Published on: 

OTC attendance up 17%

Experts from the oil & gas industry gathered this May in Houston, TX at the Offshore Technology Conference, where attendance reached a 30-year high of 104,800.

Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon and his wife, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, attended the event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Norway’s participation in OTC. Norway recently announced a program to open petroleum activity in the southeastern Barents Sea. According to the nation’s Petroleum Directorate, the area contains an estimated 300 million cubic meters of oil equivalent.

Meanwhile, Norway’s Statoil is considering a “subsea factory” for transferring the processing of oil & gas from platforms to the seabed for both brownfield and greenfield projects. The factories, believed to improve hydrocarbon recovery from deep, harsh environments, would facilitate single- and multi-phase pumping, gas compression, gas-liquid and liquid-liquid separations, and seawater injection.

The factories could be a boon for turbomachinery suppliers. They would require additional and more-reliable power, such as provided by aeroderivatives (March/April2013, p. 16) to drive compressors, remove liquids from gas and treat seawater for reinjection.

The first unit is scheduled for 2015 using a 1,800 m.t. compression module at Norway’s Asgard field. “The closer compression can be placed to a well, the more gas can be extracted,” said Margareth Ovrum, Statoil’s vice president of technology (See Dresser-Rand, p.12).

Many of the 2,728 exhibiting companies announced new products. Among them was Camfil Farr’s lab-on-wheels — a mobile laboratory for testing air filters for gas turbines. The CamLab contains four test ducts, each with its own fan and control system. Each duct operates at a constant volume of airflow with capability from 1,000 to 4,500 cubic feet per minute.

The control system monitors the resistance to airflow across the flowmeter installed in each duct and maintains constant flow with a variable frequency drive on each motor. The particle counter test system operates automatically at a set time. The system alternates between upstream and downstream data sets, providing a clear picture of filter performance over time.

Gasification plant opens

Duke Energy’s Edwardsport Generating Station has begun commercial operation. Located in Knox County, IN, the 618 MW coal gasification plant strips out pollutants, and burns cleaner gas to produce electricity. The project began in 2008 and produces 10 times as much power as the former plant with 70% fewer emissions of SO2, NOx and particulates combined. It uses excess steam to power a second turbine.

Mitsubishi gets PWPS . . .

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has completed its acquisition of Pratt & Whitney Power Systems, which has changed its corporate name to PW Power Systems, Inc. (PWPS) and is now an MHI group company. As part of the acquisition, MHI also acquired Turboden s.r.l. of Italy, a manufacturer of Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbines.

. . . and combined cycle order

MHI has received an order for a 440 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle system to be installed at the Carty Generating Station being constructed in Oregon for the Portland General Electric Company. A separate long-term service agreement for the plant was also signed. The system will feature a M501GAC gas turbine and steam turbine unit with 50-inch blades. The generating station is scheduled to go online in the summer of 2016.

. . . and a nuclear rotor sale

MHI has completed the shipment of 16 turbine rotors, consisting of 12 low-pressure and four high-pressure units, to nuclear power plants (NPP) in China that are the world’s first to adopt the AP1000 reactor design.

Canadian S-CO2 research

Carleton U.’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering announced that Natural Resources Canada has invested $1.44 million to create a pilot-scale gas turbine facility to develop technology for efficient electricity generation.

The objective is to construct a closed, indirectly heated gas turbine cycle using supercritical carbon dioxide as the fluid circulating through the machinery. The project will receive support from SaskPower.

Expanded LNG interests . . .

GE Oil & Gas has been expanding its LNG interests along several fronts. It has agreed to acquire substantially all of the assets of Schertz, Texas-based Salof Companies, a designer of small-scale LNG technologies. Privately held Salof has developed a cryogenic plant design and fabrication for small LNG and CO2 applications.


Together with the U.S. acquisition, GE will acquire a 50% ownership interest in Beijing enCryo Engineering Co., Ltd., a Beijing-based joint venture with Beijing Maison Engineering Co., Ltd. that has been a partner with the Salof Companies for projects in China and elsewhere.

