The Customer Challenge
The process of moving produced oil from the wellhead to gathering facilities requires pipeline booster pumps. In remote locations where utility power is unavailable, the most realistic and cost-effective choice for powering these pumps is a generator.
In most cases, these pumps need to run only once every few days, essentially remaining idle the vast majority of the time. Running a generator around the clock to support equipment that’s only required intermittently can be extremely inefficient and expensive, wasting fuel and producing unnecessary emissions — an issue that requires significant attention with the introduction of EPA-mandated Tier 4 standards. Generator performance can also be affected when idling, since the required load is much less than its designed capacity. This can lead to premature wear and tear on components and carbon buildup, which can negatively affect emissions.
This was the challenge facing one of Aggreko’s midstream clients in Texas. They needed a reliable power source for their 200 hp positive displacement booster pump, but needed to carefully control associated operating costs. To meet this objective, they needed a solution that could address the fact that the pump would only be running every two to three days — essentially, 10 percent of the time.
The client tapped Aggreko for an engineered remote power solution.
The Aggreko Solution
To help the operator meet its objectives, Aggreko’s engineering team went to work on a power automation package that could enable intermittent generator operation only when the booster pump required power. The custom system included a 200 kW diesel generator, a remote monitoring system, diesel fuel tank and an automated control system. The system integrated with the programmable logic controls on the booster pump to start and stop power as needed.
The power automation package delivered a 60 percent reduction in both fuel expenses and diesel exhaust emissions. Annualized savings were over $16,000 for one pump site. Because operating intermittently also cuts generator runtimes which reduces carbon buildup and plugging, generator service intervals were significantly increased, reducing associated maintenance costs.
In addition, the remote monitoring system transmits real-time data to Aggreko technicians, ensuring quick notification, diagnosis and proactive resolution of potential issues that could disrupt production.
Why was Aggreko chosen?
Aggreko is unique in its ability to design, engineer and install a power automation solution, when other companies would typically provide only a continuously running generator set. As a result, the power automation package enabled impressive cost savings while maximizing the reliability of the customer’s operation.
Aggreko has also designed custom power automation kits that support Power on Demand for multiple-unit applications, where any combination of generators has the same auto start/stop functionality. In addition, Aggreko maintains an inventory of preconfigured power automation solutions for fast turnaround.
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Case Study - Power automation delivers booster pump costs savings