Simulation Of A Gas Processing Facility

Client Profile:

One of the world’s leading integrated oil and gas companies (a global Super Major) with a business presence in 70+ countries.

The company’s business is divided into two key Operating Segments- Upstream and Downstream.

The value creation across the hydrocarbon value chain starts with exploration and ends with the supply of energy and other products fundamental to everyday life.

Client’s multi-billion project, a Central Processing Facility (CPF) with a capacity of 1,000+ MMSCFD of gas constructed in two identical 500+ MMSCFD trains is being set up in the Middle East to unlock around 7 trillion cubic feet of gas. The project represents the first phase in the development of one of the Middle East region’s largest unconventional ‘tight gas’ accumulations, which has the potential to be a major new source of gas supply for the region over many decades.

Business Challenge:

In the face of an aggressive project schedule, the project team had challenges to ensure the consistency & adequacy of system design with the system dynamics arising during unit start-up, process upset, inadvertent operations and unit shutdown, etc.

The key objectives of the study were:

  • To confirm control system operation and system transient response under various test runs
  • Verification of hardware adequacy to allow for safe equipment shutdown
  • Establish a higher degree of confidence in design prior to commissioning
  • Rationalize alarm, control, and trip settings and characteristics for various instruments ensuring that enough Process Safety Time (PST) is available for operator intervention to ensure spurious and cascaded trips are eliminated


Equinox delivered a dynamic simulation study analysis covering – Inlet facilities and Gas treatment systems, Export compression systems, Fuel gas systems, and Hot oil systems. The dynamic process simulation model was a “First Principle Model” & included a rigorous model of the proprietary Compressor Turbine system, Turbo-expander integrated with overall control system built on a commercially off the shelf process simulation software platform.

The project covered:

  • Preparation of detailed Functional Design Specification including-
    • Cause & Effect Matrix for the CPF
    • Sizing of Hot recycle valve
  • Development of dynamic model taking into account plant layout / Isometrics
  • Verification & confirmation of process control performance & suggestion on new controls
  • Running the CPF under various conditions including-
    • Blockage in Slug Catcher gas Outlet
    • Gas Production ramp-up
    • Trip of the single gas train
    • Effectiveness of Feed GasTrim Cooler by-pass during Upset
    • Turbo-ExpanderTrip

Key Benefits:

The study enabled the project team to prepare for the commissioning and plant start-up, in addition to the following:

  • Design validation and assurance of the facility stability to operate under various conditions
  • Identification and modification of process control performance resulting in avoidance of trips during start-up and production ramp-up
  • In designing, Risk-Based Inspection strategies based on the Cause and Effect Matrix
  • Scenarios & mitigation of hardware inadequacy, including the sizing of hot recycle valve during normal operating conditions

Equinox designs and delivers efficient decision support systems to enable apt decision making from enterprise-wide raw data.

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