Further, GE Oil & Gas has received contracts to supply gas compression trains for Dominion’s Cove Point Liquefaction Project in Lusby, MD. Adding liquefaction capabilities will transform the existing Cove Point LNG plant into the first LNG terminal capable of exporting LNG on the U.S. East Coast.

GE will supply two Frame 7EA DLN1 (Dry Low NOx) gas turbine packages to drive the GE refrigeration compressors. This single-train design will have the capacity to produce about 5.25 million mtpa. The technology being supplied to Dominion consists of MS7001 EA gas turbines, which feature DLN technology and provide 86 MW ISO shaft power.

. . . and offshore equipment

GE will supply turbomachinery equipment and services to support Statoil’s installed fleet. GE’s equipment will be deployed primarily in Norway between 2013 and 2018. The first order is for the Aasta Hansteen field in the North Sea, which includes the first offshore application of LM6000 aeroderivatives for mechanical drive and the latest generation of GE’s SeaSmart Offshore Package Solution, featuring an LM2500 SG DLE aeroderivative for power generation in a compact, durable and lighter configuration. The SeaSmart Offshore Package incorporates either an 18-34-MW LM2500/+/+G4 or a PGT25/+/+G4, each with two configurations to choose from.

Combustion tuning

An owner of a large fleet of combinedcycle power plants in the U.S. has awarded Wood Group GTS a contract to install 15 EcoMax automated combustion tuning systems. Twelve units have already been installed, and the remaining units are scheduled to be installed this year. The independent power producer granted the contract to Wood Group GTS following assessment of a pilot project at one of its facilities operating two GE Frame 7FA turbines. One year after installation, EcoMax demonstrated a 0.75% power increase and a 0.15% decrease in heat rate.

D-R’s Datum milestone . . .

The new Dresser-Rand Datum I centrifugal compressor — the 1,000th Datum sold — will be sent to Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) to supplement capacity on its existing Abkatun-D platform in the Tabasco Field in the Bay of Campeche. Datum I compressors incorporate a rotary separator within the compressor body to remove liquids from the incoming gas stream, which eliminates the need for external separation equipment.

. . . and partnership

Dresser-Rand has reached an agreement with Honeywell to combine DR’s centrifugal compressor experience with the Honeywell Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) to create one integrated platform. D-R will embed its anti-surge control and load-sharing programs into the Experion C300-20 controller. This will also allow Dresser- Rand to manufacture turbomachinery control systems using the C300-20 controller. Experion PKS provides clients with an open, unified control platform that delivers turbine control, compressor automation, anti-surge protection and plant and safety controls.

2nd U.S. LNG export terminal

The U.S. DOE has conditionally authorized Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P. and FLNG Liquefaction, LLC (Freeport) to export domestically produced LNG from the Freeport LNG Terminal on Quintana Island, TX to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the U.S. Freeport previously received approval to export LNG from this facility to FTA countries in February 2011. The facility is conditionally authorized to export at a rate of up to 1.4 Bcf/d for 20 years.

Reflecting on climate change

Some consider that global warming is the biggest threat facing our planet. As a result, many governments around the world are instituting policies to address this threat. The wisdom of such policies is contested by Steve Goreham, Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America.

In his book, The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism, Goreham covers the global warming debate, from how greenhouse gases affect climate to the economics of renewables. He claims that fears regarding icecaps melting, extreme weather and polar bear extinction may be unfounded, and contends that climate science has been politicized.

Meanwhile, David Legates from the Center for Climate Research at the University of Delaware, and Willie Soon, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, weigh in with their DVD, Unstoppable Solar Cycles: The Real Story of Greenland. It stresses the importance of getting the science right before adopting expensive government mandates. They consider that carbon is a “minor player” in global warming. The main ingredient, they say, is the sun’s magnetic field which goes through natural cycles corresponding to temperature changes.

Based on thousands of years of weather patterns, they found that the earth’s temperature rises over a period of at least several hundred to a few thousand years, followed by a rise in atmospheric CO2. The warmer earth, they say, gives birth to more vegetation, which in turn has a more active carbon cycle; and, as oceans heat up, they release more CO2 to the atmosphere.

The political landscape endorses just one theory, says Soon, that human-generated CO2 is the principal cause of global warming. It is becoming a war of words instead of a war of evidence and science, he asserts.

