OTC 17355

Hydrate Prevention using MEG instead of MeOH: Impact of experience from major
Norwegian developments on technology selection for injection and recovery of MEG
S. Brustad, K.-P. Løken, and J.G. Waalmann, Aker Kværner Engineering and Technology

Copyright 2005, Offshore Technology Conference
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Abstract
The four Norwegian gas/condensate field developments Troll,
Snøhvit, Ormen Lange and Åsgard are used together with
amongst others Britannia Satellites (ConocoPhillips) and Shah
Deniz (BP) to illustrate experience and technology status
related to injection and recovery of MEG (Mono Ethylene
Glycol).
A comparison between MEG and MeOH is presented.
Advantages, limitations and cost elements (CAPEX/OPEX) by
use of glycol (MEG) vs. alcohols (Methanol/Ethanol) are
reviewed and discussed in relation to their applicability.
Based on experience, typical operational problems within
closed loop MEG systems with salt- and water removal are
carbonate scale deposits in pipeline and recovery systems,
accumulation of corrosion products and other small particles
and carry-over/foaming. A holistic approach for proper design
and prevention of these and other incidents are presented.
Introduction
Proper hydrate management is vital for all field developments.
For short and moderate tie-backs, flowline insulation
(maintaining fluid temperature above the hydrate formation
temperature) combined with a depressurisation strategy, is
normally the basic method. For developments with cold well
fluids, systems which are difficult to depressurise or restart
(deep water), and for general improvement of the field
regularity, flowline heating is an additional element. For
deepwater developments, the hydrate management is often
based on displacement with stabilized oil, or built around a
subsea separation concept /4/. For appropriate fluids, “Cold
Flow” may turn out to be the next quantum leap. However, for
long distance gas-condensate tie-backs with complex subsea

gathering architecture, chemical hydrate inhibitors (glycols
and alcohols) are considered the best option.
Part 1 – Selecting hydrate inhibitor: Comparing MEG
and MeOH
Chemical hydrate inhibitors
Chemical hydrate inhibitors can be arranged in two main
categories:

Thermodynamic Hydrate Inhibitors (THI)

Low Dosage Hydrate Inhibitors (LDHI)
The latter category consists of Anti Agglomerants (AA) and
Kinetic Hydrate Inhibitors (KHI). These new and promising
chemicals are becoming popular in the GoM and on the UK
sector. However, for long distance gas-condensate tie-backs,
especially in cold waters, they have serious limitations. AAs
generally require a certain amount of condensate (continuous
oil phase) in order to be effective. KHIs can only give a
limited suppression of the hydrate formation point, and they
are not proven to be fully effective at higher pressures.
Thermodynamic inhibitors – cost
This means that THIs are the robust choice for long distance
gas-condensate tie-backs. The thermodynamic inhibitors of
widest use are methanol (MeOH) and monoethylene glycol
(MEG). Other alcohols and glycols may be used, but two main
factors making methanol and MEG the most common
thermodynamic
inhibitors
are
hydrate
suppression
performance (see Table 2) and cost.
Rough costs are given in Table 1, where it is seen that the
common thermodynamic inhibitors are relatively cheap per
unit volume. However, since large quantities may be necessary
to suppress the equilibrium temperature below the lowest
operational temperature expected in the system, the
infrastructure cost may add up to significant amounts.
Necessary considerations to make when designing for a
hydrate strategy with thermodynamic inhibitors are storage
volumes and regeneration facilities.

