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62-01-05

Petroaas Proeessioa Calaary Plant


By H. W. MANLEY* and G. H. LEWIS**
(13th Annual Technical Meeting, Calgary, 1962)

ABSTRACT
Thirty Corporate Oil & Gas Working Owners in the Calgary Gas
Fields became shareholders of
Petrogas Processing Ltd. for the
purpose of establishing gas plant
processing facilities to process their
combined gas reserves of in excess
of 1500 hillion cu. ft. Jefferson
Lake Petrochemicals has been appointed the Operator of the Petrogas Plant Facilities.
This $13,000,000 Plant facility consists of some 135 miles of field pipe
line systems; a gas purification section design for 150 million cu.
ft./day capacity utilizing the Hot
Potassium and Conventional Amine
treating processes; a modified
Claus process to produce 875 long
tons/day of elemental sulphur; a
conventional refrigeration unit for
125 million cu. ft./day of pipe line
gas delivery to meet water and
hydrocarbon dewpoint specification;
and, a 2'200 bbl.!day liquid condensate stabilization unit.
The combined plant inlet gas
streams have approximately 24%
acid gas, or 16% hydrogen sulphide
and 8% C'arbon dioxide. The use of
the Hot Potassium gas purification
section is proving very satisfactory
for extracting a large part of the
acid gas having this ratio of acid
gas volumes. The plant design has
resulted in lower C'apital costs, less
gas fuel consumption and comparatively little chemical losses as compared to other gas processing plant
designs in Canada.
(*) H. W. Manley, President, Petro-

gas Processing Ltd.; Vice-President and Managing Director,


Jefferson Lake Petrochemicals
of Canada Ltd.
(**) G. H. Lewis, Vice President,

Petrogas Processing Ltd.

Technology, Spring, 1962, Calgary

Glycol pipe line delivery and gathering systems to and from each
wellhead for gas dehydration in the
fields is used whereby central plant
regeneration of the glycol can be
obtained. This type of functional
design will reduce corrosion in the
gas gathering systems and prevents
excessive gas hydrates occurring at
the 1200 psia gas gathering pressures. With the Crossfield gas field
now having proved 81.4 square
miles and the Elkton gas field having proved 47.7 square miles of productive area, the field gas dehydration design capital cost has proved
to be comparatively low for the five
Elkton gas wells and eight Crossfield wells now connected to the
Plant. As additional gas producing
wells are completed in these large
fields, the unit cost/wellhead dehydration will continue to be reduced.

pRIOR to discussing the plant design and operation details, a


brief outline of the Calgary Gas
Fields' geological facts, drilling developments, reserves, types of gas
requiring processing, and organizational objectives, seem to be the
first requirement of presenting the
overall project perspective.

CALGARY GAS FIELDS

The discovery well of the Crossfield gas producing formation was


made by Mobil Oil of Canada, Ltd.
with the completion of their Kathryn 3-2-26-28-W4M at 8,200 to 8,276
feet of depth, in 1954. Subsequent
drilling developments to this formation have completed eleven com-

mercial gas wells on a wide spacing program.


As of December 1st, 1961, the
proven productive surface area of
the Crossfield gas formation was
established to be 81.4 square miles.
Reservoir engineering estimates of
the proven area indicate an ultimate recovery of 861 billion cubic
feet. With additional drilling developments outside the present
proven area, it is anticipated that
the Crossfield Calgary gas field will
have recoverable gas reserves in
excess of 1,000 billion cubic feet.
The productive horizon of the
Crossfield gas field occurs approximately 300 feet from the top of the
Devonian Age. The porous zone is
a brown microcrystalline dolomite
with occasional splotches of anhydrite. The origin appears to be
bioclastic. Varying amounts of fine
vuggy and intergranular porosity
are distributed irregularly both vertically and laterally in the producing zone. Some of the vugs have
been partially or completely filled
with anhydrite or are occasionally
filled with elemental sulphur.
The discovery well of the Elkton
gas producing formation was made
by Jefferson Lake Sulphur Company with the completion of their
C.P.R. 6-27c29-W4M well at 7,354 to
7,426 in 1957. Six wells have now
been completed in this gas horizon
and two of the completed Crossfield
gas wells found commercial sections
of the Elkton while being drilled.
23

