Oil and Gas News

VEGA equipment keeps Santos gas on track

VEGA Australia

VEGA is a key provider of level and switching equipment for Australia’s coal seam gas industry. Over the last few years, VEGA Australia has developed a strong and trustworthy relationship with Santos thanks to the implementation of its technology across some of the company’s key gas projects.

VEGA as a global supplier with a global network of subsidiaries and suppliers, have developed innovative measurement technology that is characterised by its ease of installation and operation, as well as its safety, reliability and performance.

Santos is one of Australia’s largest gas producers, with its coal seam gas (CSG) interests in Queensland’s Surat and Bowen basins among its most important assets. The CSG wells in the east of the state help supply the company’s GLNG project, where the resource has been converted into LNG and shipped overseas since 2015.

In 2018, Santos was looking to improve the reliability of its CSG assets as well as increase the remote capabilities of its systems. After a six-month tender process followed by a six-month trial, Santos selected a range of VEGA hardware, included in the project’s wellhead skids, and VEGA Australia offered guided wave radar and level switches to fulfill Santos needs.

This equipment includes the company’s VEGASWING product, which is used as a simplistic level switch. The tuning fork of the VEGASWING is made to vibrate by piezo drive, and if the medium comes into contact with the tuning fork, the vibration frequency is reduced, while the electronics responds by triggering a switching signal output.

The product has a strong reputation for working reliably in all liquids, regardless of the installation process pressure, temperature, foam and viscosity, as these do not influence the switching accuracy or repeatability. The point level sensors are also easy to install and can be set up and commissioned easily.

Santos also employs VEGA’s VEGAFLEX guided wave radar which uses universally applicable measuring principles. The VEGAFLEX uses microwave pulses which are guided along a rod probe and reflected by the product service.

The instrument is unaffected by build-up or steam which is perfect for the harsh Australian environment. It also uses an intelligent adjustment system for easy and quick setup, commissioning and diagnostic capabilities.

Reliable and efficient

According to Santos Senior Control Engineer Chun Kang, the company now has a large quantity of units installed across Queensland, all of which can be monitored remotely from Brisbane.

Chun says that whenever remote access is required, Santos can immediately connect and begin accessing the data from the instrument.

“This is a very strong benefit – the remote access has massively improved our operation and efficiency,” he says.

Over the years Santos has realised that dealing with experienced and trained personnel that know their equipment has made the relationship stronger. An example of this is the correct selection of equipment and installation to suit the specific needs of the applications giving reliable and excellent performance, in this case resulting in no failures from the supplied VEGA instruments.

Santos has put significant emphasis on improving efficiency, the cost of construction and commissioning, as well as its operation and maintenance expenditure. Since 2018, VEGA’s instrumentation has continued to play a key role in keeping these requirements under control while delivering accurate and reliable outcomes for the project.

“I’ve been working in oil and gas for more than 25 years and previously I was always very confident in VEGA’s quality and service level,” says Chun.

“However, since I’ve been at GLNG, the technical service has been extremely reliable. We can always contact the VEGA Australia Head Office for their full and dedicated professional support.

“Their full support is unquestionable. Adding to the quality and reliability of the product itself is extremely pleasing to be involved with the numerous units that are installed on site with zero failure rate.”

Already a strong relationship, Santos is continuing to work with VEGA Australia into the future.

This article featured in the October edition of The Australian Pipeliner.

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