including the Shell Malampaya onshore facility in the Phillipines and the Williams Canyon Station platform (part of the Canyon Express system) in the GoM. Figure 1 shows the relative performance of some thermodynamic inhibitors.25 5.7 13. the more effective is the inhibitor. Lately the price of MEG has shown a rising tendency due to an increasing demand from the Chinese textile industry in particular. MEG yields better performance per mass basis compared to TEG (triethylene glycol).0 11. hightemperature-recovery column may be used for MEG regeneration compared to MeOH regeneration. The industry knowledge on the cost-effectiveness of these systems is fairly limited.Effect of thermodynamic inhibitors on hydrate stability for a real fluid.6 22.9 7.0 4. and methanol yields better performance than ethanol etc. and the methanol concentration in the water leaving the regeneration facilities must be evaluated against the height of the distillation column.4 1.2 1. and the larger is the “safe” area (conditions where hydrate formation will not take place).3 5.5 8. the contamination of the gas phase using MEG as a hydrate inhibitor is insignificant.63 1. When it comes to MeOH.0 15. the water leaving such a regeneration facility is very clean. Simulated in PVTsim.4 3.0 6.05 2. The presence of aromatics in the condensates only makes life more difficult due to the formation of azeotropes. although there are limitations regarding salinity of the produced water for conventional MEG regeneration facilities. A rough guide to compare the performance of a number of thermodynamic inhibitors is given below. Also.7 5. Apart from some possible. THI losses and product contamination E. The more the equilibrium line is “shifted” to the left. However. hence. which is installed on the Åsgard B semi.2 9. Figure 1 . as the glycol has rather low solubility in the gas phase.3 18.4 3.0 - THI regeneration Both MEG and MeOH may be readily regenerated.0 6. D.3 10. the better the hydrate suppression performance.3 0.05 2.0 0.6 10.Calculated values of depression of hydrate point ( C) for various thermodynamic inhibitors (Kelland 2000 /7/). methanol and MEG.46 1. field-specific aromatics and phenols following the water-phase.5 9. It is also important to realize that the actual OPEX is significantly governed by the chemical losses and the make-up required to cover for these losses (see Table 3). MeOH regeneration is in operation on a limited number of installations in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Far East. a smaller. Kvaerner Process Systems (KPS) has overcome this with their continuos reclamation facilities. Sloan /8/ presents the following rules-of-thumb in order to account for the inhibitor losses to the gas and condensate phases: . THIs and suppression performance The lower the molecular weight. Depression of hydrate point [oC] Concentration of inhibitor [wt%] 5 10 20 30 35 40 MeOH EtOH MEG DEG TEG NaCl 2. OTC 17355 o Table 2 . e. A distillation process can reclaim both chemicals.7 15.2 1.2 Table 1 . the losses to the gas phase are significant. NaCl. It should be noted that the cost numbers tend to fluctuate over time.3 15.g.96 4.35 14.Rough costs for common thermodynamic inhibitors based on ICIS-LOR (February 2005) Chemical Cost USD/Metric Tonne MeOH 300 MEG 900 Offshore shipping cost is approximately 150-200 USD/tonne of chemical.2 9. since recovering a volatile like methanol is not straight-forward. but also due to the low vapour pressure of MEG.

Furthermore. Hence the MEG losses are negligible compared to the MeOH losses. . As Table 3 shows the MEG lost to the gas is only is 0. Over the last few years. At 10oC the loss to the vapour phase is app. it is obvious that a general ranking of the two inhibitors. some developments use MEG for hydrate control in the gathering system. independent of the weight% of MEG in the water phase. Total has investigated a hydrate inhibitor strategy combining MEG with KHI for the peak water production period. THIs and corrosion management For long distance tie-backs. For this reason MeOH is generally avoided for LNG based developments. the total methanol loss from a field. THIs and HSE MEG is non-flammable. especially at low temperatures (which is the case for the most relevant field developments). THIs and dehydration In the GoM. gas export pipeline cost has been a showstopper for a number of planned developments. Material selection and corrosion management are important elements in the overall Flow Assurance evaluations. MeOH gives no benefit on corrosion resistance. The mole fraction of MEG in a liquid hydrocarbon at 4oC is 0. This clearly indicates that MeOH presents a greater safety risk with respect to handling and storage (especially on offshore installations with limited area). In addition. A number of developments are today basing the corrosion philosophy on carbon steel pipelines. Product contamination and LNG Because of the large distances between the major gas producers and the consumers. The reason is a requirement to limit the MEG injection to a given rate. MEG and pH stabilization. Should MeOH be chosen. is inadequate for selection in a specific project. will be app. Gas contaminated with MeOH is unacceptable in the cryogenic “Cold Box” part of a LNG plant. MeOH regeneration. making fire detection a more difficult problem. THIs combined with KHIs For the Nuggets development in UK (tie-back to the Alwyn North platform). the maximum amount of MEG lost to the gas is 0.5 weight%. The investigations have concluded that MEG is better suited than MeOH for this kind of mixing strategy /1/. presenting LNG transport as an enabling technology for development of remote gas-condensate fields. THIs and viscosity MEG is significantly more viscous than MeOH. This might also introduce a significant investment cost that must be included in the comparison. As a result of this trend. Not only does the loss of MeOH to the gas phase add substantial OPEX. The MeOH losses also increases substantially with increased