Today Russia’s oil&gas industry experiences rapid growth primarily by deploying new fields in remote, off-grid areas of the European part of the country as well as in Eastern Siberia and Far East. Construction of power lines in these areas demands much time and considerable capital investments. The oilfields being in production gradually become more power intense. Additionally, rising electricity rates also increase energy related costs of oil companies. In this regard, virtually all oil companies have implemented programs for energy conservation and energy efficiency in their projects. One of the most promising energy efficient technologies in oil production is related to associated gas utilization and onsite cogeneration. Growth of electricity rates after the transition to the market economy constitutes about 15-30% per year. Therefore, the development of onsite generation sources and installation of gas-turbine power plants become essential for oil&gas industry.
Despite the existing demand for distributed power sources, the development of onsite generation was limited by substandard domestic infrastructure. Traditional generated equipment — such as industrial gas turbines, gas piston engines and diesel engines — often does not meet reliability and efficiency requirements of oil and gas facilities. In particular, small oil and gas facilities struggle to find generating equipment in the range from 10MW to 20MW. Previously, such sites had used large gas-turbine power plants with power output far exceeding the demand. Operation of these plants at low loads made them too costly to use. Another option was the implementation of aircraft or marine engines that were in the required power output range but had low efficiency and weak performance.
The use of gas piston engines at oil&gas facilities is often associated with issues related to fuel requirements and costly maintenance. Gas piston engines cannot run on low-quality fuel, especially with H2S contents higher than 0.1% without additional gas treatment systems, which significantly increases capital costs. Often, because of the high detonation risk gas piston engines operate at 40-60% of the nominal power output. This leads to increased maintenance costs and accelerated wear and tear.
IIntroduction of the world's leading practices in the field of heat and power supply to the Russian market including Capstone microturbines brought new possibilities for oil&gas sector. The new generation equipment is supplied ready for operation with high automation degree and excellent consumer properties. Capstone microturbines are designed for industrial applications.
Capstone microturbines vs. industrial gas-turbine units and gas piston engines:
The unique feature of Capstone microturbine units is the arrangement of components. The microturbine engine has only one moving part — single rotating shaft with generator, compressor and turbine installed on it. The turbine engine does not use gears or other mechanical drives. The shaft is supported by patented air bearings that ensure record-high shaft velocity — 96 000 rounds per minute. This innovative technology eliminates the need in lubrication or coolants saving a significant part of operating costs.
Capstone microturbines boast long overhaul life (60 000 hours) and maintenance intervals (8 000 hours).
Implementation of Capstone microturbine-based power plants ensures reliable power supply of oil&gas fields. Modular design of Capstone microturbines allows servicing separate engines without shutting down the whole power plant. For instance, one C1000 System comprises 5 engines and makes installation of a backup unit unnecessary reducing capital costs. High cogeneration and trigeneration efficiency of microturbines, which can reach 90%, and low operational costs significantly reduce the energy intensity of oil production. As a result, one kilowatt of electricity generated by a Capstone microturbine costs about USD 0.03-0.05 including maintenance costs, which is 1.5-2.5 less than utility rates for Russian industrial enterprises.
BPC's gas-turbine power plants have demonstrated continuous and reliable operation in dusty environments with temperature ranging from -60 oC to +50 oC.
Capstone microturbines are capable of running on associated gas with up to 7% of hydrogen sulfide content. Special materials and design of microturbine engines allow feeding associated gas without any additional treatment and eliminate any risk of damage unlike gas piston engines capable of running only on pipeline gas or purified associated gas with no more than 0.1% of hydrogen sulfide content. Considering the above the maintenance costs of microturbine system are 3-4 lower when compared to gas piston engines.
High operational compatibility and compact size of Capstone microturbine-based packaged power plants reduce initial capital costs. As a result, the payback period of Capstone microturbine power plants averages 2-4 years.
BPC Engineering has more than 12-year experience in implementation of onsite power supply projects for the oil&gas industry. Since 2010 the Company has commenced the production of Capstone microturbine-based packaged power plants tailored per specific customers' requirements, fuel composition, environmental conditions, and local norms and regulations. The plants are produced under own trademark ENEX.
Today, BPC's gas turbine power plants operate at oil&gas fields of major oil companies including LUKOIL, Gazprom, ITERA, Alliance, Tatneft, Bashneft and medium to small companies, such as Pechorneftegaz, Bogorodskneft, Sladkovsko-Zarechnoye, Nedra-K, RNGK-Saratov, etc. BPC Engineering's power plants based on advanced gas turbines have proved themselves to be a reliable source of power in projects for associated gas utilization at various oil&gas fields including: Yuzhno-Russkoye oil and gas field, Pyreinoye gas condensate field, Vakhitovskoe oilfield, Pelyatka gas condensate field, Rodnikovskoe oilfield, Tedinskoye oilfield, and Khancheyskoye gas condensate field. A 16-MW onsite power plant comprising 8 gas turbines utilizes about 43 million m³ of associated gas per year at the Zapadno-Malobalykskoye oilfield of RussNeft.
In October 2009 a 195-kW microturbine power plant was commissioned for utilization of associated gas produced by the Shemetinskoye oilfield (600 000 m³ per year). The plant powers pumps of reservoir pressure maintenance system allowing UralOil — the operator of the field — to save more than 50 000 USD annually. The project has proved to be successful and now LUKOIL-Perm extends the solution to other sites: microturbine plants with power output ranging from 30kW to 1MW utilize associated gas of the Polaznenskoye, Krutovskoye, Kirillovskoye, Kustovskoye, Tulvinskoye, Baklanovskoye, Stepanovskoye, Sypovskoye, Malo-Usinskoye oilfields, etc.
Reliable and efficient operation of gas turbines and well-developed service network in Russia have ensured the further success of BPC's onsite power supply projects in the oil&gas sector. A growing number of customers after conducting feasibility and performance study choose Capstone equipment. This tendency indicates the increase of demand for onsite generating equipment with advanced capabilities that provide reliability and cost effectiveness not only in short term, but also during the whole period of the equipment life. In 2009 BPC Engineering began to ship Capstone C1000 Series Systems (unit power output range from 600kW to 1MW) to Russia expanding application limits for associated gas utilization in the oil&gas industry.