Video: Lesson 12 (5:38)
Natural gas has become a very significant fossil fuel in the U.S. because of a sharp increase in shale gas production starting in 2006. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that the U.S. natural gas production will increase 44% from 23.0 trillion cubic feet in 2011 to 33.1 trillion cubic feet in 2040 . Almost all of this increase in domestic natural gas production is due to projected growth in shale gas production, which is projected to grow from 7.8 trillion cubic feet in 2011 to 16.7 trillion cubic feet in 2040. It is interesting to note that before the shale gas boom (that has taken place largely in Pennsylvania), the U.S. was planning to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from countries as far as Peru with the planned construction of LNG ports in California and other states. Currently, there are prospects of exporting LNG overseas in the near future. One particular aspect of the natural gas boom that concerns the petroleum refining industry is the increased production of natural gas liquids (NGL) that are co-produced with natural gas. NGL consist of light hydrocarbons, and they have become an important non-conventional feedstock for refineries, contributing mainly to gasoline production. This new input to refineries along with the increased domestic oil production by the new drilling technology has helped small inland refineries that do not have easy access to imported crude oil as, for example, Gulf Coast refineries.
This lesson will provide an overview of the natural gas processing that employs the same techniques and processes as we have covered in petroleum refining operations, such as in Light Ends Unit for fractionation of light hydrocarbons, and recovering H2S, as well as its conversion to S. Brief introductions to shale gas and natural gas liquids will be presented before discussing the natural gas processing.
By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:
- appraise different natural gas reserves (conventional, tight, and shale) and assess the contribution of natural gas to energy supply;
- illustrate and evaluate the different stages of natural gas processing, including condensate removal, acid gas removal, water removal, fractionation of natural gas liquids.
What is due for Lesson 12?
This lesson will take us one week to complete. Please refer to the Course Syllabus for specific time frames and due dates. Specific directions for the assignment below can be found in this lesson.
Review the DOE page on shalle gas: https://www.energy.gov/articles/producing-natural-gas-shale
If you have any questions, please post them to our Help Discussion (not email), located in Canvas. I will check that discussion forum daily to respond. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.