Technology To Maximize Efficiency of Canadian Oil Sands Resources
Black & Veatch today announced the first facility licensing its proprietary PRICO-NGL® gas processing technology successfully passed performance acceptance. Located in Alberta, Canada, the facility is using PRICO-NGL® to extract valuable natural gas liquids (NGL) from the byproduct gas of oil sands bitumen as it is processed into synthetic crude oil.
Bitumen off-gas is typically rich in high-value NGLs and petrochemicals. These include ethylene, ethane, propylene, propane, butane, and pentanes that are commonly used in plastics, home cooking fuels, and polystyrene foam. In normal operations, these valuable resources are commonly burned along with gas as fuel to support oil sands production. Recovery of the NGLs not only yields increased revenue, but also reduces the overall emissions from the facility as clean burning natural gas is used in lieu of other fuels.
“Compared to conventional gas processing technologies, the Black & Veatch PRICO-NGL® process yields significantly higher product recovery while requiring less energy.”
Kevin Currence, Black & Veatch’s technology manager for gas processing.
“PRICO-NGL® uses an efficient, mixed refrigerant system to maximize product revenue and deliver the lowest capital and operating costs.”
Processing off-gas is more challenging than natural gas extracted from conventional wells or shale formations. This is due to its high concentrations of hydrogen and the presence of a wide range of other components that are not usually found in natural gas. In addition, the composition and flow rate of the gas stream tend to be highly variable. Using Black & Veatch’s robust and flexible PRICO-NGL® technology provides the added benefit of maintaining high product recovery levels during the frequent turndown events common in off-gas processing.
“Black & Veatch’s PRICO-NGL® technology was designed to work across a broad range of operating environments and feed stocks,” said John George, Managing Director of Americas for Black & Veatch’s Oil & Gas business. “It offers a proven blend of flexibility and performance that will enable the region’s gas processors to accrue real economic benefits.”
Alberta ranks third in terms of proven global crude oil reserves, after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela with proven oil sands reserves of 166 billion barrels, according to the provincial government.
- The PRICO-NGL™ process is a reliable, safe and flexible method for NGL recovery, especially for refinery or upgrader off-gases with high hydrogen contents.
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Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2018 were US$3.5 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and in social media.