The path to midstream profitability: Retrofit to improve returns

J. Arlotta, Honeywell UOP
J. Anguiano, Honeywell UOP

The U.S. shale revolution has matured. Due to higher oil prices, shale production has shifted from natural gas basins to oil-rich basins. Oil-focused drilling typically produces associated gas as a byproduct, which is a blend of natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs). The U.S. is the world’s largest NGL producer, supplying 11 MM metric t, or 29% of the global NGL supply, earlier this year. To manage these volumes, the U.S. has more than 400 gas processing plants that separate the associated gas into distinct streams of NGLs and natural gas. Most gas processing plants recover NGLs, such as ethane and propane, using a process technologya developed in the late 1970s. Downstream of the gas


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