Proven productive area of th~


Elkton gas field, as of December
1st, 1961, was established at 47.7
square miles of surface area. Reser.
voir engineering estimates indicate
an ultimate recovery of 89'5 billion
cubic feet.
The Elkton gas horizon occur" at
the erosional top of the Mississippian geological age and is limestone
light grey to buff in color. It ap
pears to be of bioclastic origin
with Crenoid and Bryozoa frag
ments outlined in black bitumin.
The texture is mostly very fine and
dense but with streaks of microcrystalline to macrocrystalline and
most of the rock has fine vuggy
porosity.
Table No.1 shows the component
analyses of the two Calgary gas

fields which were used for the design basis of the Calgary Petrogas
Processing Plant.
Attention is called to the above
analyses which shows 44.15 mol.
percent of hydrogen sulphide and
carbon dioxide commonly called
"acid gas" in the Crossfield field
gas. Likewise, it will be noted the
small mol. percent of carbonyl suI
phide and carbon disulphide in the
Crossfield gas. The experience factor of other Alberta gas processing
plants having like mol. percentages
of carbonyl sulphide and carbon
disulphide had proven a degradation of amine gas treating solutions
and losses of the M.E.A. chemicals
in excess of 20 lbs./million cubic
feet of gas treated. This fact was
given very careful consideration in

TABLE No.1
DESIGN ANALYSIS OF FIELD GAS
Elkton
Mol. %

Crossfield
Mol. %

Reservoir
Component

Nitrogen
_ 3.72
Carbon Dioxide
_ 10.14
FIydrogen Sulphide
_ 34.01
Carbonyl Sulphide
_ 0.06
0.03
Carbon Disulphide ------------------------Methane
_ 51.07
Ethane
_ 0.40
Propane
_ 0.15
Iso Butane
_ 0.15
N-Butane
_ 0.09
Iso Pentane
_ 0.04
N-Petane
_ 0.02
FIexane
)
FIeptane plus)
_ 0.12

0.50
5.50
1.00
79.96
6.91
2.34
0.49
0.72
0.35
0.33
1.90
100.00

100.00

our selecting the process design of


the gas treating process.
ORGANIZATION OF PETROGAS
PROCESSING LTD.

Table No. 2 shows the twenty


eight corporate companies who
after co-ordination organized Petrogas Processing Ltd. as a private Company, each Company subscribing to purchase its stock based
on their relative percentage ownership of reserves shown in Table No.
2. The shareholders then appointed
Jefferson Lake Petrochemicals of
Canada Ltd. to be plant operator to
furnish management supervision of
the design of the plant and gathering system facilities and furnishing
their personnel for operating the
facilities.
This organization fea
ture of Petrogas is somewhat
unique as compared to the conventional joint venture generally used
in the oil and gas industry. Likewise, many problems of financing
the $13,000,000 gas processing facilities were brought to a rapid conclusion due to establishing Petrogas
Processing Ltd. as a corporate entity.
Table No.3 shows the estimated
finished products to be obtained
from the Calgary proven field gas
reserves of which each of the Work
ing Interest Owners shown in Table
No.2 expect to process and receive
its proportionate amount of the
Calgary gas field products.

TABLE NO.2
Participation in Gas Reserves
Elkton %
Crossfield %

Company

Alminex Limited
Bailey Selburn Oil & Gas Ltd.
Banff Oil Ltd.
Britalta Petroleums Ltd.
The British American Oil Company Limited
Canada-Cities Service Petroleum Corporation
Can'ada Oil Lands Ltd.
Canadian Fina Oil Limited
Canadian Pacific Oil & Gas Limited
Canadian Petrofina Ltd.
Canadian Superior Oil Ltd.
Devon-Palmer Oils Ltd.
FIome Oil Company Limited
Imperial Oil Limited
Jefferson Lake Petrochemicals of Canada Ltd.
Lehman Brothers
Lincoln-McKay Development Company Ltd.
Medallion Petroleums Limited
Mobil Oil of Canada, Ltd.
Pacific Petroleums Ltd.
Phillips Oil Company Limited
Royalite Oil Company. Limited
Scurry-Rainbow Oil Limited
Selbay Exploration Ltd.
Texaco Exploration Company
Union Oil Company of Canada Limited
Shell Oil Company of Canada Limited
Texas Gulf Sulphur Company -------

.4866672
2.4113450
6.0933272
2.3371472
.526182'6
.1001398
4.6742926
9.2372664
.0671234
.4969980
1.8086115
2.2574928
6.3696443
.0495046
23.8840464
2.3371473
.0523788
.783'5193
23.8840464
1.0568404
.3484524
2.1750377
.0339900
5.4495296
.1294301
.1232'512
.6443799
2.1318020
99.9495941

(*)

24

Ownership of
Petro gas %(*)

2.6738376

.1749
1.6422
3.4976
1.3867
.1863
2.1063
2.7735
3.6321
.0238
.1760
1.7482
2.6669
2.3999
.3337
32.3180
1.3867
.0185
.5630
32.3180
.8989
.1234
1.3913
.0120
5.3300
.1268
.0436
.2281
2.4936

99.3548799

100.0000

.0039955
1.2124826
2.0611020
.8600345
3.1842277
1.7200690
.5563796
1.7035228
2.8718113
.2227223
.4862313
36.6917069
.8600345
.4392105
36.6917069
.8068678
.9553608
5.2290346
.1245417

as of December 1st, 1961.


