Mercury removal from condensate – innovations in offshore gas condensate treatment

Meet Imane Aguedach, product expert for high speed separators in Global Service Technology, Energy Separation. She’s helping Alfa Laval create new ways to solve difficult process of removing toxic mercury from offshore gas condensate treatment.

Imane Aguedach is presenting Efficient Condensate Mercury Removal Offshore, a paper written by Tom Manelius, Business Development Manager for high speed separators and fresh water generation for Energy Separation. The paper highlights the struggle of working with mercury, not just to the environment but also staff working with oil and gas streams. By using high speed separators instead of traditional filtration methods, mercury removal reduces the risk of staff exposure, increases removal efficiency and eliminates disposal issues of mercury contaminates filter elements.

Imane was responsible for the commissioning phase on the offshore platform in South East Asia. Working closely with the end customer, she trained the staff and provided successful commissioning of the unit on the offshore platform.

How did you get involved with this project?

I joined the project during the factory acceptance test preparation phase. I was accountable for the unit’s readiness and testing coordination with internal and external partners. With the support of a highly skilled team, I made sure that punch items, technical challenges and risks were managed in the very best interest of our customer. When units were delivered, my role and responsibilities were slightly adjusted to emphasize on the commissioning execution aspects. I had thus the chance to work in close collaboration with the capital sales team, local sales company and to support in person the commissioning offshore!

 What inspired this project?

Alfa Laval is an innovative company and sustainability is one of our biggest drivers This project fits perfectly with the Alfa Laval DNA:

  • We care about each other.
  • We care about our customers
  • We care about the world we live in.

I modestly think that the combination of the mercury presence, the technical challenge and a shared genuine commitment for excellence, persons and environment protection was the key element that inspired this project.

Why is mercury removal from condensate so important to offshore drilling?

There is around the world mercury rich fields where condensate is extracted. This substance is highly toxic and it is critical to contain and prevent direct exposition. Separation technologies provide a solution to this major concern which is: How do we protect our employees and environment?

How do disc stack centrifuges solve this issue better than filtration technology? 

Disk stack centrifuges use the centrifugal force to achieve the high-speed separation. Thanks to the hermetically sealed technology, separation is made with a higher efficiency and no volatile components loss. This prevents both operators and environment direct exposition.

Furthermore, disc stack technology doesn’t involve filters cartridges which eliminate related maintenance operations and solid waste handling.

What did this project mean to you?

Being part of a successful innovative project that highly contributes in environmental sustainability and operator’s safety is a great achievement.

The problem solving, offshore operations and related learning satisfied me as an engineer. More important, working as one team with the customer and colleagues, either supporting remotely or being remotely supported in very challenging conditions offshore definitely tighten the bounds.

 It is such a great feeling to know that whether it is day or night, your team will be there to support you. All this makes me know that I belong to the right company and that we share the same values.

Imane will present the paper and its findings at OTC Houston on Monday, April 30th starting at 9:30 in room 600.