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Posts Tagged ‘Energy Economy’

Natural Gas Processing EquipmentFor those of us who have been in the business of supplying the oil and gas industry with ASME pressure vessels, welding, and skid packages we all know the “feast or famine” cliche all too well.  It seems that the feast may be building as well head projects have now turned to midstream to begin production.  After 30 years of the ups and downs in the gas business I’m not surprised to be seeing another dramatic upswing in the demand for process equipment like columns, separators, slug catchers, pots and pans pressure vessels, and compression.  As oil has been settled around $100 a barrel, NGL’s (Natural Gas Liquids) are worth a premium!  What the general public doesn’t know is that the gas boom isn’t really about the methane gas (although changes in public and government sentiment around using coal to produce power is also driving the boom) but it has far more to do with the NGL’s that need to be separated from the natural gas streams.

In the 1980’s we built a good business by providing comparably smaller size Natural Gas plants to individual producers that were running between 50k scf/d and 25mm scf/d. However, the days of small natural gas producers seem to be facing an einvitiable end. Although, we still build an occasional NGL plant  (JT or Refrigeration) it seems that large large single components like re-boilers, separators, columns, towers, and random pressure vessels or heat exchangers are getting much larger in size to handle large scale centralized natural gas processing facilities.  The days of building an entire skid package so a small producer can sell into the pipeline has given way to being a vendor that supplies parts and pieces to a large scale facility.

Currently, we have have on order several towers that have various packing requirements that are all in excess of 4′ X 80′.  We are also building catalytic reactors for the removal of oxygen, slug catches, pulsation bottles, and other various components.  These vessels range in size a weight between a few hundred pounds all the way up 40,000 lbs.  However, the commonality is that it is all for gas production throughout the USA.  This years business activity in gas processing is a stark contrast to last year when we did less than 25% of our business with oil and gas projects.  I welcome the feast as we have always enjoyed working with clients in the Oil and Gas industry.  Like always, Precision Pipe and Vessel is working very hard to meet tight deadlines and get these components into the field in record time.

http://www.Precision-Pipe.com

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As an ASME code shop it has been very beneficial to our business having the added segment of renewable energy projects.  Throughout our 30 year history as a company most of our success and failure has coincided with the success and failures of the oil and gas industry.  As it stands today we are still very dependent on our traditional energy clients and their projects, as this makes up at least half of our overall business each year.  However, it is great to have another segment that is not dependent on the price of oil and gas to keep our fabrication shop afloat while gas and oil prices are down.  Last year the lions share of our work was in alternative fuels, clean energy, and clean-tech segments.  Not having this industry 10 years ago (not to say it didn’t exist it just wasn’t as lucrative at that time) this recession would have been much worse than it is even now. During the downturn we saw big decreases in our back log but we were able to secure and build several projects and skidded packages for clients that are trying to bring new clean technologies to market.  Some of these technologies improve pollution and energy consumption while others aim and finding a competitive replacement to petroleum products.

As we look to the future in this new energy economy Precision Pipe is excited to be at the cross roads.  We are very optimistic about the continued and successful use of fossil fuels and their associated projects and we are thrill to see these projects getting back on their feet again.  All the while we are also embracing new companies that are developing technology to change the way the world uses energy and fuels itself.  In the near future we hope to be building NGL refrigeration plants and gas separators alongside catalyst beds and gasification plants to power our nation and world.  As it is clearly a new world for fabrication, Precision Pipe  is well positioned as a leader in developing new technologies.  We strive to help our clients build prototypes of their own proprietary technologies for this new segment of the US economy in addition to building components for established petrochemical processes.

http://www.Precision-Pipe.com

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