Ethane: A Tale of Two Seasons

March/April 2018
Midstream Business

Recovery vs. rejection—and many more questions—go into designing a profitable gas processing plant.
By Charles Laughter, Joule Processing
and Sabrina Devone, Fluor

Today's market is full of unknowns, but the natural gas processing plant does not have to add to the uncertainty. A typical midstream dilemma is the constant struggle between meeting the producer’s needs, delivering a high-performance processing solu-tion to attract additional volumes and increase producer netback val-ues, yet also controlling capex to meet project return on investment (ROI) and internal rate of return (IRR) metrics.

The solution must also address the elusive problem of ethane recovery.

Does this sound familiar? Some com-mon questions for producers include:

  • How many wells are you going to drill? When?;
  • What is the composition of the gas?;
  • What is the decline rate?;
  • Is ethane recovery needed?; and
  • What are you willing to commit to our midstream service?