QP, UOP to Develop Gas Treating Technology

Qatar Petroleum (QP) and UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, have signed a joint research agreement on “Process Optimization of CO2 and Sulfur Components Removal from Natural Gases.”

The agreement was signed at QP headquarters by Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry and Chairman of QP, and Rajeev Gautam, President and CEO of UOP.

The primary aim of the research is for the treated natural gases to be more efficiently utilized in further processing operations such as in transporting natural gas in pipelines, in the production of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), natural gas liquids (NGL), liquefied natural gas (LNG), gas-to-liquids (GTL) products, and in associated/non-associated gas cleanup upstream petrochemical/fertilizer manufacturing plants.

Al-Sada welcomed the agreement as an important milestone in Qatar’s gas industry. Al-Sada said: “Qatar is constantly working to facilitate the optimum development of its hydrocarbon resources, and this agreement is another step in that direction.”

“Developing more efficient technologies to remove contaminants from natural gas will help boost Qatar’s reputation as a safe, reliable supplier of natural gas as well as high-quality products,” Al-Sada added.

“Global natural gas demand is growing rapidly and LNG/LPG/NGL/GTL production is critical to meeting the needs of regions not served by pipelines and to enable global trade,” said Gautam. “Qatar Petroleum is a recognized leader in the production of LNG/NGL for world markets, and we look forward to extending our long-standing partnership to develop technology in these important fields.”

QP operates its offshore gas platform and five NGL plants at Mesaieed Industrial City, and it is also a joint venture with Qatargas (which is the world’s largest LNG producer), RasGas (which is the world’s second-largest LNG producer), Shell’s Pearl GTL (which operates in Qatar the world’s largest GTL plant) and Oryx GTL Limited (which operates the second-largest GTL plant in Qatar). QP develops/operates onshore and offshore oil and gas fields in Qatar, including exploration, field development, production, refining, transport, and storage.

QP has recently inaugurated a state-of-the-art Research & Technology Center (QPRTC) at the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) to carry out cost-effective research activities on subjects related to surface/sub-surface activities in oil & gas fields in cooperation with global R&D centers within national/international oil companies, technical universities, oil/gas service companies, etc.

Honeywell’s UOP, on the other hand, is a leader in natural gas treating technologies, which currently are used in QP’s LNG and gas processing facilities.

UOP’s separation technology and equipment remove contaminants such as water, carbon dioxide and sulfur compounds (hydrogen sulfide, mercaptans, etc.) from natural gas in order to meet rigorous product specifications and requirements for downstream transmission and liquefaction equipment. In liquefied form, natural gas can be easily and efficiently transported to markets around the world, where it is used for a wide variety of energy applications.

Honeywell’s UOP Gas Processing and Hydrogen business unit offers technology, equipment and materials to treat and process natural gas, as well as to purify the hydrogen used in refineries. Its gas technologies extract water, mercury, sulfur compounds, carbon dioxide and other contaminants from raw natural gas. UOP also offers technologies that are widely implemented for LNG/LPG/ NGL production and for associated/non-associated gas cleanup upstream petrochemical & manufacturing plants. The business has supplied technology to more than 3,600 individual process units for gas processing in a broad range of applications through the world.

UOP has increased its offerings in natural gas in recent years. Earlier last year, it launched UOP Separex Flux+ and Select membrane elements to remove contaminants such as acid gas and water from natural gas. In 2012, the company purchased a majority stake in Thomas Russell Co., which offers technologies and modularized packaged plants enabling shale and conventional natural gas producers to remove contaminants from natural gas and recover high-value NGLs used for petrochemicals and fuels. Thomas Russell products are now part of the UOP Russell line. UOP also has marketing alliances with Twister B.V., and Ortloff Engineers, Ltd. for natural gas separation technology to recover NGLs.

In 2012, UOP and QP collaborated to establish the first Engineering Design Seminar program in the Middle East to meet the growing demand for highly-trained engineers who specialize in refinery process units and equipment.

LNG World News Staff, January 29, 2014; Image: QP

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