Bureau Veritas performed Stress and Fatigue Assessment of Molecular Sieve Dehydrators in GLNG Plant, Curtis Island

23/10/18

Natural gas dehydration is a process where water vapours are removed from the gas stream using a desiccant material such as molecular sieve. Natural gas containing water vapours is passed through the molecular sieve columns (dehydrators); during this process the water is removed from the gas stream by adsorption into the molecular sieve pores. The molecular sieve can be regenerated by passing regeneration gas through its bed gas at a specific temperature.

GLNG Plant, Curtis Island operates six molecular sieve Dehydrators (vessels tag numbers 3313-V-1302 A/B/C in two trains) – refer to image on the left.

Bureau Veritas was requested by GLNG Plant in Curtis Island to undertake a stress and fatigue assessment of the dehydrators. 

The GLNG Plant dehydrators were configured to automatically sequence through four modes of operation:

1. Adsorption
2. Regeneration Heating
3. Regeneration Cooling
4. Standby

The dehydrator loads which contribute to metal fatigue during Adsorption - Regeneration Heating - Regeneration Cooling – Standby cycle is as follows:

- Fluctuating gas pressure, i.e. pressure change during Adsorption (5.999 MPa) and Regeneration (5.604 MPa) modes.
- Thermal load: Regeneration Heating and Regeneration Cooling operation modes produced comparatively the highest thermal stresses in the dehydrator shell structures during the Adsorption-Regeneration-Standby cycle. Therefore, these operation modes were considered in this assessment.
- Fluctuating bed mass (molecular sieve: dry 67 051 kg, wet: 82 138 kg).

The purpose of the assessment is to evaluate the following:

- Fatigue endurance (i.e. number of load cycles the vessel will withstand until incipient cracking).
- Critical defect sizes in the areas of high stress.
- From a combination of innovative methods and expert engineers, the Stress and Fatigue Assessment of Molecular Sieve Dehydrators in GLNG Plant, Curtis Island was done successfully.

Contact us today to find out how our top to bottom engineering services can help with your Oil & Gas needs so you move forward with confidence.


Written by Ian Coker
Engineering | Inspection | Material Science | NDT
Tel: 0405 775 677

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