Innovation that drives efficiency and sustainability

Innovation doesn’t always require a new-invention. Sometimes, it’s applying an existing idea in a new way.

Encana’s oil weighted Eagle Ford asset is made up of a largely contiguous position in the Karnes Trough. The company is an established leader in the play, delivering industry leading well costs and performance and the asset delivers significant cash flow. To deliver this high level of performance, the Eagle Ford team constantly appraises opportunities to capture further value. This continuous process occurs in real time.

In Encana’s Eagle Ford, the combination of very rich, liquids saturated gas combined with the high pressure gathering system means natural gas liquids (NGLs) naturally condense as a liquid from the produced gas. These NGLs have an associated vapor pressure, which due to Encana’s increasing production, was becoming too high to send all the NGLs into the sales line. Historically the team relieved some of the excess pressure by burning some of the vapor through a combustor or flare system.

Not satisfied with this solution the team focused on capturing the excess NGLs. They had three goals;

  1. maximize liquids production and cash flow,
  2. enhance site safety, and
  3. lower emissions.

Leveraging the expertise of colleagues across the business, the Eagle Ford team invited experts from across the company to find a solution. The successful idea came from a member of the NGL Marketing group who suggested bullet tanks could capture the excess liquids. A bullet tank, or liquid petroleum gas (LPG) tank is a pressurized container often used to hold liquid hydrocarbons under pressure. Most people have seen these tanks at service stations or hardware stores where they are used to store propane.

In this case, the Eagle Ford team created an innovative system where the NGLs are captured within the bullet tanks, where they remain in liquid form rather than vaporizing and creating higher pressures. This application was very different to the traditional use of bullet tanks and the results have been excellent. At peak volume, the Patton Trust North tanks collect about 850 barrels per day of liquids.

This solution highlights the relationship between innovation, efficiency and sustainability. By efficiently collecting these high-value liquids the Eagle Ford team helped maximize production and cash flow while reducing flaring which in turn, enhances site safety and lowers emissions.

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As of 2017-10-19 16:01. Minimum 15 minute delay