Gas technology developed at the Woodside Research Facility at Curtin University in 2003, was the subject of a field trial conducted at a local onshore gas field operated by Arc Energy Limited. Called Gas Subsea Separation and Sweetening, (GS4), the field trial was an industry led collaboration intended to demonstrate two related technologies in one location.
The Woodside technology(1) uses a low temperature process to purposefully form gas hydrates in the raw gas stream, which when removed leave the gas dehydrated. This allows Carbon Steel, as opposed to Corrosion Resistant Alloy, pipeline material to be employed for subsequent distribution, reducing costs. This alternative gas dehydration technology has several advantages over traditional chemical based drying solutions – simplicity, foot print, absence of chemical consumables.
The related CryoCell® technology was developed by Cool Energy and uses a cryogenic process to capture solid CO2 from the gas stream. This technology has significant advantages over traditional chemical based sweetening technologies.
The focus of this paper is on the management of the trial. Woodside is a large scale offshore operator with significant gas interests. Conducting a first technology trial offshore would be slow and expensive. It was decided therefore to work with an upstream operator, ARC Energy, at their onshore Xyris gas field located onshore near Dongara, in Western Australia. The trial was managed through a services contract with local CO2 solutions company, Cool Energy Ltd.
These arrangement delivered many advantages over a conventional in-house trial on an offshore gas facility. The lessons learnt during the trial may assist other operators or technology providers in Australia to mature their technologies for large scale, remote gas applications.
The paper also describe some of the lessons learnt from these arrangements that would improve any repeat trials and outlines some of the opportunities in Australia gas for onshore technology field trials.