temperaure. and reduces operational costs with respect to corrosion inhibitors for the pipelines. it may also impose a price penalty on the product. with a flash point at 111 oC. MeOH burns with an invisible flame. based on a direct CAPEX comparison between a standard MEG regeneration unit and a corresponding standard MeOH regeneration unit. Furthermore. At 4oC and pressures higher than 70 bar. MeOH has a freezing point that is well above the temperature in the LNG plant. at the same time dehydrating the gas enough to meet export pipeline specifications (typically 7 lb/MMSCF) without a topside contactor.03 % of the waterphase mole fraction of MEG. with typical 30 wt% MeOH in the water phase. THI selection . the pipelines are major cost drivers. and add KHI to make up the difference to the required subcooling.3 kg per 106 Sm3 gas. MEG regeneration plants with de-salting (reclamation) will produce a waste product that mainly consists of salt.Rules-of-thumb for estimating inhibitor losses to the gas and condensate phases (Sloan 2000 /8/). a large number of the ongoing and planned gas developments are planned with LNG facilities. MeOH is highly flammable with a flash point at 11 oC. the requirements for salt removal (reclamation) in the MEG case or gas cleaning in the MeOH case will be project specific cost drivers of significant order. the LNG market has opened up. does not produce any solid waste. this would require an additional pre-treatment system removing the MeOH from the gas (IFPEXOL or similar). Loss to gas phase Methanol MEG At 4oC and pressures higher than 70 bar.3 kg per 106 Sm3 gas. 25 kg per 106 Sm3 gas for every weight% methanol in the water phase. MEG is corrosion protective in itself. the methanol lost to the vapour phase is 16 kg per 106 Sm3 gas for every weight% methanol in the water phase. on the other hand.conclusion In view of the factors listed above. 500 kg per 106 Sm3 gas and 50 kg per 1000 kg condensate. Based on the above rules-of-thumb. depending on the customer. Loss to condensate phase The methanol concentration dissolved in condensate is 0. This also raises operational and environmental issues with respect to methanol regeneration.OTC 17355 3 Table 3 . This means that a MEG injection system will require a larger diameter injection line and/or more pumping horsepower. Alternatively there might be a cost penalty due to pollution of the product. It is however possible to re-dissolve the salts from a MEG reclaimer before disposal to sea. there might be a need for decontaminating the gas phase because of the high MeOH content (as described above).

The consequence of neglecting this will in many cases be severe operational problems leading to plant downtime and losses of income. or in some instances development of. 2. the closed loop MEG system is complex and represents a number of chemical.e.4 OTC 17355 Surveying the choices made by the operators for recently built and planned gas-condensate tie-backs. Generally ethanol has the same disadvantages as methanol compared to MEG for continuous inhibition. Shah Deniz (BP . Statoil has decided to go for MEG as the base case chemical hydrate inhibitor for intermittent use. MeOH is on the other hand applicable for intermittent inhibition during shut-down and start-up. combined with comprehensive investigations performed in the Snøhvit and Ormen Lange projects. have given the Norwegian E&P industry a frontrunner position with respect to understanding of the totality in the closed loop MEG system /5/. Design basis Establishment of the correct design basis figures is extremely important and must be performed in co-operation with the oil companies. production profiles over the field lifetime including formation water production potential. fluid compositions. I. The list of MEG-based developments includes record-breaking developments like Ormen Lange (Norsk Hydro . from Kvaerner Oilfield Products (KOP) is shown below /2/. A schematic illustration of a typical on-shore Closed Loop MEG system with a slip-stream desalination unit is shown in Figure 2. physical and hence operational challenges. reservoir and well flowing conditions. Rich and Lean MEG content will be based on such input.Schematic illustration of an on-shore Closed Loop MEG system The Aker Kvaerner approach is built on six main steps: 1. A multipurpose umbilical. For MEG distribution. utilisation of. Britannia Satellites (ConocoPhillips – UK). On the Kristin Semi. Consequently. KG-D6 (Reliance Industries – India).Russian Barents Sea). proper technology must be done. actually an illustration of an Integrated Production Umbilical (IPU). Figure 3 . Gorgon (Chevron Texaco – Australia) and finally the ultimate Subsea to Beach concept: Shtokman (Gazprom . ethanol is commonly used as a hydrate antifreeze since it is cheap and available in large quantities from sugar fermentation. an ISU (Integrated Service Umbilical) with a 3”-4” centre line may be sufficient. Subsea architecture and components Pending on the chosen subsea production system and pipeline network. Separate MEG line(s) or MEG lines integrated in the umbilical(s) are options for carrying MEG to the destination for injection.Illustration of an IPU by KOP .Norway). Continuous experience from the conventional MEG regeneration plant at the Kollsnes onshore facility and the full reclamation unit on the Åsgard B semi. environmental conditions etc. Part 2 – The holistic approach to the closed loop MEG system Although continuous MEG injection is found as the most reliable and cost-effective method of hydrate inhibition on numerous gas/condensate field developments. it is evident that MEG seems to be the preferred inhibitor. Snøhvit (Statoil Norway). The strategy for hydrate (and “ice”) prevention. In South America. Some companies are starting to replace MeOH with MEG also for these purposes.Azerbaijan). it is extremely important to approach a closed loop MEG system from a holistic point of view. Scarab-Safron (Burullus – Egypt). South Pars (Total – Iran). Figure 2 .

