UOP's cryogenic gas processing tech becomes popular in Permian

By Luke Geiver | November 20, 2017

November has been a productive month for technology provider UOP Russell and midstream companies serving the Permian Basin. Producers Midstream LP, based in Dallas, and EagleClaw Midstream Ventures, based in Midland, have each announced plans to bring UOP’s modular cryogenic natural gas processing equipment to the Permian.

The cryogenic units offer production flexibility to gas streams heavy in natural gas liquids that are typical of the Permian. The units work to freeze the gas streams so the NGLs can be turned into liquids. The NGLs can then be extracted from the gas stream and transported as ethane, propane or butane. Both Producers Midstream and EagleClaw were enthused with the modular nature of UOP’s technology.

"This plant is designed for the varying feed gases common in the Delaware Basin," said Craig Ranta, business director, UOP Russell. "Because it's so flexible, the plant can deliver top recovery rates with changing gas composition, and with minimal downtime."

"EagleClaw has chosen to go with UOP Russell for its last three plants—totaling 600 million cubic feet per day—due to excellent project execution and service offerings, and the advantages of integrating EagleClaw's existing fleet of UOP Russell plants," said Ranta. "We're delivering a customized plant to match the rich feed gas composition in the basin, while the high NGL recovery makes EagleClaw more competitive capturing contracts from producers."

According to UOP, the modular plants have mechanical equipment that allows the units to run on different feedstock supply rates. The plants can also switch between ethane rejection and recovery modes as demand for the NGL changes.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration believes the use and demand for ethane will only increase in the coming years. U.S. production of ethane will reach 1.7 million barrels per day next year, much of which will be consumed by U.S. petrochemical entities or through exports to other countries.