By Mariana Somensi
Khalda Petroleum Company (KPC) launched the Qasr Gas Compression Project at Egypt’s Qasr reservoir. The objective was to speed up reservoir recovery and maximize the achievement of the peak gas rate, which corresponded to as much as 800 million standard cubic feet per day, when the scheme was proposed.
The Qasr Gas Compression Project is located in one of Egypt’s huge gas fields in the Western Desert. Discovered in 2003, it consists of a large pressured gas condensate reservoir. Field production is handled at the Start of Line (SOL) Qasr Plant. The initial treatment consists of cooling and water removal. Following the first procedures, the gas condensate is exported to a combination of the Salam, Tarek, and Obaiyed gas plants for further treatment.
From the wellheads, the reservoir’s condensate freely flows through the Qasr Phase I and Phase II facilities, as well as through the export pipelines, under reservoir pressure. Its final destination is the SHAMS manifold and the Salam gas plant. As the gas condensate flows from its initial phase to its final destination, the reservoir pressure declines. With the pressure naturally compromised, the basin’s peak gas rate was impaired.
The impossibility of reaching reservoir’s peak rate represents a big impact on gas production performance in the country, which brings up the necessity to remediate the negative pressure loss in the gas condensate facilities.
The gas compression scheme was designed to boost production. KPC’s project budget amounted to as much as $310.7 million, which was invested in a rich variety of equipment to avoid pressure loss and speed up the reservoir’s recovery. The funds were directed to the acquisition of gas turbine driven compressor sets, inlet and discharge scrubbers, discharge coolers, condensate suction drums, condensate export pumps, instrument air system, nitrogen generation system, and fuel gas system.
Furthermore, it included the installation of closed drains, utility systems, expansion to power generation and control system, firefighting, detection and alarm system, permanent camp, tie-in to existing flare system, cold vent, water degassing systems, as well as diesel supply systems.
As the activities progressed, all the proposed tasks were closely monitored by KPC through weekly follow-ups with the Egyptian company, Engineering for Petroleum & Process Industries (Enppi). The periodical meetings were carried out to keep track of all the observed warrantee claims and guarantee the quality of the project.
The gas compression project was scheduled to reach completion in a period of 27 months, and the operations officially started in December 2012. The Commissioning, Performance Test and Start Up were planned by March 2015, however, the project’s conclusion was achieved in July, four months after the expected deadline.
In this context, the Qasr Gas Compression Project served as a strong move to avoid production downturn in the gas condensate field. In the current delicate period for the Egyptian trade balance, the project has helped to prevent the fall in the oil and gas industry revenues.
In 2015, before the project was finalized, Egypt started to import natural gas for the first time after years of high scale exports. Therefore, launching the Qasr Gas Compression Project in Qasr onshore reservoir consisted of an important and efficient long-term initiative from KPC and Enppi to minimize the economic impacts that gas imports would have had.
The project’s positive influence in the trade balance can be explained by the peak rate achievements in the overall production capacity. Although exploration is believed to be the main way for reaching oil and gas resources, investing in the existing fields is still a more secured way to guarantee production rates.
It is undeniable that new findings can largely boost output, which places exploration into a high priority investment for the oil and gas sector, however, it is likely that great findings will experience considerable drops in performance if its facilities are not constantly updated to work on-full operational capacity.