Corrosion Establishment of a proper corrosion inhibition philosophy must be based on the input from design basis combined with the chosen hydrate inhibition strategy. 5. iron and carbonate will be in the form of ions.by water removal only All salts and non-volatile chemicals remain and accumulate in the closed loop MEG system. High alkalinity in the lean MEG may result in severe precipitation of calcium carbonate in the subsea systems when the formation water rates increase. Ba2+. MEG Regeneration Options In general there are three overall options for regenerating MEG in a closed loop system: Figure 4 . Based upon input from plants processing gas that has been treated with MEG. By injection of a pH-stabiliser. Otherwise precipitation and deposition at unwanted locations may occur. Precipitation chemistry Understanding the chemistry and physics of the carbonates and sulphates in combination with the different divalent cations (Ca2+. from pipeline corrosion.Pictures of pipeline corrosion (pitting to the right) a) Conventional Regeneration . 3. Mg2+. additional means are almost always required to avoid unacceptable pipeline corrosion rates. . Hence. and it will probably be saturated or maybe supersaturated with respect to FeCO3. there is a risk of scaling in different parts of the plant where operating conditions reduce the solubility of various substances. the formation of a protective iron carbonate film on the inner pipeline steel surface will be facilitated. coming into the onshore/topside plant. A qualified oxygen scavenger for injection into the lean MEG should be considered as a back-up when a vacuum reclaimer system is selected. and calcium.Picture of carbonate scale before and after cleaning At arrival on-shore/topside. Even though a proper field lifetime corrosion protection scheme is established large amounts of iron will corrode from a carbon steel pipeline /3/. Hence. Scaling of carbonates (calcium carbonate and iron carbonate) are expected in those locations where the temperature is increased and/or there is a reduction in pressure with subsequent increase in pH due to loss of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2). addition of a corrosion inhibitor or partly pH-stabilisation combined with the addition of a corrosion inhibitor. Fe2+ and CO32-. avoid an increasing corrosion rate and avoid possible degradation of the MEG. To minimize problems related to iron. As the solubility is dependent of the pH and thereby the CO2 content in the MEG solution it is possible to both determine and control where the carbonates shall precipitate.OTC 17355 The type of injection valves and proper subsea flow measurement devices (water cut meter/multiphase flow meter) must also be chosen. at least if production of formation water is initiated. it has been experienced that the surface of heat exchangers will be especially vulnerable to the formation of carbonate scales. it is important to control the corrosion rate to a low level and control the precipitation of carbonates by designing the MEG process in a way that handles the formation and deposition of particles. avoiding oxygen ingress to the system is very important. The solubility/saturation ratio of iron and calcium carbonate must be established for each section of the MEG plant to determine where scaling and depositions may occur. reducing the corrosion rate.) is important to design the on-shore/topside MEG plant properly. Fe2+. IFE (Institute for Energy Technology) has proven to be world leading and an important partner in evaluating these issues. A picture of carbonate scale before and after cleaning is shown in the figure below. Sr2+. 5 4. The alternatives mentioned above can also be combined with the addition of a scale inhibitor. Although the MEG itself represents a reduction of the corrosion rate. It has also been learned that minimising the oxygen level within the closed loop MEG system is very important to avoid transformation of iron carbonate to iron oxide(s). Pictures of pipeline corrosion are shown below. Figure 5 . resulting in highly increased maintenance/cleaning frequency. Alternatives for corrosion control are pH-stabilisation. from the formation water. In most cases the production pipeline(s) will be made of carbon steel due to cost. The corrosion inhibition method may well alter over the field lifetime for many field developments. etc.