Journal of Canadian Petroleum

TABLE NO.3
ESTIMATED ULTIMATE PRODUCT RECOVERY
Horizon

Recoverable
Field Gas

Pipe Line
Gas

Oondensate
at 7.5 RVP

Sulphur

861 BCF
89'5 BCF

442 BCF
797 BCF

1,722,000 Bbl.
18,258,000 Bbl.

10,048,000 LT
304,000 LT

1756 BFC

1239 BCF

19,980,000 Bbl.

10,352,000 LT

Crossfield
Elkton
Total

CALGARY GAS FIELDS

Note: Gas measured at 14.4 psia.


PETROGAS PLANT DESIGN
OBJECTIVES

The objectives having salient consideration in the Petrogas Processing Calgary Plant design and operation are set out as follows:
1. That the Plant facility must be

4. Pipe Line systems connecting


each well within the Calgary
gas fields whereby:

designed to produce for sale a


minimum of 125 million cubic
feet per day of commercial pipe
line gas, pursuant to contract
specifications
of
Westcoast
Transmission Company.
2. The design and recovery of elemental sulphur from the hydrogen sulphide gas must be a
minimum of 9'4 percent whereby a minimum air pollution
would be experienced.

sistent with maximum economic yields and safety.


2. have a minimum labor and
maintenance cost consistent
with good safety practice
and ease of operation.

3. A central plant design for recovering and stabilizing liquid


hydrocarbons for sale as condensates.

SUMMARY DESIGN AND OPERATING DATA

1. field gas could be gathered,

Field Pipe Line Designs

2. wellhead gas could be dehydrated to reduce hydrates


and corrosion,

Map No.1 shows the schematic


field pipe line systems in the Calgary field. On the map we are also
showing:

3. a free water gathering system to collect and centrally


dispose of produced water.

1. the outline of the proven Cross-

field and Elkton gas field areas


in relation to the completed
wells, and,

5. A gas treating design that


would:
1. have capital and operation
costs as low as possible con-

2. the inset diagrams illustrates

MAP NO.1
CALGARY GAS FIELDS
W,5M.

R. 29

W4M.

R.28

JEFF. LK.- MOBIL CALGARY 11-23

JEFF. LK.-MOBIL 6-20-26-28

CROSSFIELD

CROSSFIELD

BANFF ET AL CALGARY N. 11-10

CALGARY CROSSFIELD UNIT 7-13

ELKTON

CROSSFIELD

UNION BAYSEL CALGARY

7-9

IMPERIAL ET AL CALGARY

ELKTON

CROSS FI ELD

BAYSEL CITIES SERVICE CAL. II-I

MOBIL KATHRYN 3- 2

ELKTON

CROSSFIELD

WEST'N. ET AL BEDDINGTON 10-36


JEFF. LK. N. CALGARY C.P.R. 27-6
ELKTON

~
_

JEFF. LK. C.P. R. CALGARY II-I

~:

ELKTON

6-8

CROSSFIELD

ELKTON
I
GATHERING
L1 ' k
SYSTEM
'" ~:.-''

JEFF. LK. N. CALGARY C.P.R. 25-11


CROSSFIELD

I
~-+:~IF=~:Lt--+-;"..";:,,,.~-~~ ~I:

JEFF. LK. N. CALGARY C.P.R. II-II

JEFF. LK. BULL CALGARY 11-13

ELKTON

CROSSFIELD

JEFF. LK. C.P.R. CALGARY 11-1


CROSSFIELD

~.,.........~
~

~_,

~I/'
,r ~t

I \

JEFF. LK. CALGARY C.P.R. 27-11


CROSSFIELD

1,

~- ~

T.24}

MOBIL CHESTERMERE 18-11

I~
- - - - - - - - - "CROSSFIELD
=""-'-=-----

~........"I

MOBIL CALGARY C.P. R. 36-10

JEFF. LK. CPR. CONRICH 5-6

IC_RO_S-JSL.F1_E._Zo_r
_ _t,...1..."'I...-l.

_J~

I:......

