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ConocoPhillips continues advancing its natural gas liquefaction process

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LNG Industry,

ConocoPhillips has announced the introduction of four innovations that will further enhance the functionality of its proprietary Optimized Cascade natural gas liquefaction process or OCP™ technology, which is currently licensed in 27 processing trains worldwide. In response to growth in the global LNG market and changes in industry contracting practices, the company is introducing new operational and control products designed to improve overall efficiency, enhance flexibility and reduce process costs.

The traditional OCP configuration

ConocoPhillips is the LNG industry leader in utilising high efficiency aeroderivative gas turbine drivers, a core component of the Optimized Cascade process. The traditional OCP turbomachinery configuration, now called OCP Pro, matches one gas turbine driver to one refrigerant compression system. All existing OCP Pro LNG facilities are designed with two 50% refrigeration compressor trains in parallel serving one refrigeration process train. This configuration provides higher annual availability and greater turndown capability, while maintaining high thermal efficiency across a wide operating range. OCP Pro technology in a two-trains-in-one arrangement has a long history of industry-leading performance and will remain the configuration of choice for many developers of larger 3 - 8 million tpy baseload trains.

The latest configuration

The LNG market is changing rapidly as demand has grown significantly, with many customers contracting in smaller parcels with more-flexible terms. On the supply side, new and existing facility developers are aggressively pursuing demand by focusing on reduced capital cost and risk. In response, ConocoPhillips has developed a new plant configuration, OCP Compass, to lower total installed cost by reducing the liquefaction train’s equipment count and footprint, and greatly simplifying modularisation. OCP Compass facilities will deliver the same industry-leading performance and low greenhouse gas emissions as OCP Pro facilities. ConocoPhillips collaborated with Baker Hughes to develop a turbomachinery configuration coupling three refrigerant services on a single shaft driven by an aeroderivative gas turbine or electric motor. OCP Compass technology leverages advancements in large aeroderivative gas turbine technology, while utilising high-pressure-ratio compressors to achieve enhanced performance with less equipment. OCP Compass configurations are ideal for midscale LNG applications in the 1 - 3 million tpy capacity range, in either single-string or two-trains-in-one configurations to provide higher capacity, availability and turndown. Multiple OCP Compass trains can be combined to address capacity requirements of larger baseload facilities (>3 million tpy), while capturing lower costs through replication of smaller liquefaction trains.

New products and technology

ConocoPhillips now offers a licensed product for two innovative and proven OCP ‘sub-units’ separately from the OCP Pro or OCP Compass technologies. ConocoPhillips will license its heavy removal unit (HRU) technology, OCP CryoSep, which recovers heavy hydrocarbons and removes components that would otherwise freeze in the liquefaction unit or lead to excessive Btu content. OCP CryoSep technology is already licensed for an external client’s development project, pending final investment decision. ConocoPhillips will also license its nitrogen removal unit (NRU) technology, OCP Nitro, to efficiently remove nitrogen from the LNG process, achieve product specifications and maximise production. OCP Nitro technology will be licensed as a bolt-on solution to existing OCP trains processing feed streams with higher nitrogen content than their original compositions. OCP Nitro technology is currently under evaluation for multiple licensed trains.

Improving the value of OCP facilities

ConocoPhillips has developed a unique software solution, OCP Navigator, for OCP-licensed facilities to optimise plant profitability, thermal efficiency and production. This multifunctional software system utilises a customised equation-oriented simulation to help optimise the facility on a real-time basis. OCP Navigator software operates on a proprietary Aspen Technology software platform and was developed by ConocoPhillips to deliver optimised operating guidance and tools for plant operators and engineers. OCP Navigator software and associated services will be offered to licensees as a multi-year subscription, exclusively by ConocoPhillips LNG Licensing.

ConocoPhillips is continually leveraging its LNG expertise to provide additional OCP innovations to better meet rapidly changing LNG industry needs. Optimized Cascade® is a registered trademark of ConocoPhillips Company in the US and certain other countries. OCP™, OCP Pro™, OCP Compass™, OCP CryoSep™, OCP Nitro™, and OCP Navigator™ are trademarks of the ConocoPhillips Company.

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