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SubCom® Case Study: NGL Energy Partners

NGL Energy Partners – NGL Produced Water Heating

Location: Pinedale, Wyoming

Year Completed: 2020

Project Overview

NGL Energy Partners is a diversified company that provides a range of services to the oil and gas industry. One of their operations, located in Pinedale, WY, treats produced water from regional gas wells to quality levels that meet regulations for discharge to the environment.

The Challenge

The water treatment unit operations at the Pinedale Anticline plant require a minimum temperature to be effective. During the cold weather period, from September to June, the waste water stored in the holding ponds falls below the optimal temperature. Ambient temperatures can fall below -40°F. The plant had used two submerged combustion heaters (not manufactured by Inproheat) to warm the water to the required temperature. After a few seasons of operation, the submerged combustion heater suffered severe corrosion and developed multiple leaks which required extensive repairs. This became a continuous maintenance issue. In addition, emissions were also a concern. NGL approached Inproheat in winter 2019 about replacement of the existing submerged combustion heaters. The new system would have to deliver the same or more thermal capacity and fit onto the same available footprint.

The Solution

Inproheat designed a single-burner system that replaced the previous system’s four-burner capacity, in a round tank constructed of alloy 2205 duplex stainless steel to resist the corrosive effects of the produced water that was being treated. The layout of the heating system was developed to fit into the space that was occupied by the previous heaters. The system was modularized and dimensions carefully selected to minimize freight costs and installation time. Inproheat worked closely with site personnel to prepare the site and support infrastructure to ensure a smooth installation, and commissioning before the onset of severe winter conditions.

The new SubCom® has a gross heat input capacity of 17 MM Btu/h and, under the design process conditions, delivers a thermal efficiency of 98% on HHV basis. The control system supplied with the heating unit included process controls for feed and discharge pumps. Inproheat worked with site operations personnel to determine the best flow configuration with multiple pumps to provide the most stable performance.

The new heating system has delivered the required heating performance and reduced emissions compared to the old system.