Much of the space in a natural gas processing plant is taken up by storage. Natural gas, oil, liquid fuel, treatment chemicals, extracted condensate from separators, and water are all stored in gas fields. Natural gas storage is often used to ensure there is always enough product to meet variations in demand. During times of low demand, gas is injected into storage, and when demand rises again, it is extracted.
Although natural gas is most frequently stored in underground facilities, aboveground tanks are sometimes used for storage. Unlike midstream tank farms at terminals and refineries, field storage consists of smaller vessels, and diesel generator fuel, potable water, and fire water are also stored at these sites.
This blog post, part of the Magnetrol® series on level measurement for natural gas processing applications, discusses challenges and solutions for monitoring storage tank level and preventing accidents.
Level Measurement Challenges and Considerations
As with all tanks, proper level control is paramount to ensure the safety of the plant and prevent leaks, spills and other accidents. Tank level monitoring can be provided with overflow control and alarm systems or shutdown pumps when level falls below the specified low level. Interface controls will sense the beginning of an oil/water interface during tank dewatering and control the water draw-off. All level measurement devices used in natural gas storage tanks must be able to detect low level with precision, as well as withstand corrosive conditions and high pressure.
Level Measurement Solutions
MAGNETROL has produced level measurement solutions for natural gas storage tanks:
- For point level:
Model A15 Series displacer switch with optional Proofer® or Echotel® Model 961/962 ultrasonic level switch
- For continuous level:
Eclipse® Model 706 guided wave radar transmitter; Pulsar® Model R86 non-contact radar transmitter; or Jupiter® JM4 magnetostrictive transmitter
- For visual indication:
Atlas or Aurora® magnetic level indicators
For more information on level measurement solutions for natural gas storage tanks or other natural gas processing applications, download the natural gas processing brochure.