DEHYDRATION

What you should get out of this course. • • • • •
The purpose of dehydration Hydrate formation The composition of the gas Principles The different processes  dehydration by glycol absorption  dehydration by methanol absorption  dehydration by adsorption Diagram and location in the process Operating a dehydration installation Problems encountered

• • •

The process – dehydration

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The purpose of dehydration • Introduction
When the gas is at reservoir temperature and pressure, it is generally saturated with water.

Water is responsible for:
– most types of corrosion when it is associated – with acid gases (H2S and CO2) - or salts (calcium carbonates) hydrate formation

The gas therefore has to be processed to remove the water it contains.

The process – dehydration

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The purpose of dehydration • Purpose:
       Treat to obtain hydrocarbons which meet the specifications Optimise recovery of the hydrocarbons Discharge the non-marketable effluents Protect persons and installations Facilitate transport in the pipelines (corrosion) Prevent corrosion problems in the lift gas or injection gas systems. Prevent hydrate formation

The process – dehydration

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The process – dehydration 5 .Hydrate formation • Definition: Crystal structures with a set geometry that require the presence of water and components present in hydrocarbons. Hydrates are a major problem in the production and transport of natural gas. for their formation.

butane) are likely to form hydrates in presence of liquid water (risk of hydrates in the presence of CO2 or d’H2S)  Favourable conditions: temperature and pressure Hydrate formation conditions: pressure must be sufficiently high and its temperature sufficiently low. ethane. propane.Hydrate formation • How do they form?  Presence of liquid water Example: liquid water released by the gas during a change in the pressure or temperature conditions  Presence of light hydrocarbons Only the first four hydrocarbons (methane. The process – dehydration 6 .

Hydrate formation • How do they form?  Certain factors contribute to hydrate formation – Vortices – Gas velocity – Bends.  The process – dehydration 7 . orifices.  changes – High pressure – Self-amplifying effects – Low temperature Each natural gas has its own specific hydrate formation range. which depends on: – the density of the gas in relation to air (KATZ method) – its composition and solid-vapour equilibrium factors at P and T for the most precise methods (CARSON and KATZ method).

Hydrate formation • How do they form?   The area where T < T1. is governed by the hydrate formation curve. The area where T > T1. is governed by the dew point curve. The process – dehydration 8 .

The process – dehydration 9 .Hydrate formation • Why is it a problem?  Hydrate formation leads to: – – – blocking of the pipes and equipment production shutdown risks of overpressure in the installations.  water deposition due to condensation in the pipes or free water from the reservoir may cause large pressure drops with risks of: – – "water hammer" effects due to the liquid slugs erosion  Water is responsible for most types of corrosion when it is associated with – – acid gases (H2S and CO2) or salts (calcium carbonates).

the hydrate block adheres so strongly to the pipe walls and is so hard that it cannot be removed by any normal mechanical means. The process – dehydration 10 .Hydrate formation • Why is it a problem ? If a pipe becomes blocked by hydrates.

2°C at 70 bar The process – dehydration 11 .The gas composition • Commercial gas      H2S content: 1.5 to 4 ppm Total sulphur and contaminants: 50 to 150 mg/Sm3 CO2 content: 2 to 3% molar mass Water dew point: .15°C at 70 bar Hydrocarbon dew point: .

00 15.00 3.30 9.00 0.30 The process – dehydration 12 .90 0.50 0.The gas composition • examples of different natural gas compositions Composition N2 H2O H2S CO2 C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6+ (% volume) 1.50 1.30 68.20 0.

several solutions are at our disposal. regenerated for re-use – inhibiting with regenerated diethylene glycol The process – dehydration 13 . • Displacing the hydrate curve   inhibition by glycol or methanol. To achieve this.Principles This solution consists of moving the hydrate formation curve outside the facility's operating range. Case of uses considered: – inhibition by non-recoverable methanol (without regeneration) – inhibition by methanol.

offshore long distances. heating upstream of the expansion nozzles (in certain cases). – high heating power  Scope of application – – –  Not recommended in the following cases – – The process – dehydration 14 .Principles • Displacing the operating range   Maintain pressure Increase temperature – – reheaters upstream heat insulation for the short pipes short onshore gas gathering systems. acid gases or gases with non-negligible CO2 content.

Principles • Displacing the operating range  Advantages – – – – – simple to install and implement. low investment costs when no major heat insulation on the downstream line. footprint and weight not negligible (offshore). moderate operating costs. no water condensation no corrosion when there is H2S and/or CO2 present in the gas. safety problems if bare flame equipment is used on gas installations.  Disadvantages – – – – The process – dehydration 15 . high costs when heat insulation is necessary need for a reliable fuel gas supply or another source of heat gas does not meet commercial standards with respect to water content.

short offshore inter-platform links. offshore: large subsea lines carrying gas containing CO2 (corrosion) upstream of the cooler units. short gas gathering lines.Principles • Displacement of the dew point curve  To avoid water condensation in the dehydrating unit’s operating range by sufficient gas dehydration.  – –  Contre-indications – – The process – dehydration 16 . Scope of application – long distance transport of gas at commercial specifications.

