UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, announced today that it has been selected by BW Offshore to remove contaminants from natural gas aboard a new Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel off the coast of Scotland.
The vessel, which will be leased to Premier Oil, will include a UOP SeparexTM Membrane System to remove carbon dioxide. While the technology has been successfully used elsewhere, this will be the first FPSO in the North Sea to use a membrane-based treatment system.
UOP guard bed adsorbents will also be used to remove mercury and hydrogen sulfide. These contaminants must be removed to meet export and end-user specifications, and to protect downstream equipment.
Vast quantities of recoverable natural gas lie under the Earth’s oceans. Accessing, treating and recovering these natural resources can be challenging due to ocean movement, environmental regulations, and space and resource constraints on offshore production facilities.
“UOP is continually innovating to create lightweight, compact, chemical-free equipment that is ideal for the complex offshore gas environment,” said Rebecca Liebert, senior vice president and general manager of Honeywell’s UOP Gas Processing and Hydrogen business unit. “By integrating UOP Separex membrane technology and guard bed adsorbents into a single system, we are able to create a solution that improves gas processing efficiency while reducing operating costs for FPSO operators.”
Scheduled for start-up in 2017, BW Offshore’s FPSO will be located approximately 125 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland, in the Catcher oil field, in which Premier Oil has a 50 percent operating interest. It will have a processing capacity of 60,000 barrels per day of oil and a storage capacity of 650,000 barrels.
UOP Separex technology upgrades natural gas streams by removing carbon dioxide and water vapor. These contaminants must be removed to meet the quality standards specified by pipeline transmission and distribution companies as well as natural gas end users.
Decades of operation in natural gas service have demonstrated that Separex membranes are the most robust for natural gas service and can achieve the longest membrane life in the industry, UOP explains. They eliminate the need for solvents, which could spill and damage the marine ecosystem. To date, more than 130 of UOP’s membrane systems have been installed worldwide.
UOP guard bed adsorbents allow the removal of trace amounts of sulfur or mercury. These high-loading metal oxide adsorbents provide reliable protection for downstream equipment and consistently meet pipeline gas specifications, with no moving parts and no operator intervention.