The transformation of raw hydrocarbons into usable fuels, lubricants, petrochemical products and other products requires downstream processing.
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Whether occurring at the wellhead or at gas processing plants, water, natural gas liquids (i.e., propane, butane and LPGs) and contaminants (e.g., H2S, CO2, etc.) must be removed from crude oil and natural gas before entering the transmission lines. Water and contaminants are typically removed with conventional oil and gas separators or glycol and amine treating. The four processes to recover NGL mixture – straight refrigeration, cryogenic recovery, oil absorption and dry-bed adsorption – are more complex gas plant operations.
Refining crude oil in the world’s approximately 660 refineries comprises a series of increasingly brutal process steps from relatively mild vacuum and atmospheric distillation to the extremes of catalytic and thermal cracking to challenging treatment and gas plant services. Process equipment design and materials of construction are pushed to maximum limits. Reliability and safety are paramount issues.
Flowserve offers the world’s most complete line of ISO 13709/API 610 pumps with the widest range of hydraulic coverage, pressure and temperature capabilities. Flowserve mechanical seals and support systems meet all ISO 21049/API 610 requirements for the refinery industry. ISO, API and ANSI standard valves are found throughout the refinery on the most challenging isolation and flow regulation services, and flow reversal protection applications. A full range of automated control valve packages, including smart valve technology, is available.
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There are approximately 460 refineries located around the globe producing about 75 million barrels of fuels, lubricants, asphalt, liquefied petroleum gases (LPGs) and other essential products every day. In its simplest terms, the refinery removes any substance from the crude oil that is not a hydrocarbon and then breaks the oil down into various hydrocarbon components. But there is nothing simple about the separation, conversion and treatment processes employed to achieve this end.
Sophisticated process technology along with advanced equipment and materials engineering makes possible the conversion of feedstocks into useful products upon which the world’s economies and people depend for their everyday prosperity and well being. And to no small extent, it is the resourcefulness of Flowserve that turns the technologically possible into practical solutions.
Flowserve is in the forefront of meeting the refining industry’s ever-increasing need for improved safety, reliability and emissions containment. Its engineering and applications expertise provides the flexibility to readily handle different crude types and intermediate stream qualities in virtually all charge, process, transfer and storage applications as well as special purpose, balance-of-plant and utility needs.
It is no overstatement to assert that Flowserve offers the world’s most complete lines of ISO 13709/API 610 pumps and ISO 21049/API 682 seal chamber mechanical seals as well as the most extensive offering of valving and actuation choices for today’s refining industry.
When people think of liquefied natural gas (LNG), visions of oddly shaped vessels and crystalline cold liquids come to mind as do large, complex shipping and receiving terminals. But there is much more to LNG than transport and storage. Like all hydrocarbons, LNG in its gaseous state must be processed and treated into a clean and deliverable product. This activity occurs at a base-load plant which has purification, liquefaction, storage and regasification capabilities.
Natural gas fed into the LNG plant is treated to remove water, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbon dioxide (CO2) and other contaminants such as trace metals. It is then processed to remove NGLs, specifically, propane, butane and ethane. The clean gas is transferred to an LNG train for liquefaction and loaded onto ships for delivery to a regasification terminal. Here the LNG is heated and returned to its gaseous state for storage and distribution.
With the expertise to virtually meet all the treatment, processing, transfer and storage needs of LNG plants, Flowserve is a trusted global source of flow control products and systems for this industry. Its comprehensive range of products and systems is specifically designed and engineered to handle tough LNG applications such as: gas treatment and sulfur recovery; LPG and condensate; compression; LNG handling; and regasification. Available in many types and configurations, these Flowserve products and systems include: ISO 13709/API 610 pumps for general process and special purpose cryogenic applications, compressor and pump seals, control valves, equipment protection valves and actuation.
Raw natural gas is commonly collected at the wellfields where water and natural gas condensates are removed. It is then transferred by pipeline to a gas processing plant for treatment (a.k.a. conditioning) and removal of NGLs, which include propane, butane, ethane and LPGs. In the refinery very similar operations occur in the “sats gas plant” as gas vapors are converted to NGLs for fuels production.
At a gas plant, the gas is purified or “sweetened” by the removal of H2S and CO2 acid gases, water vapor, mercury and other contaminants. The NGLs are recovered by one of several processes. In modern plants, refrigeration and cryogenic refrigeration have become common. In older plants, lean oil absorbtion and dry bed adsorption are typically employed. The NGL stream is then processed through a fractionation train consisting of three distillation towers in a series for deethanization, depropanization and debutanization. Clean, dry gas is compressed into the transmission lines. Recovered NGLs are pumped via pipeline to the refinery.
Flowserve offers unparalleled expertise as the leading supplier of flow control equipment and systems for natural gas applications. Flowserve provides a complete line of ISO/API, ISO/ANSI and general service pumps and mechanical seals to handle virtually all gas plant pumping operations. Flowserve valves, control valves and actuation are found in the compressor train, fractionation train, gas treatment and sulfur recovery, and general utilities throughout natural gas plants.
The World Bank estimates that 150 billion cubic meters of natural gas are flared or vented annually – an equivalent to about 30% of the European Union’s gas consumption per year. What if this wasted gas could be converted into a higher cetane number diesel fuel and with less pollutants than conventional diesel? These and other economic considerations are the gathering forces driving the possible widespread implementation of gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology.
GTL is a refinery process converting methane-rich gases into liquid synthetic fuels either directly or via a synthesis gas intermediate step. The Fischer-Tropsch process and the Mobil process are two commercially proven syngas GTL processes applied around the globe by the world’s largest energy companies.
Flowserve has a long history of providing reliable pumps, mechanical seals and valve equipment for gas plant operations, including syngas GTL production. They are found in a wide variety of applications including: gas feed pretreating; air compression; synthesis gas production; Fischer-Tropsch synthesis; and product upgrading. The upgrader consists of distillation and hydroprocessing units which are of similar configurations to those found in conventional crude-oil-based refineries. Flowserve can also provide transfer, storage and balance-of-plant pump and valve systems.