Smart power reduces operating costs in Permian Basin

Problem: One of the largest exploration and production companies operating in the Permian Basin had five vertical wells with 40 hp rod pumps that ran intermittently, but strived to obtain a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution by which the pumps ran only when needed, instead of by generators that run continuously.

Solution: The operator consulted with mobile, modular power provider Aggreko to develop a scalable and easily deployable power automation solution. For each of the five wells, Aggreko provided a 16-foot trailer that held an 800-gallon fuel tank and 60 kW diesel generator with an automated power control system. Technicians worked with the customer to link the solution to the pump’s programmable logic controls, enabling the ability to turn on/off the generator when the pump was not in operation.

Result: The power automation solution cut the operator’s fuel costs in half, resulting in a 40 percent reduction in cost over the course of six months. Emissions were also reduced by more than 50 percent. 877/798-5579;

Related: Editor's Notebook: Service Expansion on Remote Sites

Exhaust package helps generate electricity on remote well site

Problem: A South Texas-based Eagle Ford oil and gas operator with dozens of multi-well batteries and compression stations and thousands of miles of gas gathering lines continuously wrestled with driving down site operating costs and reducing fugitive emissions. Getting a reliable grid connection was too expensive and generating electricity increased man-hours on site and left a good deal of uncertainty. With unreliable electricity, they used gas pneumatics where possible, but skipped the lighting, security systems and air compressors.

Solution: The customer deployed Alphabet Energy’s E1 exhaust package on a CAT 3516 natural gas engine at a gathering line compressor station. The E1 converts exhaust heat from the compressor station into electricity and provides a reliable source of new electrical power to the remote site — with no up-front CAPEX.

Result: After a successful deployment, the customer asked, “What about our flare stacks?” As a result, Alphabet Energy built a power generating combustor (PGC), an integrated combustor and solid-state power generator that meets Quad-O regulations and generates electricity, turning traditional flares and combustors into power-generating profit centers. The PGC immediately lowers site operating costs and improves site reliability. By taking exhaust heat from both engines and flare stacks, and generating reliable electricity, the products drive down production costs and midstream electricity spending without any up-front capital expenses. 415/813-1201;

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Parallel configuration helps generators run more efficiently

Problem: The operators of a crude oil transfer station in South Texas wanted to add efficiency to their operation of taking advantage of on-site natural gas supply to reduce overall diesel consumption.  

Solution: The operators decided to use two MMD PowerPro SDG150S Dual Fuel Hybrid Generators in parallel. They use mix percentage beyond standard 50 percent natural gas substitution, with up to 75 percent substitution. Program generators alternated automatically every six hours to keep engine hours balanced.

Result: Upon powering up and full checkout, a single unit was pulling a varying load from 46 up to 90 kW and diesel consumption hovered between 4.2 and 4.6 gph (as confirmed by a Flowscan meter as well as the fuel flowmeter on the ComAp genset controller). Upon application of the gas supply, the system responded properly, operating with a peak of 71.93 percent natural gas substitution, and a nominal operating value of approximately 61.25 percent substitution. During this time, the fuel consumption dropped to 1.6 gph. Units inspected one week later were found to be handling loads while operating in HDF mode and switching over every six hours as programmed. 800/433-1382;

Related: Aggreko opens service center in New Mexico

Sustainable membrane technologies treat mining effluent

Problem: Minera Aguilar, a mining company in Argentina, produces electrolytic zinc and sulfuric acid. To comply with strict local environmental standards, the company needed to treat the wastewater prior to discharge and reuse at least 60 percent of the wastewater. The project presented three challenges: The mine is located about 13,000 feet above sea level, the effluent has high levels of heavy metals, and the environment is very dry with drastic temperature differences between the daytime and evening.

Solution: RWL Water created and implemented a membrane-technology-based treatment plant that uses ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO). The plant treats the mining effluent coming from a collection lagoon used for particulate settling. The first stage uses UF to remove the suspended solids and colloids to a level suitable to feed the effluent to the RO system. The next stage is the use of RO to concentrate the heavy metals in the reject stream while producing high-quality permeate for reuse or discharge to the environment.

Result: The plant is able to treat 633,600 gpd in order to produce 380,160 gpd of treated water. The 253,440 gpd of reject streams (UF backwash and RO brine) are returned to the lagoon for reprocessing. This project has allowed the company to comply with local water standards, allowing the water to be released into local rivers. In addition, the treated effluent can be reused. 800/879-3677;

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