The current shale gas boom in the United States can be likened in potential economic impact to
the high tech boom of the late 1990s
and even the recent rise in social networking technology — both being innovations in the development of previously overlooked assets.
The shale plays are making it possible for the U.S. to not only be energy
independent, but possibly become a
net exporter of energy.
Midstream pipeline operators like
Williams have been successfully building and operating transportation and
processing systems for decades and
are well positioned to meet the tremendous demand for critical energy infrastructure in North America.
Natural gas pipelines often run
through relatively unpopulated and re-
mote regions of the country. Williams’
Frewen Lake compressor station near
Wamsutter, Wyoming, is no exception.
The station sends gas to the company’s Echo Springs natural gas processing plant that was expanded in
2010. The Frewen Lake facility is at
a high elevation, about 6900 ft. (2100
m), and experiences rapid climate
changes along with cold winters and
Gas turbines are frequently used
to drive gas compressors at pipeline
booster stations. The Frewen Lake
site has various engines, including
a Solar Taurus 60 SoLoNOx turbine,
that supply the horsepower to compress gas for pipeline transportation
to Echo Springs.
The physical elevation of the com-
pressor station and changes in ambient
air temperature impact the power out-
put of the gas turbines and therefore the
potential throughput of gas supplied to
the Echo Springs plant. This set of cir-
cumstances is well understood by op-
erators and equipment manufacturers.
Air temperature and horsepower
Gas turbines are mass-flow ma-
chines that ingest large quantities of air
— the lower the density of air, the lower
the power output of the gas turbine.
The two primary factors that affect air
density are elevation and temperature.
At higher elevations, such as at
Frewen Lake, “thinner” or less dense
air causes degradation in turbine performance relative to engine-rated capacity (measured at 59°F [ 15°C] at
60% relative humidity and at sea level). As ambient temperatures rise, air
density decreases and turbine performance degrades further.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) data show
Frewen Lake’s ambient temperatures
can reach almost 100°F ( 38°C), far
Hybrid Cooling Enhances Compressor
Station Operation > Dual-stage Everest Sciences system treats turbine inlet air for Williams
BY MARCUS BASTIANEN
n In the foreground is the Everest Sciences
turbine inlet cooling package at the Williams
Frewen Lake compressor station.
Marcus Bastianen is director of sales and marketing for Everest Sciences Corp. He is a civil
engineer with more than 17 years of experience working on various oil and gas industry
projects. Bastianen has a bachelor’s in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin
at Madison and an MBA from the University of Tulsa. Contact him at: mvbastianen@