

Dump vessel

Separator

Dump vessel: Remove aqueous phase Remove solids

Water

Hydrocarbons

Glycol

Condensate

Figure 2. Integration of multiphase slug catcher with condensate stabiliser

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Risk of Salt build-up in mono ethylene glycol (MEG) inhibited pipeline Salt enters the system with any produced water contained in the well fluid, see Figure 3. Its only outlet is from the glycol reclaimer, which processes a slipstream in order to remove water. The accumulated salt will build up in the recirculating MEG. Only part of the accumulated salt is removed in the regeneration and reclamation of the MEG, which results in an equilibrium salt content in the trunk line. If the system is properly designed, the steady state salt concentration will be acceptable to the system (for example the boiling point elevation of the MEG in the reboiler).

Well fluid

Offshore facilities

Sub-sea pipeline

Slugcatcher Slug catcher

Hydrocarbon gas

Salt recycle

Separator

Hydrocarbon liquid

Lean MEG contains salt: Quantity depends on reclamation Acceptability depends on salt composition

Glycol regeneration

Water

MEG Glycol reclamation

Salt

Lean MEG line to offshore

Figure 3. Salt recycle in re-circulating glycol

If the slipstream flow is too small, the salt concentration will build up such that crystallization may occur throughout the system, depending on the composition and concentration of the salt. Although this removes salt from the recycle and allows an equilibrium concentration to be achieved, it may result in equipment blockages. The crucial design parameters are the portion of the glycol processed in the reclamation unit, the solids handling system in the reclaimer and the acceptable solids level in the glycol unit. Proper input on the flow rate of the salt from the wells, as well as the salt type, is required to make an assessment of the design requirements.

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Condensate stabilization

To off-gas compressor

Send as much hydrogensulphide as possible overhead


Feedstock

Refluxed column required? required?*

Condensate stabiliser

- off required? Draw-off required?* Draw


Water draw-off Water Water?*

High feed temperature Insufficient reflux Condensate product loss

Bottom temperature - achieve volatility and hydrogensulphide specifications Product Product lossloss if overstabilised ifoverstabilise Avoid contaminant degradation?* degradation
Stable condensate

* Depending operational conditions requirement

Figure 4. Condensate stabilisation The liquid hydrocarbon stream separated in the slug catcher is further stabilised in the condensate stabiliser (Figure 4). With respect to the contaminants in the liquid hydrocarbon stream, the operation and the design of the stabilizer shall take the following effects in consideration:

Sulphur components It is desirable to send as much H2S with the overhead gas as possible, as it can be more easily removed by the AGRU than by the condensate treating unit. Preferably, the condensate treating unit receives a stream contaminated with mercaptans only. This is achieved by over-stabilisation. However, this will result in the presence of heavier hydrocarbons in the stabiliser overhead stream and introduces a risk of hydrocarbon condensation in the AGRU with potentially serious operational problems (foaming) as a consequence. Water Any water entering the stabiliser must have an exit, otherwise it will build up and flood the column. If the required bottoms temperature is higher than the bubble point of water at the prevailing operating pressure, water will hardly be able to leave with the stabilised condensate. The carrying capacity of the overhead gas is limited and if the water enters at a greater rate, a total draw off from the stabiliser column will be required at the appropriate position in the stabilizer. The drawn off fluid is routed to a separator vessel, where the excess water is removed and the hydrocarbons are returned to the stabiliser column. Salts Any water entering the stabiliser may contain dissolved salts. These may precipitate in the stabiliser or on the reboiler tubes. At sufficiently high

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temperature these salts will hydrolyse to form hydrochloric acid, which may cause material failure if not taken into account in the material selection.

LPG If too much LPG is allowed to leave overhead, it may condense in the gas processing unit and returned to the stabiliser column, creating a recycle (Fig. 1). Even if allowed for in the design through the presence of a fractionation unit in the downstream line-up, it is an inefficient process to retain the condensate and LPG product and it may therefore be preferred to install a refluxed column. Fouling from degradation If corrosion inhibitors are injected in the upstream system, it should be checked to what extent they end up in the condensate phase (instead of the water phase) and whether they are thermally stable at the prevailing conditions in the bottom reboiler. If these components degrade at the column bottom conditions, severe fouling of the reboiler tubes may occur.

Summarising, in order to make a proper assessment of all the possible effects, it is essential to evaluate the contaminants level in the feed gas and the fate of these contaminants under the stabiliser operating conditions. Contamination of the Acid Gas Removal Unit (AGRU) feed The gas feed flowing to the AGRU contains chemicals which the gas has been in contact with, such as corrosion and hydrate inhibitors. Although the concentration in the gas may be very low, the contaminants will be washed out by the solvent in the AGRU and steadily build up in the circulating solvent. For instance, glycol concentrations above 10% in the treating solvent have been observed. To avoid the consequent reduction in AGRU capacity, limits on the contaminant levels in the gas to the AGRU have been introduced. The ingress of MEG is discussed as an example how these type of contaminants may be removed. In this case, a water wash column is used to remove MEG from the gas (Ref. 4), see Figure 5. The challenge is to find a suitable water stream for washing and a destination for disposal of the spent wash water. The MEG regeneration system may be used for this purpose. A water wash column is installed in the feed gas stream using the water phase from the glycol regeneration system. This water is low in glycol and is also free of oxygen and other undesirable components. The spent water from the water wash, containing the glycol washed from the feed gas, is routed to the glycol regenerator. Here the MEG is concentrated to the concentration required for hydrate inhibition (lean MEG). Instead of routing the full water stream to the waste water treatment, part of the water is used in the LNG feed gas water wash, introducing a recycle. This additional recycle stream has to be allowed for in the MEG unit design.

