Achieving maximum productivity from oil and gas fields is the prime goal for the petrochemical industry but the extraction process becomes more difficult as fields become depleted. Boosting extraction from depleting reserves is part of a US$33 billion project which aims to enhance Oman’s hydrocarbon production capabilities and help the country broaden its economic base. It is expected that Oman will unlock about one trillion cubic metres of natural gas over the next 25 years, representing a long term sustainable competitive feedstock for its petrochemical industry.

As part of this major effort, the PDO Saih Rawl Field Depletion Project, Phase 2, will see US$550 million invested on developing a daily gas production capacity of 30 million cubic metres, which will be fed to the existing Saih Rawl central processing facility. Extra compressors will be installed to increase the pressure so that gas continues to flow, enabling the field to feed the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry while offering a back-up when other plants are shut down for maintenance.

Indian company Larsen & Toubro decided to partner with WEG to equip the main gas compressor with an efficient drive system, which could endure the most demanding applications. To meet such needs, WEG has developed a bespoke solution comprising 48 30kW variable speed drives and motors and 32 15kW drives and motors, which will be supplied as systems and mounted in control cabinets, and also include a high capacity circuit breaker for emergency cut outs and a by-pass system for DOL (direct on line) starting. Additionally, WEG has fitted its equipment with a passive input harmonic filter to reduce problems relating to mains borne corruption of the power supply, while an output filter will be used to protect the drive.

WEG’s variable speed drive systems have been tested at its manufacturing facility in Brazil in the presence of inspectors from PDO and Larsen & Toubro to simulate the harsh environmental and operating conditions that may occur in the field. WEG is also conducting performance tests of the motors at the fan manufacturer’s plant in Korea and has organised training sessions for PDO staff.

WEG has also been able to supply Larsen & Toubro with all of the overloads, switchgear, relays and pushbuttons used within the drive cabinets, thus ensuring component compatibility and trouble free system building and commissioning as well as efficient ordering and delivery.

“Thanks to its high performance drive and motor architecture, WEG products are the perfect solution for the most arduous industrial applications, such as those that are likely to be found in Oman’s PDO Saih Rawl Field Depletion Project,” states Colin Cox (MD of WEG Middle East). “WEG can provide the ideal explosion-proof motor for virtually every application, even with extreme operating conditions such as ambient temperatures from -55°C to +80°C and altitudes up to 5,000 m”.