CROSSFIELD

I DEVON

ESTIMATED PRODUCTIVE AREA

PALMER IG.I Co. CAL. E. 7-9


CROSSFIELD

~------'--'----""-'-----

AND GATHERING SYSTEM

.TYPICAL SECTION
CROSSFIELD DITCH

Technology, Spring, 1962, Calgary

f_

2" L. GLYCOL

, - - - - - - - SOUR GAS
2" F. WATER

I I

2" R.GLYCOL
~ 2"FUEL GAS

2S

the typical line system layout


of pipe lines installed in one
ditch serving the Petrogas
Plant from the Calgary fields.
Summary details of these pipe
line systems are as follows:
(1) There is a separate gas gathering trunk line for each of the
Crossfield and Elkton fields connecting the Petrogas Plant whereby the
gas produced in each field is measured at the inlet of the gas purification system in the Plant. Each
gas gathering system is designed
for a capacity of slightly in excess
of 100 million cubic feet per day
when having a pressure drop of
approximately 200 psig. into the
Plant from the farthest outlying well connection. Under maxi
mum delivery conditions, the well
delivery separator pressures will be
approximately 1250 psig. with the
plant inlet pressure at 1050 psig.
The line sizes of the gas gathering
systems vary from 4"h"OD to 80/;;"
OD. The pipe is all Grade X42
seamless having a carbon content
of less than 0.29 percent and manganese of less than 1.25 percent.
(2) The glycol gathering and
supply lines are 2 3/16 OD seamless Grade B pipe which supply
glycol for dehydration to each wellhead and returns the glycol-water
mixture to the Petrogas Plant for
regeneration. This design feature
serves the dual purposes of:
1. dehydration of the field gas to

prevent hydrates forming in


the gas gathering systems, and
2. reduce pipe line corrosion
from the sour gas in the gas
gathering systems.
The glycol supply system operates at approximately 1300 psig. to
each wellhead glycolseparator dehydrator at which point high pres.
sure pumps inject the glycol into
the wellhead gas streams. Approximately 133 gallons of 93 percent
glycol per million CUbic feet of field
gas production is injected at each
wellhead gas stream to dehydrate
the gas being delivered to the Petro
gas Plant.
(3) A 2" pipe line gathering
system connects to each wellhead
separator for the purpose of gathering the water produced and separated at the wellhead separators
and then delivers it to a central
water disposal well. This feature
of design prevents open pit water
disposal in the field area, and helps
to reduce air pollution at the well
sites.
(4) A 2" sweet gas pipe line sys26

tem connects all Crossfield wells for


fuel purposes of the wellhead heaters
This feature eliminates the
us~ of sour gas for wellhead heater
fuel and eliminates sulphur dioxide
air pollution from such heaters at
the individual wellheads.
PETROGAS PLANT GAS PROCESSING DESIGN
Inlet Unit

Diagram No.1 shows the schematic design of Plant inlet facilities


or liquid-gas separators.
With
winter gas gathering temperatures
of 40F. and the average pressure
of about 1100 psig, it was recognized that liquefied hydrocarbons
and liquefied hydrogen sulphide
slugs and excessive liquid flow rates
into the plant would cause unbalanced gas treating conditions at
the central plant. Calculations of
these potential excessive liquid flow
rates at the inlet plant separators
indicated the probable rate of 21,600
bbls. per day could be experienced
on a fifteen-minute interval of time
from each of the Elkton and Cross
field gathering systems. These in
let liquid slug rates compare to the
liquid condensate stabilized recovery design of 2300 bbls. per day for
the plant. It was obvious, there
fore, that careful design of inlet
liquid-gas separators to the plant
would materially affect the other
sections of the plant design operation and reduce equipment capital
costs, as well as giving a uniform
rate of gas treating and sulphur
manufacture.
The Petrogas Plant design on the

inlet liquid-gas separators essentially has a three stage separator system to absorb such excessive liquid
flow rates at the inlet of the plant.
These are as follows:
(a) 1200 feet of 16" liquid drip
traps are installed on each of the
Elkton and Crossfield gas gathering
lines adjacent to the plant inlet
separators. These each have a
liquid capacity of 300 bbls. of liquid
as so-called "slug catchers." The
liquids from the liquid traps are
then uniformly brought into the
plant processing equipment through
flow rate controllers.
(b) Any excess of liquids not
separated in the inlet slug catchers
is discharged into a large flash
drum operating at a 360 psig. having a liquid capacity of 3'25 bbls.
(c)
In the event that both the
slug catcher and the 360 psig. large
liquid flash drum cannot handle the
excessive liquid flow rates, then
such excessive liquid flows are
flashed to a50 psig. liquid receiver
having a capacity of 1300 bbls.
Experience to date indicates that
the above stage liquid separators'
design has given a very satisfactory
uniform control of such liquid slugs
at the inlet of the plant. Even with
the required scraper "pigs" to
clear the gas gathering systems of
excessive liquid accumulations it
has been proven that our design is
capable of absorbing such excessive
liquid slugs without upsetting the
gas treating or liquid hydrocarbon
recovery sections of the plant.
Gas Treater Unit

Diagram No.2 shows the schema

INLET UNIT

PETROGAS PROCESSING LTD.

TO FLARE"

IT . L 1'.

