Compressors are used for a variety of tasks in the oil and gas extraction, transportation and refinement process. Pipeline routes generally have a compressor station every fifty to one hundred miles. Some of these compressors have been in place for decades. Though they were initially the best technology available, new and improved options are now accessible. Some owners/operators are upgrading and/or replacing old compressor units with modern technology. When is it time to upgrade and/or replace your compressor package?
What is a Compressor?
In the oil and gas industry, a compressor is a mechanical device that reduces the volume of a liquid or gas to increase its pressure. It’s used at processing plants, field nodes and inlets of the pipeline. Hydraulic compressors are powerful and lightweight deck-mounted compressors used for low-volume and high differential pressure applications such as vapour recovery, gas well boosting and casing gas. Reciprocating compressors are widely used in the chemical, oil, and gas industries for moving compressible fluids reliably.
When is it time to upgrade and/or replace your compressor package?
There are a number of instances in which upgrading and/or replacing your compressor package is recommended.
- When you’re experiencing bottlenecks: Oil and gas production systems need to flow smoothly. If the system is unable to handle the flow, a point of congestion occurs, referred to as a bottleneck. Bottlenecks are a frequent problem in oil and gas pipelines, causing delays across the production process. When this occurs, identifying the area and/or equipment that limits the flow and optimizing them will increase overall capacity, clearing the bottleneck. The most common causes of bottlenecks in refining plants include control valves, choke valves, compressor capacity, pipe velocity, heat exchangers, and rotating equipment. Eliminating a bottleneck may be as simple as upgrading and/or changing your compressor, or installing equipment with a capacity that matches the needs of the plant.
- When you boost production: A good compressor is a valuable asset for an oil or gas business. Many facilities depend upon compressors for the operation of their installation. An efficient compressor reduces energy wastage and improves performance. If you desire to boost production in a plant it may be necessary to upgrade and/or change your compressor system to meet the new demands.
- When the pipeline changes: To ensure optimal flow through a pipeline system, oil/gas must be periodically compressed and pushed through the pipeline. Overextended distances, friction and elevation differences reduce the pressure within the pipeline and slow the flow. Compressor stations take care of this need and are placed roughly fifty to 100 miles apart along the pipeline. If a pipeline is extended, a new station(s) may be necessary, requiring additional compressors to handle the flow.
- When the compressor requires frequent repairs: The life expectancy of a compressor is approximately 10 to 15 years. After this time, many compressors require frequent repairs, slowing and/or interrupting the production system. To know if it’s time to replace your compressor, take into account its age, energy efficiency compared with newer models, repair history and overall reliability.
To answer the question, “Is it time to upgrade my compressor package?” consider bottlenecks, required production levels, pipeline changes and the age of your compressor. This analysis helps determine if it’s time for an upgrade and/or new equipment purchase.
Need a new compressor package? Contact Gaspro Compression Corp. We have a focused team that takes pride in their work. We strive to provide dependable products and prompt service to all clients. We offer a wide range of services and solutions that are designed to eliminate bottlenecks and maximize productivity in oil and gas refining facilities. We’re continually improving and innovating our products to meet changing industry demands. Gaspro is a leading provider of compressor packages in Canada. Contact us to request a proposal.