pipeline corrosion products and chemicals are accumulated in the closed MEG loop. All salts and nonvolatile chemicals remain in the boiler. As a result. The boiling temperature is dependent of the required Lean MEG specification and the back-pressure in the venting system. and the main source of Ca is believed to be completion fluids from the well clean-up. and a distillation column. There are several issues that need to be evaluated to determine the overall regeneration philosophy for a closed loop MEG system. The selected complexity of the MEG system and thereby the investment costs must be compared to operational losses in terms of reduced availability. In addition new particle removal units with highspeed centrifuges have been introduced to take out corrosion products and carbonates from the closed loop. Below. Salts crystallise and can be removed by e.1-0. and also the infrastructure and environmental requirements for the field. dissolved solids were detected in the well stream.6 b) Full Reclamation . thus producing a very high pH for corrosion protection. Even these fields would experience accumulation of particles due to pipeline corrosion and formation water carryover. A conventional regeneration system removes water only.15 bara) followed by distillation to the required Lean MEG specification. MEG was selected for combined hydrate control and dehydration (without topside dehydration provisions). Even though formation water production was not expected. these types of plants would normally require offshore facilities for water separation prior to MEG injection. Total South Pars: South Pars is another major development where MEG has been selected for hydrate control in the two 109 km 32” pipelines. Shell Mensa: For the Mensa field in the GoM. The slipstream rate is generally determined by the allowable amount of dissolved salts in the lean MEG. consumption of chemicals and MEG. excessive scaling has been experienced (column. either a kettle-type or a recycle heater. These problems even propagated to the MEG injection system with plugging of the subsea injection lines. MDEA is mixed in the MEG. At the same time. a) Conventional Regeneration In conventional regeneration systems water is boiled off at close to atmospheric pressure. Other evaluation criteria are allowable content of dissolved salts in the Lean MEG. The main components are a reboiler. which means that the MEG inventory at certain intervals must be replaced or cleaned. Common early phase field evaluations listed under Step 1. heat exchangers and inlet piping). A general overview of the three overall options for MEG regeneration and special concerns and selection criteria are described below. the MEG regeneration facility experienced serious operational problems (scaling. High corrosion rate in early operation was resolved by switching the pipeline corrosion protection scheme from corrosion inhibitor to pH-stabilisation. The availability requirements must be seen in conjunction with the MEG chemistry and the operational challenges such as corrosion. In principle the overall arrangement is quite similar to a Subsea to Beach (S2B) concept including water separation (re-injection). The plant also had problems with scaling in the inlet heaters and also the column/reboiler. The Kollsnes plant had a common MEG system for the pipelines and for gas dehydration. centrifuges/decanters. At the offshore Troll A platform. plugging). fouling. limitations in chemicals consumption and MEG losses and availability requirements. completion fluids and formation water were suggested to be the source of the salts. before the well stream is sent through the two 68 km 36” multiphase gas/condensate pipelines to the onshore facility at Kollsnes. formation water is separated and MEG injected. Due to severe depositions in the onshore plant these systems have now been segregated. but the Troll development was also the first development to fully rely on multiphase transport through large diameter pipelines. . As this is very difficult to prevent during the whole field lifetime. A system like this cannot handle a continuous production of formation water from the wells.by evaporating the total rich MEG feed Boiling at low pressure (0. scaling/precipitation and system accumulations. A permanent ion exchange unit is installed for slipstream salt removal. increased maintenance. The reason is up-concentration of Ca in the closed loop MEG system. 3 and 4 above set premises for selection of the MEG Regeneration system configuration. Unexpected condensate production caused serious topside problems as the condensate formed an emulsion with the glycol. Not only is the Troll A the largest GBS in the world (the largest man-made object ever moved). This means that all salts.g. The Kollsnes plant experienced a considerable amount of salts entering the onshore plant in early operation. which has been in operation since 1996. c) Slip-stream salt removal Conventional regeneration combined with a slip-stream salt removal system (vacuum reclaimer or ion exchange). some experiences and challenges from start-up and operation of conventional onshore and offshore regeneration facilities are listed: OTC 17355 Statoil/Gassco Kollsnes: The Statoil/Gassco operated Troll Gas (Kollsnes) plant has a conventional regeneration system. Even though formation water production was not expected.

