Uncontrollable Operation Made Manageable in Eagle Ford Shale
Parts of Eagle Ford Shale are known for high levels of natural gas liquids (NGL’s). When processed, the NGLs are dropped into a “blow case”, and then subsequently dumped into the discharge line as the recommended 10-15 MMFCD of gas is produced. For many Eagle Ford Shale end-users, however, production shut-down is a reoccurring theme as the low pressure and volume do not allow the blow case adequate diﬀerential to dump the NGLs into the discharge line.
Anadarko, one of the world’s largest E&P companies, sought CheckPoint Pumps & Systems to tackle the increased volume of NGLs coming into their production facilities ahead of their compressors. Three Series 8428 pneumatic pumps were chosen, two to run simultaneously with one pump on standby. The condensate Liquid Level Controller (LLC) on the inlet three-phase separator actuated a control valve on the supply gas line to the pumps. Suction to the pumps was taken from the water outlet of the separator. Discharge from the three pumps was manifolded together and tied in downstream of an existing check valve in the gas line leaving the compressor station. Vent supply gas was manifolded together and tied into the inlet separator, desirably resulting in zero gas emissions, and zero cost to operate the pumps.
Once activated, approximately 1 ½ barrels of NGLs were pumped per dump cycle, with approximately four cycles per hour during the day. At night when temperatures dipped below freezing, the frequency increased to the point where the pumps ran continually until sunrise.
It was clear by Day 2 CheckPoint’s solution eﬃciently dealt with the NGLs issue. Since the initial test, Anadarko ordered duplicate CheckPoint systems for other production sites in the area.