How Top Oil & Gas Producers Are Maximising Profits & Operations With Voltage Optimisation

29 Oct 2021

Est Reading time: 11 minutes

The power, oil and gas industry continues to fuel global demand. At the same time, the industry itself is in a continuous battle to keep operational costs manageable. Refineries, particularly, are known to be heavy energy users. Pumps, motors, compressors and boilers are some of the operational loads that consume a significant amount of electricity.

 

A stable source of electricity supply is key to ensuring smooth day-to-day operations at a refinery. Not only does it keep the entire refinery process chain operational, but a stable power source also ensures the safety and efficiency of producing petroleum products.

The Problem

Most refineries source electricity from the local grid. The intention of doing so is to ensure a clean and stable supply to the entire facility. However, there’s no assurance that incoming power from the local grid offers the stability or quality that a refinery needs. 

 

Power quality is dependent on various factors, such as the isolation transformer, wiring size & length and harmonics. Occasionally, refineries are faced with power quality issues that could hamper day-to-day operation.

Voltage Fluctuation

An unstable voltage level from the local grid produces a trickle-down effect on all primary and secondary systems. The constant fluctuation affects operations of high-power modules such as motors and pumps. This could lead to disruption in refinery operations, unplanned repair and in some cases, total failure of certain equipment.

Undervoltage / Overvoltage

Similar problems could occur when a refinery receives an incoming voltage with a substantial deviation from the nominal value. This causes the equipment to operate either in undervoltage or overvoltage conditions. Either way, the connected pieces of equipment could suffer direct damages or a fast-decreasing lifespan. 

 

Power quality issues must be treated seriously as it eventually affects a refinery’s operational cost. Without mitigative measures, an unstable power supply can decrease the efficiency of the refinery. In simple words, it’ll take much more energy to turn crude oil into petroleum products.

The Ashley Edison (UK) Solution

Voltage fluctuation, undervoltage, overvoltage and other irregularities can be mitigated with an automatic voltage stabilizer. The automatic voltage stabilizer is an ideal solution that offers a clean and stable incoming power supply to refineries. It compensates for any irregularities from the local grid and ensures that oil refinery process control systems are operating with the required nominal voltage. 

 

Ashley Edison (UK) has been providing industry-leading automatic voltage stabilizers to various industries since 1977. Our expertise in mitigating voltage drops, fluctuations and other irregularities has found its way to organizations of different sizes. Our range of voltage stabilizers remains pivotal in optimizing the operational efficiency and power quality of many companies. 

 

In this case study, we’ll highlight how two different series of Ashley Edison (UK) voltage stabilizers have helped leading oil and gas companies in resolving their power quality concerns.

The OSES Series

automatic voltage stabiliser

The OSES series is a single-phase servo-type automatic voltage regulator designed for reliability in rugged environments. It’s capable of maintaining 1% regulation accuracy or better, for incoming voltage deviation of up to 40%. Besides its high-precision regulation, the OSES Series offers a high response rate to prevent eventualities of overshoot.

The IVSI Series

P1035260_1

The IVSI Series offers industrial-grade protection for 3-phase applications that demand highly precise output regulation. These voltage stabilizers are based on the magnetic induction design, which boasts reliability, and low operating costs for a huge range of applications. Not only does the IVSI Series provide 1.5% regulation accuracy, but different models are also available to support a wide range of input voltage swings.

Use Cases

Ashley Edison (UK) is no stranger to the P.O.G. industry. We’ve been involved in the installation and commissioning of voltage stabilizers for major oil refineries. Here are three notable cases from renowned oil & gas clients of ours.

ashley edison project
BP Logo

Case #1:

British Petroleum In Georgia (2013)

British Petroleum ventured into Georgia’s O&G market in 1996. Since then, it has been operating the BTC, SCP and WREP pipelines along with the Supsa Terminal for crude oil storage. In 2016, BP marked its 20th anniversary in the country by injecting a $2 billion investment into the SCPX project.

During a facility expansion in 2013, BP ran into a problem with voltage drop due to an excessively long cable run. The additional cable length has caused the voltage to drop below the nominal value and introduced operational issues. 

 

For example, the motor pumps were unable to operate efficiently due to the low voltage level. Such issues disrupted the refinery’s operation and may negatively affect its financial performance.

To compensate for the voltage drop, we’ve installed 1 unit of OSESL series 1,000 kVA automatic voltage stabilizer. The voltage stabilizer is housed in an outdoor IP54  (BS / EN 60529) / NEMA3 compliant enclosure, which ensures reliable operation even in the harshest condition.

With the OSES voltage stabilizer installed, our client’s load begins receiving highly accurate regulated voltage at ±0.5% accuracy.

AshleyAsia_Clients__0006_Total SA

Case #2:

Total S. A. in Angola (2012)

Total S.A. is one of the largest petroleum companies in the world and has maintained a presence in Angola since 1953. It’s primarily active in exploration & production, gas & power and renewable energies.

Total S.A. grappled with fluctuating incoming voltage for its new commercial building. In what’s suspiciously a power quality issue from the local grid and an isolation transformer configured for a full load, the building’s voltage experienced a fluctuation of up to 500V. The huge spike leads to a shortened lifespan of the connected loads and causes disruptive breakdown that impacts operational efficiency.

Upon investigation, we’ve recommended that the IVSI series of oil-immersed magnetic induction voltage stabilizers be installed at the building along with the main switchboards. Our team is involved in implementing the following setups to mitigate the effects of fluctuating incoming voltage : 

  • Automatic Voltage Stabilisers (Model: IVSI Series)
    •  1,000 KVA x 1 unit
    • 1,250 KVA x 5 units
    • 2,000 KVA x 2 units
  • Main Switchboards x 8 units (1,000 KVA up to 2,000 KVA)

As expected, the fitting of automatic voltage stabilizers ensures that the building receives a stable and clean power supply.

Case #3:

Esso In Angola (2017)

Esso’s interest in Angola spans over 2 million acres of deepwater blocks. The petroleum company produced an average of 169,000 barrels of oil in 2016.

In 2017, Esso is facing voltage fluctuation at its facility that is attributed to load changes. The irregular power supply posed operational issues to sensitive and critical loads.

The problem was completely resolved with the installation of 3 units of 2,500 KVA IVSI series magnetic induction voltage stabilizer.

With the voltage stabilizers commissioned, Esso enjoys a stable, clean, and uninterrupted power supply at its facility. Naturally, sensitive equipment operates reliably and is no longer at risk of a shortened lifespan.

Conclusion

It is evident that a stable, clean and constant voltage supply is crucial for operational efficiency and safety of the power, oil & gas industry. We couldn’t stress more about the importance of automatic voltage stabilizers to protect the facilities and the interest of stakeholders involved.

 

Talk to us to learn more about industrial-grade automatic voltage stabilizers for the power industry.

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