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Glycol free gas to Acid gas Removal Unit Water wash column

Solution is water wash column (removes glycol vapour vapor && droplets) droplets)

Any glycol in the gas to Acid AGRU Gas removal unit willby be caught by the will be caught the solvent solvent andbuild will build up and will up in it. in it
Wash water recycle Fresh Fresh wash wash water water Water Waste product

Gas, condensate, Glycol & water from wells

Slugcatcher Slug catcher

Used wash water

Lean Glycol to offshore

Glycol MEG regeneration

Figure 5. Washing Acid Gas Removal Unit feed gas Mercaptan recycle in gas treating When the feed gas to the LNG unit is sour and with the total slate of sulphur components present, it is not straightforward to treat the feed gas in a single unit. Teating will require a series of units, which together will bring the gas to the required specifications. For an optimal design of the treating complex, the process selection of the individual units is made on the basis of an integrated approach taking into account the interaction between the processes selected in the treating line-up. Taking mercaptans as an example, which removal is crucial to meet the LNG product specification, it will be shown that the removal process is not straightforward (Refs 5, 6). The type of solvent used in the AGRU to remove H2S and CO2 from the LNG feed gas determines the mercaptan removal capacity, depending on the solubility of the mercaptans in the solvent. For chemical solvents this solubility is low, while for physical processes it is relatively high. In most cases it is not economic to remove all the mercaptans to specification in the AGRU. The subsequent dehydration unit, normally a Molecular Sieve type in LNG applications, offers an opportunity to remove mercaptans to specification. The specific type of mercaptans determines the choice of a particular molecular sieve to remove these species. A distinction is made into branched mercaptans containing side-chains in the molecule and straight (n-type) mercaptans. Different molecular sieves may be selected, depending on the type of mercaptans. The presence of aromatic compounds may compete with branched type mercaptans for adsorption on the molecular sieve and will consequently reduce adsorption capacity for the mercaptans (Ref. 7). A typical solution is illustrated in Figure 6. In case the solvent in the AGRU unit is of a mixed chemical/physical nature, a significant part of the mercaptans will be removed in the AGRU, thereby reducing the required molecular sieve mercaptan adsorption capacity. The split of the mercaptans removed in the AGRU and Molecular

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Sieves will be based on an economic optimisation. A disadvantage of solvents containing a physical component is that some co-absorption of heavy hydrocarbons and aromatic components will occur, in particular for purely physical solvents. Chemical solvents such as di-ethanolamine (DEA) or (accelerated) methyl di-ethanolamine (MDEA) show very little hydrocarbons co-absorption, but have a very small capacity for removal of mercaptans.

Straight mercaptans are recovered n-RSH are recovered


Water

Mole sieves catch straight mercaptan Mole sieves catch n-RSH


Mole sieve Mercaptanrecycle recycle

Branched Branchedmercaptans RSH slips slips


Hydrocarbon gas Mole sieve

RSH slips slips Mercaptan

AGRU Acid gas absorber removal Unit

Major part of mercaptans


solvent Solvent regenerator regenerator Acid gas

Gas from slug catcher

Figure 6. Mercaptans recycle over molecular sieves

The straight chain mercaptans slipping through the AGRU will be caught in the molecular sieves. (In this process configuration each molecular sieve vessel has two beds, one to remove water and one to remove mercaptans.) When the molecular sieves are regenerated, the wet molecular sieve regeneration gas containing the mercaptans is returned to the AGRU inlet. The mercaptans concentration in the gas entering the AGRU will build up until the amount removed in the AGRU equals the incoming mercaptans flowrate. This is the steady state condition and gives the design values of the mercaptans concentration in the feed gas to the absorber column and the molecular sieve. (NB using the mercaptan concentration in the gas from the slug catcher will result in an incorrect design.) In case the recycle of the mercaptans in the molecular sieve regeneration gas is not properly calculated, the removal capacity of the AGRU and the Molecular Sieve Unit is insufficient and the product gas will be off specification. In that case there is no proper exit from the system and all mercaptans will break through the molecular sieves and leave with the product gas.

