American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - 85

SpecialReport: Natural Gas Update

Satellite-based remote monitoring and predictive maintenance are helping CSI Compressco LPTM maximize its vapor recovery units' uptime. The company says the data it
gathers can be used to demonstrate compliance with state and federal regulations.

Growing Demand
As the EPA, the Bureau of Land Management, and state agencies look for ways
to reduce emissions, CSI Compressco
LPTM Vice President of Fleet Management
Levent Caglar predicts demand for vapor
recovery units will continue to grow.
"In response to that demand, we have
seen unique designs forming around vapor
recovery compression services," he comments. "Most operators prefer electric
motor-driven units with low-voltage
starters and smart control systems, including automatic start and stop capabilities. Operators also want gas recycling
systems.
"Producers are moving toward pulling
vapors from vapor recovery towers rather
than directly from the tanks to reduce
the chance of pulling oxygen into the
system," Caglar adds. "Good fleet managers are making sure they have packages
that fit that application."
The right equipment must be paired
with service teams that understand the
requirements and sensitivities associated
with vapor recovery, Caglar remarks.
"VRU compressors operate with suction
pressures in a narrow band close to zero
to avoid pulling into vacuum. They need
to be set up right to ensure they stay
within that band and can operate safely,"
he says.
Remote monitoring is becoming more
common in vapor recovery applications,
Caglar reports. "We use a proprietary,
satellite-based telemetry system to monitor
critical operating parameters and perform
predictive maintenance," he says. "With

regulations driving demand, such monitoring is critical not only to maximizing
uptime, but also to documenting lower
emission levels and compliance."
Handling Condensate
In vapor recovery, as in any compression project, it is vital to choose equipment
that is appropriate for the application,
says Ron Crouch, compression product
manager for Blackmer®. "In dry gas applications, especially ones with low inlet
and outlet pressures, a variety of compressor technologies, such as screw, vane,
and reciprocating, are used," he comments.

"In wet gas applications, condensate can
mix with and dilute the lubricating oil,
reducing the compressor's life. In that
case, it often is better to use a compressor
that keeps lubricating oil out of the compression chamber."
In most applications where condensate
is a concern, Crouch recommends an oilfree reciprocating compressor. "Although
the power frame on an oil-free compressor
has lubricant in the crankcase, it is protected from condensate contamination by
two seals that create a compartment between the compression chamber and
crankcase called a distance piece. This
added feature creates a barrier lubricated
designs do not always possess," he says.
"Keeping condensate out of the
crankcase allows the oil to retain its lubricity properties longer, reducing the
frequency of oil changes and preventing
damage to the power frame components,"
Crouch reports. "The distance piece stops
vapors from entering the crankcase and
escaping into the atmosphere, so oil-free
compressors also have lower VOC emissions than other designs."
Oil-free reciprocating compressors can
handle a variety of pressures, Crouch
adds. "Most compressor technologies do
a great job in VRU applications with
outlet pressures as high as 150 psi, but at
that point, their efficiency peters out. Because reciprocating compressors can
achieve the desired compression ratio
with more stages, they excel in applications
that have high outlet pressures. They also

The oil-free reciprocating compressor on this vapor recovery unit features a distance piece
that protects the power frame's lubricant from condensate contamination. This extends oil
change intervals and compressor life in wet gas applications, Blackmer® reports.

OCTOBER 2016 85



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - Cover1
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American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - Contents
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