BA Pack and AE Shackelford, “More than meeting spec: Examination of recent process safety incidents in gas conditioning systems should be cause for pause”, Laurence Reid Gas Conditioning Conference 2013
Review of several Upstream natural gas liquids (NGL) processing facilities, onshore gas conditioning and dew point process facilities, booster compressor stations, and offshore production platforms and FPSOs can offer designers of gas conditioning systems, such as glycol dehydration systems and amine sweetening systems, lessons on process safety that should be fundamental to any design of these systems. In particular, this paper evaluates four industry process safety examples of possible inadequate overpressure protection design related to amine sweetening, glycol dehydration, and molecular sieve dehydration systems. The examples reflect systematic design issues in traditional gas sweetening overpressure protection analysis and reveal opportunities for improvement in future designs. Further, this paper provides an analysis of other design conditions that should be verified regarding overpressure protection within typical gas conditioning systems based on prior weaknesses identified in these designs by the Authors. It is the Authors’ goal to raise awareness that the design intent of gas conditioning systems must be more than just meeting process specification but must consider robust process safety features due to in-situ hazardous materials and often harsh process conditions such as high operating pressures and temperatures and corrosive environments.
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