means to remove the small particles should be considered. FeCO3. Norway). The vapour from the Flash separator is distilled into MEG and water in the downstream Distillation Column. Sodium carbonate and iron products have shown to be too small to remove efficiently in the Decanter Centrifuges and have therefor accumulated in the Flash Separator. Another two full Reclamation systems. Heat for evaporation is added through a heater in a recycle stream. The lessons learned from this experience are: . and Fe3O4. before the MEG is sent to the Flash Separator. are under construction. Non-volatile chemicals will also remain in the Flash Separator. Azerbaijan) and Britannia Satellites (ConocoPhillips. Essentially all the salts and particles are removed.e. from the Centrifuge flushing system.If it is expected low formation water rates during start-up or field lifetime. after start-up offshore there was insignificant production of formation water. designed by KPS. The facilities for removal of hydrocarbons prior to boiling have been greatly improved. STOS (Shell Todd. in the heaters have increased the scaling. Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) has performed qualification programs for inhibitors to ensure compatibility with the reclaimer. Åsgard B has also experienced some problems with scaling of heaters. UK). Shah Deniz (BP. crystallises and can be separated in a Decanter Centrifuge. Kvaerner Process Systems (KPS). since the whole rich MEG feed exits the Flash Separator as vapour. filters) are large and expensive. If the concentration of small particles is high compared to the large NaCl particles.Accumulation of inhibitors and acetates should be controlled below critical levels .g. However. i. followed by Storage facilities. New Zealand) and Åsgard B (Statoil. it is expected that the Centrifuge will have difficulties in removing all. .Hydrocarbon removal should be improved upstream the reclaimer . has two reference plants in operation. mainly by changing the inlet arrangement. IFE has also performed corrosion tests for material selection in both plants. Both projects have considered the possibility of low formation water production. Azerbaijan) and Britannia Satellites (ConocoPhillips. Fine filters have proven not to be applicable for removal of small particles in the rich MEG feed. Adequate separation equipment/processes for these particles (e. operator intensive. A full Reclamation system has shown to be a proven design for fields with larger quantities of formation water entering the on-shore/topside plant. especially the Flash Separator Recycle Heaters (cleaning frequency reported to vary between monthly and 6monthly). CaCO3. which is part of the Aker Kvaerner group. Foam inhibitor has been included as a back-up. some experiences and challenges from engineering. The experiences from Åsgard B have been carefully evaluated and several changes to design of these new plants are incorporated. An anti-foaming agent should be considered/qualified as back-up. namely Shah Deniz (BP. hydrocarbon carry-under from upstream three-phase separation and flashing in the liquid phase of the Flash Separator these are believed to be the reasons for periodically problems with foaming and carry-over form the Flash Separator. This configuration is applicable when higher formation water rates is expected from the producing wells. and some accumulation of small particles could be expected. e. Salt accumulates in the concentrated liquid phase. The result of this has been that only minor particles from the pH-stabiliser and pipeline corrosion has precipitated in the Flash Separator. The tests were performed with anticipated salt compositions and demonstrated the specified salt removal capacity.Corrosion inhibitor and other inhibitors should be qualified/selected to ensure compatibility with the boiler Figure 6 – Picture of Åsgard B MEG Reclaimer prior to installation (KPS) BP Shah Deniz / ConocoPhillips BritSats: Two full Reclamation systems.10-0. The MEG plant will then consist of a pretreatment system where the rich MEG is heated and depressurised to remove hydrocarbons in a 3-phase separator. designed by KPS. the concentration of small particles may be high compared to the large NaCl particles. start-up and operation of onshore and offshore full Reclamation facilities are listed: Statoil Åsgard B: KPS performed a full scale testing of the Åsgard B MEG Reclamation unit at Kvaerner Egersund yard. are now under construction. The Flash Separator operates under vacuum (0.g. Na2CO3. With additional accumulation of corrosion inhibitors.OTC 17355 b) Full Reclamation In a full Reclamation system the total rich MEG feed is boiled off in a Flash Separator followed by distillation to the required Lean MEG specification. Below. UK). It is anticipated that boiling of water. The Flash Separators have been designed to minimise the potential for foaming.15 bara) in order to vaporise the MEG at a temperature low enough to avoid decomposition of the MEG. Some level and flow instruments have been replaced due to high content of iron. spring 1999 prior to installation offshore. 7 in terms of minimizing foaming. and . These particles will mainly be different carbonates and iron oxide.New gas tight Centrifuges adapted for smaller particles .Flashing in the liquid phase of the Flash Separator should be avoided .