GAS TO
TREAT ING

INLET

,--_\\l_.i'~."O_i~__
ED

T~.~~_~_----J..-~_ _ .L...-.-.---W---'--_______

TO CCNDE NSA-=- E
S',mGE DRU~

He

---------->:T70:cCO~N~DE~N-;-SA~rE
LP SURGE Tf,N...;

Diagram No. 1
Journal of Canadian Petroleum

HOT CARBONATE AND AMINE GAS TREATING UNIT


PETROGAS PROCESSING LTD.
TO FLARE

FROM PARALLEL UNIT

PC

t=

~~
,,_
c"

ACID GAS

HP. CARBONATE
CONTACTOR

TO
SU LPHUR

PLAN T

(f) By varying the design ratio


of inlet volumes of Crossfield and
Elkton inlet field gas streams,
operating results to date indicate
that pipe line specification gas
deliveries will approach 160 million
cubic feet per day, as compared to
maximum design conditions of 125
million cubic feet per day.

Refrigeration and Dehydration Unit


GAS fROM INLET

SWEET GAS TO REFRIGERATION

BOOSTER

UNIT

Diagram No. :2

tic design of the gas treater section


for gas purification at the Petrogas
Plant.
There are two parallel
trains in the gas treater section
with each train having the inlet
design capacity of 75 million cubic
feet per day. Of this design capacity, 35 million cubic feet per day
is produced from the Crossfield gas
field, and 40 million cubic feet per
day is produced from the Elkton
gas field. The design acid gas removal is for essentially 100 percent
of the H 2S and CO 2 for a total acid
gas removal of 36.5 million cubic
feet per day. The operating pressure design of the acid gas treating
contactors is 1,025 psig.
This part of the Petrogas Plant
design is a departure from the conventional gas treating designs used
in the treatment of sour gases, in
that a combination of the hot potassium carbonate process and the
MEA "amine" process working in
series treats the gas. The average
inlet gas has 16 percent of hydrogen sulphide and the average outlet treated gas from the units contains less than 0.'25 grain H2S per
100 cubic feet.
Operating results indicate that
99.5 percent of the H2S and 81 percent of the C02, or 94 percent of
the acid gas is removed by the hot
potassium section of the gas treater
section, and 6 percent acid gas is
removed by the "amine" treater section. In addition to these overall
acid gas removal facts, the following gives some summary highlights
of the objectives and results of
adopting this combination of gas
Technology, Spring, 1962, Calgary

treater design.
Ca) The hot carbonate solution
operates at absorption of the acid
gas at 250F.
This materially reduces the required fuel for
regeneration of the circulating acid
gas treating solution as compared
to the conventional amine gas
purification process.
(b) The use of hydraulic power
recovery turbir.es on the high pressure hot carbonate solution from
the absorbers to the hot carbonate
regeneration still saves approximately 1,000 HP, that would require fuel for power generation, in
the required pumps for putting the
regenerated solution back to the
high pressure absorbers.
(c) Experience to date indicates
that we obtain a 94 percent removal
of the acid gas in the hot carbonate
gas treater section.
(d) The moL percent of carbonyl sulphide and carbon disulphide appears to be hydrolized into
H2S and C02, thereby practically
eliminating any "amine" degradation from these components, as experienced in other Alberta sour gas
treating plants.
(e) To date there have been
very little chemical losses or degradation of both the hot carbonate
or amine solutions under normal
design operating conditions. These
facts are contrary to the forecasts
of published "bench scale" tests or
theoretical calculations on the use
of the hot carbonate process by
reputable chemical suppliers of
"amine" some three years ago.

Diagram No. 3 shows the schematic design of the refrigeration and


dehydration unit. This unit provides two functions by cooling the
sweet gas stream from the amine
contactors to 10F. First, the water
is condensed assuring a sweet gas
product that meets water specification of not more than four pounds
per 1,000,000 cubic feet. Secondly,
heavier hydrocarbons, primarily
pentanes plus, are condensed assuring a sweet gas haVing a hydrocarbon dewpoint not to exceed 15: o F. at
pressures up to 800 psig. This unit
is divided into two parallel trains,
one for each of the gas treating
trains.
Glycol is injected into the wet
sweet gas stream from the treating
unit having a temperature of lOOF.
Glycol
prevents
freezing
and
hydrate deposition in the unit. The
gas stream is cooled by exchange
with residue gas leaving the unit
and then cooled to 10F. in chillers
using propane refrigerant.
The
chilled gas enters a three phase
chiller effluent separator. Gas from
the separator, after exchange with
the feed, except for plant fuel, goes
to pipe line sales. The spent glycol
phase flows to the glycol regenerators. The liquid hydrocarbon flows
into the liquid hydrocarbon recovery unit after being exchanged with
liquid propane refrigerant. Traces
of glycol in the liquids are recovered from the warm condensate in
the 500 psig. three-phase separator
in the hydrocarbon recovery unit.
Spent glycol is re-concentrated in
a small package type regenerator.
After exchange against the hot reconcentrated solution it is charged
to a packed air-cooled stripping
tower prior to entering the reboiler using high pressure steam as
a heating medium.
The propane refrigerant uses a
closed compression cycle. Liquid
propane from the accumulator,
after exchange with cold liquid condensate, flows to the gas chiller.
Liquid propane is level-controlled
into the chiller as necessary to
maintain a level of boiling propane
over the chiller tubes. Propane gas
from the chiller returns via a suc27