 Disadvantages – – – – The process – dehydration 17 . footprint not negligible (offshore) continuous monitoring preferable. relatively complex to install (investment) safety problems if bare flame glycol reboiler used.Principles • Displacement of the dew point curve  Advantages – – – – no water condensation no corrosion when there is H2S and/or CO2 good reliability dew points obtained at commercial sales standards (-15 / -20°C at 70 bar).

The different processes • dehydration by glycol absorption The process – dehydration 18 .

The gas circulates from bottom to top the regenerated glycol is injected at the top of the absorber The process – dehydration 19 .The different processes • dehydration by glycol absorption (cont'd)  Principle: – Absorption section The glycol absorbs water .

arie KOW: The different processes Vapeur d'eau • dehydration by glycol absorption (cont'd)  Principle: – Regeneration section Glycol humide Condenseur de tête - nte parmi urni water-laden glycol is drawn off from the flash drum glycol flows down through the column exits the column towards the reboiler for regeneration the water vapour exits the distillation column in the reverse direction the concentrated glycol exits the reboiler via a weir Still column Brûleur Rebouilleur Filtre .series of filters Colonne de stripping Stripping Gaz sec Stockage Fuel gas Gaz de flash Glycol sec Gazoline Glycol - Pompe à glycol Séparateur gazoline glycol The process – dehydration 20 .

upstream of long-distance gas lines protection of downstream lines upstream of the turboexpander presence of CO2 --> corrosion  Scope of application – – – – – – – – The process – dehydration 21 . subsea wells when there is no salt water ingress. protection on medium distance pipes.The different processes • dehydration by glycol absorption (cont'd)  Performances – – – most commonly used process dew point -15 to -20 °C at 70 bars use of TEG preferred (Triethylene glycol) protection of treatment units by cooling protection of collection systems when there is no salt water ingress or when there are WKOs at the well head.

The different processes • dehydration by glycol absorption (cont'd) Not recommended in the following cases : – – – long lines subject to corrosion. The process – dehydration 22 . production of salt water (contamination by salts from the DEG at regeneration). sea lines. long pipes with many low points (there is a danger of the glycol being unevenly distributed over the whole of the facility).

commissioning after testing Not recommended in the following cases: long lines - prohibitive quantity to be injected The process – dehydration 23 .The different processes • dehydration by methanol absorption  Inhibition by methanol (not recovered) – Scope of application: small installations - seasonal injection small quantity of gas subsea wells short lines – stand-alone installation .

long distances Not recommended in the following cases: lines which are impossible to repair prohibitive quantity to be injected The process – dehydration 24 .The different processes • dehydration by methanol absorption (cont'd)  Inhibition by methanol (regenerated) – Scope of application: – developments with subsea wells .

The different processes • dehydration by adsorption property of certain solids (= desiccants) to fix certain molecules on their surface. The process – dehydration 25 .

Molecular sieves: These consist of zeolite crystals   The process – dehydration 26 . They are sensitive to liquid water.The different processes • dehydration by adsorption The main desiccants are:  Alumina: Good activity but becomes deteriorated by absorbing the heavy hydrocarbons which are not eliminated by heating. which are easy to regenerate and which adsorb the heavy hydrocarbons to a lesser degree. Silicagels: These are highly active amorphous substances.

The different processes • dehydration by adsorption Differences between the main desiccants: The process – dehydration 27 .

The different processes • dehydration by adsorption (molecular sieve) The process – dehydration 28 .

– .The different processes • Advantages and disadvantages of the various processes  Inhibition by glycol with regeneration – Advantages: low glycol consumption in simple regeneration (little vaporisation in the gas) ) no pollution problem (water eliminated during the vapour phase).safe storage (low volatility product). Disadvantages: presence of liquid in the transport facility (injection flow rate higher than that of the methanol) corrosion if H2S or CO2 present difficulties (or impossibility) to regenerate if salt water present gas does not meet the specifications 29 The process – dehydration .

The different processes • Advantages and disadvantages of the different processes  Inhibition by methanol (not recovered) – Advantages: – simple to install low investments small equipment size good reliability creation of a two-phase flow Disadvantages: - - corrosion if H2S or CO2 present high operating costs methanol supply? storage (safety) - gas does not meet the commercial standards with respect to water content. 30 The process – dehydration .

The different processes • Advantages and disadvantages of the different processes  Inhibition by methanol with regeneration – Advantages: – good reliability .no water discharge Disadvantages: presence of liquid in the lines corrosion if H2S / CO2 present - loss of methanol (50%) complex to install gas does not meet specifications The process – dehydration 31 .

which is issued during the project phase. shows the main process lines and tanks and their main operating parameters The process – dehydration 32 .Representation and location in the process • REPRESENTATION  PFD (Process Flow Diagram): this document.

which is issued during the project phase.Representation and location in the process • Representation  P&ID (Piping & Instrumentation Diagram) This document. The process – dehydration 33 . shows all the process lines and tanks and their main operating parameters in a much more complex format than the PFD.