If the concentration is high this could cause major start-up problems. Another advantage with a slip-stream arrangement is that the heat. The slip-stream rate is generally determined by the allowable amount of highly soluble salts in the lean MEG. thus not remove any salts or chemicals from the MEG. For both plants alkalinity in the form of bicarbonate/carbonate can therefor be added in order to precipitate divalent cations. Mg. The ongoing projects Ormen Lange (Norsk Hydro . viscosity and boiling point of the MEG will increase. The design has been carefully selected to avoid scaling and to control precipitation of carbonates in the bulk where scale deposits and cleaning/maintenance can be minimised. In addition. Also based on solubilities / saturation ratios some heaters and control valves have been duplicated to avoid stop of production if scaling should occur. thereby creating larger particles and enabling a simpler particle removal. OTC 17355 Figure 7 . At BritSats there will be back-up facilities for injection of a flocculating agent into the Centrifuge slipstream to induce particle flocculation. combined with a slip-stream salt removal system (reclaimer or ion exchange).Norway) are based on this configuration. A shutdown / cool-down could also cause some of the accumulated divalent cations to precipitate as chlorides. as it will be impossible to recycle and heat up the content again to dissolve the chlorides.8 prone to failure/clogging.Norway) and Snøhvit/Hammerfest (Statoil . the investment cost could be lower than for a full stream . Analyses performed by IFE have shown that if the concentration of small particles can be kept relatively low compared to the NaCl concentration. A slip-stream arrangement is applicable for low/intermediate formation water rates. It should be noted that the full stream reclaimers at Shah Deniz are designed for also handling a “no salt” mode where all chemicals are re-used. The Shah Deniz plant is therefor provided with back-up facilities for injection of NaCl into the Flash Separator. dependent of the slip-stream rate. This was also indicated in the tests of the Åsgard B plant at Egersund prior to installation. and thereby be taken out in the Centrifuge. as described earlier. as opposed to a full stream reclaimer where all salts and non-volatile chemicals are removed. For both the Shah Deniz and the BritSats projects the solubility / saturation ratio of iron. as only a smaller portion of the MEG is vapourised. For the above reasons it is important to keep control of the alkalinity in the Flash Separator. and could also result in increased foaming and carry-over as described above. 3-D model overviews of the KPS full stream MEG reclaimers at Shah Deniz and Britannia Satellites are shown in the figures below.and cooling requirements are reduced. This will reduce the capacity of the Reclaimer. This means that the concentration of 2+ ions is higher than the concentration of alkalinity (SO4 and HCO3). Sr. The final qualification programs for these flocculents are ongoing at IFE. most of the small particles will tend to stick to the large NaCl crystals. It is also possible to operate the reclaimers as conventional reboilers by boiling off water only. When the concentration increases.and calcium carbonate has been determined for all sections of the plants. hence only a part of the divalent cations will precipitate as carbonates and sulphates in the Flash Separator. The main advantage of this design is that inhibitors and pH-stabilisers are re-used. Ba.3-D model overview of the full stream MEG reclaimers at Shah Deniz (KPS) ConocoPhillips: BritSats MEG Regeneration and Desalting Figure 8 .3-D model overview of the full stream MEG reclaimer at Britannia Satellites (KPS) c) Slip-stream salt removal This configuration consists of a conventional regeneration. the density. For both projects water analyses have shown an excess of divalent cations (Ca. Fe) in the formation water.

and calcium carbonate (FeCO3 and CaCO3) is low. salts from acetic acids and fines. particle removal alternatives and MEG storage tanks. consists of precipitated carbonates and sulphate salts. pumps. Experiments performed by IFE shows that 9 large amounts of NaAc could be dissolved in the Flash Separator (more than 300 g/l). it is anticipated that all the iron and most of the calcium will precipitate in the two tanks.3-D model overview of the slip-stream reclaimer at Ormen Lange (KPS) 6. Combined with long retention time. The reclaimer shall also ensure a maximum acetate concentration of below 2. 80 oC). At Snøhvit the particles will be removed by micro filtration. determination of corrosion and scale inhibition philosophy over the field lifetime. The particles. To control the precipitation and minimise scaling on locations giving operational problems or being labour intensive with respect to cleaning is very essential for a slip-stream salt removal plant.OTC 17355 Reclaimer. the selection of a proper MEG regeneration process must be done. hence the availability analysis must be based on actual experience from the plants in operation together with input from the oil companies. most of the incoming iron and calcium will precipitate at the operating conditions of a regeneration unit / reboilers. input from pipeline sizing governing liquid accumulation is important. OREDA data has shown to be insufficient for a MEG system. The slip-stream Reclaimer at Ormen Lange is sized to maintain a maximum salt content in the lean MEG of 20 g/l. The salts will exist either as ions or in precipitated form. These salts are partly soluble and the solubility will vary with fluid pH and temperature. Organic acids will accumulate in the Flash Separator. rich and lean MEG storage capacity and the MEG plant capacity margins must be based on availability analysis. The Rich MEG slurry may also be sent to high speed Centrifuges. in many cases being part of the plants regularity philosophy. Although it is possible to run the system with some particles in the regenerated lean MEG. A 3-D model overview of the KPS slip-stream reclaimer at Ormen Lange is shown in the illustration below. present as a Rich MEG slurry in the bottom of the tank. precipitated salts from formation water and completion fluids. The required redundancy and sparing of components. The Flash Drum and the Rich MEG Tank will be operating at