REFRIGERA:TION AND DEHYDRATION UNIT


PETROGAS PROCESSING LTD.
PC

SALES GAS
TO FLARE
""FR:-:O"'M-"P"'A"'RA="-L':=-LE:7L'"'U"'N"'1T --r--t-:-::-:-o---'SA--'L-"E-SG~7

SUCTION
SCRUBBER

FROM PARALLEL UNIT


TO CHILLER
CONDENSATE FLASH UNIT

CONDENSER

Diagram No.3

GLYCOL PUMP

LIQUID HYDROCARBON RECOVERY AND STABILIZATION UNIT


PETRO GAS PROCESSING LTD.
PC

TO
fLARE

ELK~

CROSSFIELD

TO CARBONATE
CONTACTOR

REB OILER

ELKTON
INLET

RECYCLE
COMPRESSOR

TO BURN

STABILIZED CONDENSATE TO STORAGE

PIT

BOTTOMS

COOLER

tion scrubber to the compressors


where the pressure is increased to
permit condensation of propane by
air coolers. Auxiliary water coolers
are provided for additional cooling
when the ambient temperature exceeds 80F.
Liquid Hydrocarbon Recovery
and Stabilization Units

Diagram No. 4 shows the schematic design of the liquid hydrocarbon recovery and stabilization unit.
This unit is designed to recover
85,600 gallons per day of debutan
ized condensate having a four
pound RVP.
The RVP can be
varied according to demand up to
ten pound RVP in which case the
production capacity will be 92,000
gallons per day. The stabilized condensate from the unit is completely
free of hydrogen sulphide. Essen-

28

Diagram N0.4

tially all of the condensate is


recovered from the Elkton gas
since the Crossfield liquid hydrocarbon recovery is less than one
barrel per million cubic feet.
The liquid feed to hydrocarbon
unit consists of Elkton field condensate, Elkton and Crossfield condensate from the inlet separators
and the partially vaporized condensate from the refrigeration and
dehydration unit. The stream from
the refrigeration and dehydration
unit enters a separate 485 psig.
flash tank that acts as a three
phase separator.
Besides vapor
separation, any spent glycol settling
out of the hydrocarbon liquid in
the tank is drawn off to the process
glycol re-concentration system. The
heated Elkton field condensate,
liquids from the flash tank, and the

inlet separator liquids, all enter a


360 psig. surge tank having a twohour capacity. This tank is designed to operate at 90F. to eliminate seasonal fluctuations in the
stabilizer operations.
Liquid is flow-controlled through
a feed bottom exchanger to the
stabilizer which operates at 315
psig. producing a stabilized condensate bottoms product. The overhead is partially condensed to provide reflux. The bottoms product
is cooled by feed exchanger and
water cooler, then goes to storage.
The uncondensed overhead product is combined with the gases
from the chiller condensate flash
tank and condensate surge. The
combined gas streams flow to the
suction scrubber of the re-cycle
compressor. Gas from the scrubber is compressed to 1050 psig. and
re-cycled to the hot carbonate contactor feed stream.
Sulphur Recovery Unit

Diagram No. 5 shows the schematic design of the sulphur recovery


unit that has a design capacity to
produce 877 long tons of elemental
sulphur per day with a 94 percent
sulphur conversion.
The sulphur recovery plant utilizes the Modified Claus process incorporating certain design features
evolved during the experience of
the contractor in constructing such
plants, and Jefferson Lake Petrochemicals' experience in operating
such plants. The sulphur recovery
section was designed with two independent parallel units except for
a common acid gas knockout drum,
incinerator, stack, and sulphur recovery storage tank. Diagram No.
5 shows only one of the two parallel units.
Acid gas from three separate
sources, the hot carbonate treating
section, the amine treating section,
and the field glycol regeneration
section are combined in a common
line at the treating building. This
acid gas stream containing approximately 66 percent H2S, 33 percent
C02, and 1 percent hydrocarbons
(dry basis), is passed through the
sulphur plant knockout drum to remove any liquids.
Liquids are
returned to the amine sump. The
acid gas leaving the knockout drum
is split between the parallel sulphur
recovery units.
Partial combustion of the acid
gas with a controlled amount of air
takes place in a refractory lined
combustion furnace. The heat of
combustion is removed by the pro.
duction of high pressure steam (370
Journal of Canadian Petroleum

Field

SULPHUR RECOVERY UNIT


PETROGAS PROCESSING LTD.
370 PSIG STEAM
TO
BOlLE RS

TO
PARALLEL
UNIT

ACID GAS

KNOCKOUT DRUM

ESO
FROM
PARALLEL
UNIT

AIR BLOWER

r:

i "