TAS Energy’s new president

TAS Energy has named J.T. Grumski President and CEO. Prior to joining TAS Energy, Grumski served in numerous roles with Science A p p l i c a t i o n s International Company (SAIC). Grumski has worked at Gulf Oil Company, Westinghouse Electric and Lockheed Martin.

Siemens contracts . . .

Edo Cement Company, part of the Nigerian BUA Group, has ordered three Siemens model SGT-500 gas turbines for electric power generation at the Okpella Cement Factory in Nigeria. Delivery is scheduled for 2014. The plant will have the capacity to produce 2.5 million tons of cement per year. The SGT-500 gas turbine can operate in a dual-fuel mode, firing natural gas, liquid fuels and heavy fuel oil. This is the first time these turbines have been sold in direct competition with diesel or dual-fuel engines.

. . . and a turbine milestone

Siemens delivered its 1,000th steam turbine, produced at its production facility in Jundiai, Brazil. The model SST-300 turbine was ordered by Guarani, a Brazilian sugar cane company.

Carbon capture begins

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Acting Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, Christopher Smith, dedicated Air Products and Chemicals hydrogen production facilities in Port Arthur, TX. The company has begun capturing carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). At full-scale operation, more than 90% of the carbon dioxide from the product stream of two methane steam reformers will be delivered for sequestration and EOR, which will lead to an estimated annual increase in oil production of 1.6 to 3.1 million barrels from the West Hastings oil field.

U.S. turbomachinery recovery

The U.S. is expected to remain the largest market for gas turbines in 2020, says a report from research and consulting firm GlobalData. While U.S. GT revenue will probably plummet from $1.4 billion in 2012 to $231 million in 2018, large-scale decommissioning of coal-burning power plants will drive the need for gas-fired alternatives and push the U.S. market value back up to $852 million in 2020.

Chinese GT revenue, however, will climb from last year’s total of $456 million to $842 million in 2020. And worldwide, GlobalData anticipates revenue to fall slightly in the coming years. Average annual global market revenue stood at $12.4 billion during 2006–2012 and is forecast to hit $11.8 billion for the period 2013-2020.

CCS gets certified

Continuous Control Solutions has been certified and approved as a control systems vendor for turbomachinery manufactured by Man Diesel & Turbo SE. It will implement its software solutions on various hardware platforms, including Honeywell C300, Yokogawa Stardom, Allen Bradley ControlLogix, Siemens S7, ABB AC800M and Emerson DeltaV.

China air separation

MAN Diesel & Turbo has been awarded a contract in excess of 125 million Euros to construct 11 turbomachinery trains in China. The project is in Yinchuan in the Ningxia region where air separation plants are being built under the management of Linde and Hangyang for one of the world’s largest coal liquefaction production plants.

Each machine train consists of three MAN products: a six-stage MAX1 axial and centrifugal compressor type AR115/06M with high-pressure radial component, a six-stage integrally geared compressor type RG 56- 6 and a condensing steam turbine DK080/250R, acting as the driver for both compressors.

LNG plant in China

Production has begun at the Bazhou LNG facility, owned by Hebei Huaqi Natural Gas Company. Black & Veatch designed the facility, located near Beijing, using its Prico single-mixed refrigerant process. Engineering, equipment procurement, and construction management are provided by Chemtex. The plant liquefies 1 mmNm³/day (37 MMSCFD) of feed gas to provide LNG for transportation fuel.

Sulzer orders and expansion

Sulzer Pumps has opened its third service center in China, located in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. In addition, Sulzer Pumps has signed a long term service and maintenance agreement with PetroChina for the Sichuan Petrochemical project, where some 700 pumps are installed.

Gearbox order

Petrobras Netherlands (PNBV) ordered Voith Vorecon variable speed planetary gearboxes for the Pre-Salt-Cluster oil fields in the Atlantic Ocean. The gearboxes will equip four FPSOs off the coast of Brazil.

In 2012, Voith received an order for 60 Vorecon units for the Brazilian presalt fields. For the follow up order, a total of 28 units are being installed in the compressor drive train.