When it comes out of the ground, field gas contains all sorts of contaminants — most of which need to be removed to create usable fuel. Other processing systems rely on compression or direct refrigeration to clean the gas, but they’re sensitive to environmental conditions and can’t achieve consistent gas quality as ambient conditions change. GTUIT’s patent-pending chiller-based technology eliminates this problem.
“With compression-based membrane systems, JT [Joule-Thomson] or direct refrigeration systems, the ambient temperature directly affects the quality of the processed gas,” Haider says. “With our chiller-based system, we don’t have to worry about the outside air temperature. That was critical for this project because we hit the hottest part of summer, the first week of August in Texas.”
The innovative chiller-based system also helps ensure quality gas from the moment a frac job starts up. In a typical frac scenario, the engines come online and begin operating at high RPMs fast — meaning the demand for gas is immediate. Traditional processing systems can’t respond that quickly, but GTUIT’s solution can.
“Because our system uses chiller-based technology, not direct refrigeration, membranes or JT, we can ramp up processing right along with the ramp-up of engine RPMs,” Cebull says. “We’re able to respond and deliver quality gas right from the beginning of the job. In fact, data from this demonstration showed that the first MCF of gas we processed and sent to the engines was just as good as the last.”
Another benefit of employing GTUIT’s patent-pending mobile gas processing units to treat and use associated gas is that it’s much simpler. The typical process used to deliver a molecule of natural gas as CNG or LNG to a DGB engine involves eight steps or more. The Alamo/CrownQuest demonstration required just three. Fewer touches of the gas molecule mean significantly less CO2 production, less truck traffic and its associated emissions, and a safer overall frac site.
“You’re reducing the number of diesel trucks coming and going and eliminating the need for CNG trucks on the site,” Cebull says. “There’s less loading and unloading, less dust and less risk.”
That stood out to Alamo and CrownQuest just as much as the cost-saving and environmental benefits.
“We got a lot of kudos for how our team and our equipment were extremely safe,” Haider says. “Frac sites are complicated and busy operations, and our technology helps deliver a big economic advantage to our customers while improving the total safety environment of the site.”
For more details and results from the eight-day demonstration using Cat Tier 4 Final DGB engines and GTUIT mobile gas processing systems, take a look at this white paper. Ready to explore putting this winning combination to work on your site? Get in touch with your local Cat dealer to get started.
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