[SO

!
i

AUXILIARY
BURNER

LJ~

INCINERATOR

STACK

SULPHUR TO STORAGE

Diagram No.5

psig.). Some sulphur is condensed


in the reaction boilers and drains to
the sulphur recovery tank.
The gases leaving the reaction
furnace flow through No.1 sulphur
condenser where additional sulphur
vapor is condensed to a liquid state.
As in the reaction boiler the gases
are cooled in the No. 1 condenser
by generating high pressure steam
(370 psig.) and condensed sulphur
flows to the sulphur recovery tank.
Each of the parallel sulphur units
generate 101,000 lbs. of 375 psig.
steam per hour. The total steam
requirements of the entire plant,
under winter conditions, is 275,000
lbs. per hour of 360 psig. There
fore, the 202,000 lbs. from the suI
phur plant is equivalent to 73.5 per
cent of the total steam requirement
of the entire plant. Under summer
conditions the sulphur recovery
plant furnishes 81 percent of the
total steam requirements.
Gases from the No. 1 condenser
flows to the first converter. This
converter is packed with three feet
of bauxite catalyst. The reaction
of S02 and H2S in the converter is
exothermic and in normal operation
all sulphur produced in the con
verter passes out as a vapor in the
gas stream to the No.2 condenser.
Sulphur vapors are liquefied in the
No.2 condenser by preheating feed
water for the reaction furnace and
No.1 condenser.
Gases leaving the No.2, condenser
are reheated by mixing with hot
combustion gas from the auxiliary
burner which is fired with a slip
stream of acid gas. The use of the
Technology, Spring, 1962, Calgary

auxiliary burner provides maximum


flexability in controlling tempera
ture of the gas stre'am into the
second converter for optimum con
version, (approximately 440F.l.
The reheated gas stream flows to
the second converter, which is
identical to the first converter,
where additional sulphur is pro
duced. Hot gases from this converter are cooled in the No. 3 con
denser by preheating feed water for
No. 2 condenser. By this arrangement all steam generated in the
sulphur plant will be at the 360
psig. level. The condensed sulphur
and the gases flow to the coalescer,
a vessel packed with three feet of
raschig rings.
Any entrained
liquid sulphur is coalesced and the
scrubbed gas stream enters the
common incinerator. Liquid sulphur from the coalescer drains to
the liquid sulphur storage.
Gases from the coalescers of each
sulphur recovery unit pass into the
common incinerator where the residual HzS and other sulphur com
pounds are burned to S02 and the
temperature of the entire gas
stream is raised so the exit temperature from the stack is 1000F.
Sweet fuel gas is used in the incinerator for burning all sulphur
compounds to S02 and raising the
temperature of the exit stack gas
stream.
Safety Designs

There are a number of safety


designs and emergency shutdown
features incorporated into the plant
and gathering system.

Each well is equipped with a


high-low automatic shutoff. This
valve, operated by compressed nitrogen cylinders, will automatically
shut a well in if the pressure should
build up on the line to 1350 psig.
In the event there should be a pressure drop in the line, due to rup
ture, the same valve will shut the
well in at 700 psig. A secondary
high pressure safety device is a
relief valve on the separator set
at 1440 psig. which relieves to the
wellsite flare.
Due to the hazardous nature of
the field gases, particularly the
Crossfield, a telemetering system
was installed whereby certain malfunctions of the weIlhead equipment would be flashed on a panel
board at the treater building con
trol room. The functions so transmitted are:
1. The shutdown of the well if
the high-low shutdown valve
closes in the well.
2. High or low flow of the gas
from the well.
3. Low flow of the glycol to the
dehydrator.
4. Low pressure on the glycol to
the dehydrators.
From the control room the shift
supervisor has radio contacl!' with
the field truck which patrols the
field on a twenty-four hour basis.
In the event there is an indication
of failure of any of the above functions he can immediately contact
the field patrol to have them investigate the trouble.
In addition, anyone or all wells
can be shutin from the central
plant control room through the
above-described telemetering system.
Plant

In addition to the normal pres


sure relief valves on the various
items of equipment there are two
emergency shutdown systems; one
for the hydrocarbon units and one
for the sulphur recovery unit.
The emergency shutdown system
on the hydrocarbon units are used
to respectively:
1. Close the inlet field gas lines
and the sales gas outlet at the
inlet building.
2. Depressure the treating unit
from sales gas line to flare.
3. Dump the condensate from
the condensate surge drum to
the low pressure surge drum
and block out stabilizer feed.
The three emergency control stations for implementing these shut29

down operations are located at


three strategic outside locations.
One location is near the treater
control room, one is near the boiler
house and one is near the administration building.
The sulphur plant has its own
emergency shutdown system. This
system will function automatically
in case of:
1. Failure of hydrogen sulphide
feed and flame failure.
2. Failure of process air.
When this automatic shutdown
occurs the hydrogen sulphide feed
is cut off, fuel gas and the process
air valves are shut.

