J Heil and BA Pack, “Taming the Beast – A Systematic Approach Establishes a Pragmatic Overpressure Protection Scheme at Wellsite Field Facilities”, Laurence Reid Gas Conditioning Conference 2015
The oil and gas field operator has a particularly daunting task ensuring operations run safely and reliably in light of the typical number of producing wellsites, the remote nature of the sites, and limited resources. The facilities engineer, often with purview over design, must do all they can to ease the operators’ concerns so that they can primarily focus on optimizing well site production. Because the field often contains hundreds of individual wellsites or gas processing facilities, thousands of individual pressurized systems (each requiring relief protection) and millions of standard cubic feet of natural gas production every day, the facility engineer must develop a philosophy based on sound engineering principles, to ensure adequate relief protection. A previous paper by the authors outlined several challenges present when relief systems designed for common gas conditioning systems are an afterthought or treated as a commodity item. The authors will present a systematic approach for determining the relief requirements for several process systems common to well site gas conditioning facilities. Similarities among different facilities in the production field, the limited set of credible overpressure scenarios for these specific systems, and the notion that standardization across an operator’s facilities ultimately results in reduced resource requirements are some concepts leveraged in this approach. The relief system requirements for a typical well site installation could be completed in less than an hour, based on sound engineering principles, and require minimal input from operations. Grassroots overpressure protection analysis, often provided and necessary in more complex installations, can cause the facilities engineer to churn for hours developing documentation without adding any additional level of safety in the field. This paper outlines a case study where such a methodology is being successfully implemented for thousands of installations.
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