UAE takes centre stage at Sogat

Progress on projects at the shah and habshan fields stole the show

Angie Slavens of Worlesy Parsons provides an update on production at the Habshan 5 plant.
Angie Slavens of Worlesy Parsons provides an update on production at the Habshan 5 plant.

Events in the UAE dominated the opening day of the 10th annual Sour Oil & Gas Technology conference (Sogat) in Abu Dhabi last month.

A raft of construction projects will be undertaken as the UAE gears up in preparation for the arrival of Expo 2020. This process will place considerable strain on the country’s gas burning power plants, according to key note speaker Khalid Sahouh, senior vice president of Adco. As demand increases, the UAE will be keen to ensure that its power production increases in lockstep with demand.

The increased demand for gas will be sated by the opening of the country’s new ultra-sour Shah field as well as increased production at the Habshan field.

“When the two field’s hit optimum capacity, they are expected to yield 28.3 million cubic metres of saleable gas to the UAE’s energy grid,” said David Keats, vice president for technical and engineering support at Al Hosn.

Processing such vast quantities of sour gas inevitably calls for some ambitious technological advances.

Angie Slavens of Worley Parsons provided details of the sheer scale of the start-up of the world class sulphur recovery facility at Habshan 5, which is set to process 1,300 metric tons of sulphur per day.

“These sulphur recovery unit thermal trains and the tail gas treatment units are the largest in the world,” she said.
Away from the UAE, developments at Iran’s South Pars field also featured heavily in Sogat’s itinerary. As the owner of the world’s second largest reserves of gas, it seems incredible that Iran has been blighted by power blackouts caused by gas shortages.

“The total capacity of phase two and three of the South Pars Gas Field is around 1 billion cubic feet of sour gas per day. One of the main problems is the lack of water separation systems on site,” said S Kowsari of the South Pars
Gas Complex’s engineering department.

This problem caused a mini shut down at the plant whichhas had a hugely disruptive effect on production from phases two and three of Iran’s biggest and most important gas field.

“Performance drops of exchangers and reboilers in the condensate stabilisation unit was also a main reason for this shut down,” he said.

Eliminating mini shut-downs in order to avoid disruption to production levels will be crucial to Iran’s efforts to raise production and stabilise gas levels to meet growing domestic demand in the coming year.


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