high temperature (app. Finally. For sizing of the MEG tanks and the recovery capacity. and design of MEG injection points and injection devices. In the MEG regeneration process scaling on hot surfaces in heaters and precipitation on the column internals are the main concerns. In other words. The Ormen Lange plant will therefore be designed to provoke precipitation of FeCO3 and CaCO3 upstream the reboilers. from day one and in the future. The solubility of the different salts in the MEG/water solution will vary. the sizing of slug catchers. In this context. and the liquid handling capacity from slug catchers to the Rich MEG tank are important factors in the total loop logistics /4/. in this context. The high operating temperature in the Rich MEG Tank will also increase the settling velocity of particles due to a lower liquid viscosity. . and therefore require different treatment for removal. The impurities are mainly solid particles and salts. System design for the whole loop also includes sparing philosophy for critical systems and sufficient capacity margins. Figure 9 . The main difference between the reclaimers described earlier and the Ormen Lange slip-stream reclaimer is that the distillation column is not required as water is removed in the conventional reboilers. It is important to control the concentrations to avoid increasing the viscosity and the boiling temperature and also to avoid massive precipitation during shut-down and cool-down.36 g/l in lean MEG to control top of line corrosion after a change in corrosion strategy from pH stabiliser to corrosion inhibitor. In addition different salts will precipitate in different parts of the system. are also contributors to an overall system. the Ormen Lange Rich MEG Tanks will be designed for the purpose of being a buffer tank but also a tank for settling of small particles. The MEG/water phase particles will mainly consist of corrosion particles. System design System design includes calculation of MEG demand. An additional consideration made at Ormen Lange is the high acetate concentration in the feed. Since the solubility of iron. These full flow Centrifuges is placed in the rich MEG stream downstream of the Rich MEG Tank to normally remove more of the particles that are not settling in the tank. The main disadvantage is that impurities will accumulate in the closed MEG loop. due to uncertainties regarding supersaturation/kinetics. Scale. When the MEG/water feed is depressurised or heated CO2 will boil off and thus increasing the pH. most of the particles must be removed to avoid problematic accumulation in process equipment and flowlines. The design of a slip-stream reclaimer is more or less based on the same evaluations as a full stream reclaimer. Design of the MEG distribution network. can be removed during regular maintenance and sent to special treatment.

5. A.Russian Barents Sea). Offshore Technology Conference. KG-D6 (Reliance Industries . F. 7. Shah Deniz (BP Azerbaijan). GPA Europe. Karl-Petter Løken and Jan Gunnar Waalmann: “MEG Enhances Flow Assurance in Subsea to Beach Developments”. 6. limitations and cost elements (CAPEX/OPEX) by use of glycol (MEG) vs. Jan Gunnar Waalmann et al. The list of MEG-based developments includes record-breaking developments like Ormen Lange (Norsk Hydro . have greatly improved the understanding of the chemistry and the totality in a closed loop MEG system. Houston 2004. 4. Scarab-Safron (Burullus – Egypt). Fournie.India). Britannia Satellites (ConocoPhillips – UK). New Orleans 2004. alcohols (methanol/ethanol).Norway). it seems evident that MEG is the preferred inhibitor. Stig Brustad. physical and hence operational challenges. Cripps and D.: ”Integrated Production Umbilical for the Sognefjord (20 km tieback). Snøhvit (Statoil . D. combined with comprehensive investigations performed in the Snøhvit. SPE 87560 Karl-Petter Løken. Statoil. Jan Gunnar Waalmann et al. Deep Offshore Technology Conference. Acknowledgements The authors wish to thank Institute for Energy Technology (IFE). Heggdal et al. Aberdeen May 2004.Norway). Continuous experience from the conventional MEG regeneration plant at the Kollsnes onshore facility and the full reclamation unit on the Åsgard B semi. Sloan Jr: "Hydrate Engineering". Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc. Gorgon (Chevron Texaco – Australia) and Shtokman (Gazprom .”. Atkin: “The Nuggets Development – Successful Operation and Plans for the Future”. Dugstad and Marion Seiersten: pH-stabilisation. Trondheim 2000 E. Norsk Hydro. Deep Offshore Technology Conference.10 OTC 17355 Conclusion When reviewing the advantages.: “An Efficient Wellstream Booster Solution for Deep and Ultra Deep Water Oil fields”. 3. OTC paper no 16447. .: ”Deepwater Subsea to Beach Gas Developments – Flow Assurance Challenges and Solutions”. A. Qualification and Testing. BP and ConocoPhillips for their support and cooperation during the ongoing Aker Kværner / Kværner Process System MEG projects. The consequence of neglecting this will in many cases be severe operational problems leading to plant downtime and losses of income. Kelland: “Chemicals for Gas Hydrate Control”. Consequently.oljeindustriens usynlige problembarn?” NTNU. New Orleans 2004. 8. Conference: “Hydrater . “Norwegian innovation” M. South Pars (Total – Iran). A. 1st International Symposium on Oilfield Corrosion. it is extremely important to approach a closed loop MEG system from a holistic point of view. 2. This is supported by the choices made by the operators for recently built and planned long distance gascondensate tie-backs. References 1. Shah Deniz and Britannia Satellites projects. Ormen Lange. a Reliable Method for Corrosion Control of Wet Gas Pipelines. World Oil Supplement January 2004. 2000. A closed loop MEG system is complex and represents a number of chemical. Paris Conference 2003 O.