Representation and location in the process The process – dehydration 34 .

Representation and location in the process • Location The process – dehydration 35 .

Representation and location in the process • Location (Example: Girassol) The process – dehydration 36 .

Representation and location in the process • Criticality  If the dehydration unit (TEG) shuts down. the methanol injection is automatically opened at the column outlet. If methanol injection is impossible. the following must be stopped: – gas-lift – gas injection which generates a loss of production  The process – dehydration 37 .

- The use of a dry gas stripping column. The higher the temperature. With the stripping column. a level of 99.7%).9% can be reached (<98. the more water is released by the TEG. The process – dehydration 38 . - The operating pressure of the distillation column Operating below atmospheric pressure generates higher concentrations at equivalent temperatures.Operating an installation • Absorption section  Parameters governing absorption – Concentration of the regenerated glycol The glycol's purity level depends on: - The bath temperature in the reboiler. The limit is set at 204°C because the TEG deteriorates above 215 C.

Glycol circulation rate The minimum glycol circulation rate for a good glycol-gas contact is approximately 15 litres per kg of water to be removed from the gas.. A reduction in the gas temperature at the inlet to the unit reduces the dew point at the outlet.Operating an installation • Absorption section  Parameters governing absorption – Gas temperature in the absorber The dew point at the top of the absorber depends on the temperature there. for a conventional installation. Average flow rate of 25 l/kg of water to be removed. – - The process – dehydration 39 .

Operating an installation • Absorption section  Normal operation  Downgraded operation – Dehydration column by passed – MeOh pump operating The process – dehydration 40 .

for example.  The process – dehydration 41 . for the TEG.Operating an installation • Regeneration section  Regeneration makes use of the distillation principle by heating the glycol .water solution in a reboiler whose energy is normally supplied either by a fire tube. or by electric heating elements The temperature of the glycol bath in the reboiler must be maintained at 204°C.

etc. solid particles. which prevents them being drawn into and deposited in the regeneration equipment by the glycol. The hydrocarbons present in the glycol are removed with an activated charcoal filter which prevents foaming problems. which must be maintained at 6 -7 to prevent foaming. 42  Filtration – –  pH neutralisation equipment – The process – dehydration . in the crude. A chemical injection unit is used to neutralise the pH of the glycol.Operating an installation • Recirculation system section  Pumps – Pumps are used to circulate the glycol through the regeneration system The solid particles are stopped by the filters. generally due to the presence of corrosion inhibitors.

– The process – dehydration 43 . which penetrates into the system through the atmospheric storage tanks and pump seals. Local overheating may be caused by salt or bitumen deposits on the fire tubes or heating tubes.Problems encountered • Operating problems in the regeneration section  Glycol oxidation – The oxygen. can oxidise the glycol and form corrosive acids. The use of a gas atmosphere is recommended in the storage tanks –  Thermal breakdown – An excessive temperature in the reboiler can break down the glycol and form corrosive products (the TEG decomposition temperature is 215°C).

CO2) which increase the equipment corrosion rate.8 by injecting a pH neutraliser –  Deposits – Good filtration and activated charcoal treatment prevents the solid particles and bituminous hydrocarbons from being deposited. The process – dehydration 44 . The glycol must be maintained at a level of pH = 7 .Problems encountered • Operating problems in the regeneration section  Controlling the pH – The acidity of the glycol is due to the two points mentioned above and to the presence of acid compounds in the gas to be treated (H2S.

The process – dehydration 45 . he causes of foaming are related to the presence of the following in the glyco: liquid hydrocarbons. salt. - fine particles in suspension. They can be eliminated in the flash drum and in the activated charcoal filters. corrosion inhibitors.  Presence of condensates – – The liquid hydrocarbons cause the glycol to foam.Problems encountered • Operating problems in the regeneration section  Foaming – – Foaming may increase the glycol losses and reduce the capacity of the equipment.

– The process – dehydration 46 . and reduce the heating tube heat transfers.Problems encountered • Operating problems in the regeneration section  Salt contamination – The salt deposits increase the equipment corrosion rate. which can be trapped by demister at the separator. This salt is transported by a fine water vapour mist.

coalescer) designed to prevent the glycol being mechanically entrained through the system.Problems encountered • Operating problems in the regeneration section  Glycol losses – The glycol losses increase the operating costs of this type of unit. - Entrainment The high points in the column are generally equipped with internal systems (separator. demister. valves and other equipment on the lines correctly maintained The process – dehydration 47 . They can be caused by: - Vaporisation These losses can be limited by sufficiently cooling the gas upstream of the absorber. - Mechanical leaks Mechanical leaks can be reduced by keeping the pumps.

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