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When using the Molecular Sieve Unit for both dehydration and mercaptan removal, a proper outlet for the molecular sieve regeneration gas containing the mercaptans is required in case the AGRU is not suitable for removal of mercaptans (i.e. if a chemical solvent is used). The most common outlets are:

Using the entire wet regeneration gas flow as fuel gas. This solves the recycle problem but emits all the mercaptans to atmosphere as sulphur dioxide. This may exceed the plants SO2 emission allowance. Blending the regeneration gas into a stream that is to be re-injected underground. Adding a dedicated AGRU just for the wet regeneration gas and using a (physical) solvent which has a high removal capacity for mercaptans. This adds an additional solvent and equipment to the plant. The regeneration gas from this dedicated unit is routed to the Sulphur Recovery Unit (SRU). Since the main AGRU only removes mercaptans to a relatively small extent, a major part of the mercaptans will come off the molecular sieve beds during regeneration and will result in a peak load to the SRUs. Peak shaving facilities may therefore be required in order to spread the mercaptans load to the SRU.

The branched mercaptans that slip through the AGRU are usually not caught by the molecular sieves and are left in feed gas to the gas processing unit. Since the lightest branched mercaptan is iso-propyl mercaptan having a volatility in between n-pentane and n-hexane, the slipping branched mercaptans are removed from the gas in the gas processing unit and will end up in the C5+ fraction and sent to the condensate stabilization unit. They will be removed from the condensate via condensate treating. From the previous discussion it is clear that, in order to design for the removal of mercaptans, it is not only required to know the mercaptan concentration in the feed gas, but also to know the breakdown into individual mercaptans. A recent example of a well stream analysis is given in Table 2.

Table 2. Example carbonyl sulphide (COS) & mercaptan (RSH) in well stream (ppm mol) carbonyl sulphide (COS) methyl mercaptan ethyl mercaptan iso-propyl mercaptan n propyl mercaptan butyl mercaptans pentyl mercaptans 10 80 200 20 20 10 5 partly branched branched

To optimise the design and operation of the plant it is essential to have complete and detailed feed gas composition data available early in the project.

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Acid gas quality for the Sulphur Recovery Unit An important design parameter for the SRU, which converts the sulphur components into liquid sulphur, is the H2S/CO2 ratio in the acid gas. If this ratio is low, a standard SRU will not be able to process the acid gas and a more complex SRU design will be required (options are acid gas and/or air preheat, oxygen enrichment, split flow, etc.). Alternatively an Acid Gas Enrichment Unit (AGEU) may be installed downstream of the AGRU (Refs 5, 6). The AGEU selectively absorbs H2S such that the H2S/CO2 ratio of the acid gas to the SRU will be improved. However, this will create an AGEU off-gas stream consisting of CO2, sulfur components (in particular mercaptans) and some hydrocarbons. The amount of the latter two is dependant on the type of solvent used in the AGEU, as discussed earlier for the AGRU. This sulphur component containing stream has to be considered in the overall sulfur recovery scheme. An example is shown in Figure 7, where the AGEU off-gas is fed to a separate reactor in the Tail Gas Treating Unit (TGTU) unit in which the sulfur components in particular mercaptans - are converted to H2S (Ref. 8). The operating conditions of this reactor (R1 in Fig. 7) are different from those of the reactor normally used for conversion of SRU tail gas (R2 in Fig. 7), hence two separate reactors are being used. The combined H2S from both reactors is then removed from the process gas downstream the reactors in the common TGTU absorber column.

Hydrocarbon gas to LNG

Waste off gas

Dehydration Unit (Molecular Sieve Unit)

Molecular Sieve Regeneration Gas Treating

Incinerator Tail Gas Treating Unit

R1 Off Gas

R2

Feed Gas Acid Gas Removal Unit

Acid Gas Enrichment Unit

Sulphur Recovery Unit Sulphur

Mixed Solvent

Aqueous solvent

Figure 7. Acid Gas Enrichment Unit with off-gas treated in Tail Gas Treating unit

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CONCLUSIONS Growing demand for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is leading to increased feed production from more difficult gas reservoirs. These are often contaminated with acid components and/or located in inhospitable environments. Conventional upstream processing in such locations is either infeasible or excessively expensive, so more and more production is by full well stream transfer, thereby reducing the upstream facilities to the bare minimum. The consequences are that the LNG facilities need to be designed for higher levels of acid components and various inhibitors. This paper has shown that successful designs can be made. However, good input data, in-depth knowledge of all the processes and an integrated approach are required.

REFERENCES 1. Fluors Economine FG Plus Technology, An anhanced Amine-Based CO2 Capture Process, Fluor, Second National Conference on Carbon Sequestration, National Energy Technology Laboratory/Department of Energy, Alexandria, VA, USA, May 5-8, 2003. 2. Development and Improvement of CO2-capture system, Yasuyuki Yagi, e.a., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan, Paper D-4, GHGT-8, Trondheim, June 2006. 3. A Method for receiving Fluid from a Natural Gas pipeline", Patent Pending. 4. Method and Apparatus for reducing Contaminant in a Hydrocarbon Stream, Patent Pending. 5. Best practice for deep treating of sour natural gases (to LNG and GTL), Jeanine Klinkenbijl, Henk Grootjans and Jay Rajani, GasTech 2005, Bilbao, Spain, March 14-17, 2005. 6. Integrated treating options for sour natural gases, T.J. Brok, GPA 2006, Oslo, Norway, September 20-22, 2006. 7. Process for producing a gas stream depleted of mercaptans, Patent Pending. 8. Process for producing a purified gas stream, Patent Pending.

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