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Addressing the Gaps Through Integrated Industrial Modules
Shankar Karnik, VAsia Pacific Mobil SHC Brand Advisor, ExxonMobil Lubricants and Specialties Challenges in the oil and gas industry are enormous. An effective way to deal with these challenges is through modularisation of the plant and equipment needed to pump and compress oil and gas. Modular solutions help increasing efficiency, reliability and power in restrictive areas where there are attractive hydrocarbons prospects.

Finding oil and gas today is more difficult than in the past. The largest and most attractive prospects tend to be in locations that are remote, have extreme climates, or are in environmentally-sensitive areas.

Adding to the challenge, hydrocarbons found in these areas often have a broad range of chemical and physical compositions which require increasingly diverse fluid mixtures and processes. In order to be successful, producers must incorporate new technologies to increase efficiency and performance.

All of these factors combine to make oil and gas production an increasingly capital and technology-intensive endeavor, and one where onsite installation activities must be kept to a minimum.

One effective way to deal with these challenges is through modularisation of the plant and equipment needed to pump and compress oil and gas. Integrated modules combine core equipment such as gas and steam turbines, electric motors, pumps, compressors, controls, electrical equipment and all auxiliaries in an integrated, fully engineered, space-efficient and factory-tested package.

The modules arrive onsite ready to start, thus reducing start-up time and keeping on-site disturbances to a minimum. Each module is designed to address the specific weight, space and power distribution requirements of a given project, as well as the universal need to minimise costs while ensuring the highest levels of efficiency and reliability. The modular, packaged approach simplifies engineering, project management, installation, and ongoing maintenance.

GE Oil & Gas is a world leader in providing the oil and gas industry with turnkey, fully integrated power-generation and compression modular solutions to increase efficiency, reliability and power in restrictive areas. Using an advanced integrated design platform, GE performs all engineering functions from basic concept to final detailed design.

Modularised applications integrate core equipment with all relevant auxiliary systems in an engineered solution that is delivered to the customer fully connected and wired. The modules from GE represent a fully integrated, tested and ready-to-start application-specific solution - a true "Plug-&-Play" capability.

The Gorgon project is not only the largest single natural gas project in Australia’s history, it is also one of the world’s largest untapped natural gas field and also features the world's largest ever carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration technology project.

It is aimed at developing the Greater Gorgon gas fields, including the Gorgon and Jansz-Io fields, located between 130 km and 200 km off the north-west coast of Western Australia in water depths of 200 to 1,300 metres. The fields will be linked via subsea and underground pipelines to gas treatment and liquefaction facilities on Barrow Island, where GE LNG equipment will be installed. The Greater Gorgon gas fields are estimated to contain resources of about 40 trillion cubic feet of gas, Australia’s largest-known gas resource.

The fields will be linked via subsea and underground pipelines to gas treatment and liquefaction facilities on Barrow Island, which is designated by Australia as a Class 'A' nature reserve.

When completed, the LNG plant on Barrow Island will have the capability to produce 15 million tons of LNG per year. The Gorgon Project’s estimated economic life is at least 40 years from the time of start-up. In addition to natural gas supply for domestic Australian use, Gorgon is critical to meeting Asia’s growing need for cleaner energy. Globally, the net impact of using Gorgon LNG will result in about 45 million tons less greenhouse gas emissions, when compared with coal. That’s equivalent to taking around two-thirds of all Australian vehicles off the road.

Carbon sequestration to minimise greenhouse gas emissions is a key feature of the project because carbon dioxide occurs naturally in Gorgon-produced gas. The project is designed to inject 2,420 tons per day of CO2 into a deep containment reservoir about 2.5 km beneath Barrow Island. This is about four times more CO2 than in any other project worldwide, and is projected to reduce the Gorgon Project’s overall greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 40 per cent.

A singular feature of Gorgon Power Generation Modules project will be its use of five Oil and Gas 130-MW Frame 9 Gas Turbines in a modularised solution to meet the power generation needs. From the Module layout standpoint, deep focus has been given to local regulations and human factor requirements for long term operability and maintenance, leveraging all features available with 3D design and following a rigorous design review process. From the structural standpoint, proper pre-service and in-service static analyses were performed to ensure the module’s structural integrity in each step, while dynamic analysis of the whole system has been performed to assure unlikeliness of excessive vibrations in operation. The Power Generation Frame-9 Gas Turbines are manufactured in Belfort in France. They are preassembled for the first time in modules, with all controls and auxiliaries at the Avenza Module Construction Yard and then tested before being shipped to Australia. These modules will be installed at the LNG plant on Barrow Island.

Barrow Island has been the location of an existing operating oil field since 1967, and is acknowledged worldwide as an example of how the petroleum industry and nature can co-exist successfully. Each Gorgon module weights 2,300 tons, or four times as much as an A380 Airbus jet plane, and two modules side-by-side are longer than an A380 Airbus and almost as tall.

These two projects are great examples of how GE’s investments in advanced technologies, combined with extensive experience in diverse energy projects around the world, not only help customers meet their largest and most important challenges, but also achieve societal benefits.