Air Pollution Controls of the Plant


Due to the proximity of Cal
gary, plus the farm dwellings
in the immediate area, the entire
plant and gathering system were
designed to minimize atmospheric
pollution. To this end the following features were incorporated:
1. All gas streams containing
sulphur compounds, primarily
H2S are processed through the
sulphur plant.
Included in
this combined acid gas stream
is gas from hot carbonate
stills, the amine stills and the
field glycol regenerator.
2. The incineration of the exit
gases from the sulphur recovery plant converts all sulphur
compounds to S02 and raises
the temperature of the gas
stream so the emission from
the 400' stack is 1000F.
3. A 400' concrete insulated stack
with a base of 27' and 9'
inside diameter at the top was
installed. Ground level concentrations as calculated by
the Sutton equation and the
Bosauquet and Pearson for.
mula showed that a 300' stack
would provide ample diffusion
so the ground level concentrations of S02 would be well
below the threshold of plant
damage or the threshold of
humon
olfactory detection,
(3 ppm.), of sensitive people.
However, it was required by
regulations that a 400' stack
would be installed.
Under
conditions of critical wind vel
ocity, 10 m.p.h., the calculated
peak short period, three minutes or less, maximum ground
level concentrations would be
less than 0.2 ppm. The actual
exposure period of thirty minutes or one hour duration, the
basis used in determining damage to vegetation or health
30

would be less than the predicted three-minute peak of 0.2


ppm. by a factor of about 3
to 10 or more, depending upon
the prevailing meteorlogical
conditions.
It is interesting to note that
after years of study and care
ful evaluation, that the Standards for Air Quality adopted
by the California State Board
of Health on December 4,
1959, set the lowest level for
sulphur dioxide, from the
standpoint of possible vegetation damage, at 1.0 ppm. for
one hour, or 0.3 ppm. for
eight hours.
For broncho
constriction in humans, (dif
ficul ty in breathing), the equivalent level has been established at 5 ppm. for one hour.
The stack is equipped with a
recording gas analyser which
determines the S02 concentration of the stack emission. In
addition, the total volume of
gases from the stack are continously measured and recorded. From these two measure
ments, the amount of S02, lib
erated to the atmosphere can
be determined.
4. In order to measure and deter
mine the effectiveness of the
atmospheric pollution controls,
a field monitoring network has
been set up in the area. This
monitoring network consists
of one stationary continuous
recorder of ground level con
centrations of S02 and one
mobile continuous recorder of
ground level concentration. In
addition to the continuous reo
corders, there are thirty-one
stations consisting of louvered
boxes, each containing a lead
peroxide exposure candle for
the evaluation of cumulative
S02 absorption and a lead
acetate exposure candle for
the evaluation of cumulative
H2S absorption.
SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS ON
PETROGAS PROCESSING FACILITY

Indicated conclusions on the Petrogas Processing facility are as


follows:
1. With the 150 million cubic feet
per day gas processing facility, (70 million cubic feet per
day of Crossfield, and 80 million cubic feet per day of field
gas), the plant will produce:
(a) 109 million cubic feet per
day of pipe line specification gas for sales.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

(b) Approximately 1800 barrels per day of 7.5 lbs.


stabilized condensate.
(c) 877 long tons of elemental
sulphur per day at 94 percent conversion of the
hydrogen
sulphide gas
feed.
The total gas fuel consumption
will be 3.5 percent of the
delivered design of gas meeting pipe line specification. The
Plant processing facility uses
3.1 percent, and the field wellhead heaters use 0.4 percen t
of the design specification
sweet gas.
The air pollution of sulphur
dioxide concentrations will be
equal or below the permissible
limits established by the Alberta Provincial authority reg
ulations.
The use of the hot carbonate
amine gas treater section design has reduced capital costs
approximately 25 percent under
that of the conventional amine
process design for a like sour
gas plant.
Losses and degradation of
chemicals have been materially reduced as compared to
other sour gas treating plants
in Alberta.
The Petrogas Plant personnel
requirements by departments
are:
1. Office and Administratve,
(10),

2.
3.
4.
5.

Plant Operation, (20).


Field Operation, (9),
Maintenance, (9),
Warehouse, Loading and
Yard, (9), - for a total of
57 personnel.
7. Acknowledgment is made to
the outstanding services and
untiring efforts of the many
dedicated personnel of the construction and supply com
panies.
Special acknowledgment is made to:
(a) The Ralph M. Parsons
Company of Canada Ltd.
for the Petrogas Plant
design
and expeditious
completion of field con
struction in approximately
eight months.
(b) Pipe Line Technologists
(Alberta) Ltd. for their
design and inspection services on the complex of
field pipe line systems.
(c) Banister Construction Co.
Limited for the actual pipe
line system construction.
Journal of Canadian Petroleum