Designing & Operating Compressor Stations When Fuel Costs are $5 to $10
Almost all of the older stations and many of the newer ones were designed using machinery and equipment specifications and rules of thumb that were developed over many years when station efficiency and fuel consumption took a back seat to reliability and desired equipment longevity. These stations were designed prudently when fuel costs were a dollar and fuel pass through contracts were the norm for most pipelines. However, today with fuel costs fluctuating between $5 and $10, a paradigm shift in station design and plant operation is needed to keep transportation costs competitive. A critical look at some of the old station design rules of thumb will be presented using todays fuel costs to see if they pass the test of time or should be updated or tossed out. Several case studies of plant machinery, equipment and piping will be examined to determine if existing plants should be modernized, replaced or operated in a more efficient manner. This presentation will only touch on a few areas of compressor station design and operation; however, we hope it will become a catalyst for re-evaluating how compressor stations are viewed by the designers and operators in the context of overall pipeline operating costs.