VEGA equipment keeps Santos gas on track
VEGA is a key supplier of level and switching equipment to the Australian coal seam gas industry. Over the past few years, VEGA Australia has developed a strong and trustworthy relationship with Santos through the implementation of its technology in some of the company’s key gas projects.
VEGA, as a global supplier with a global network of subsidiaries and suppliers, has developed innovative measurement technology that is characterized by ease of installation and use, as well as 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 significant assets. CSG wells in the eastern part of the state are helping supply the company’s GLNG project, where the resource has been converted to 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 tendering process followed by a six-month trial, Santos selected a range of VEGA equipment, included in the project’s wellhead skids, and VEGA Australia offered a wave radar. guided and level switches to meet the needs of Santos.
This equipment includes the company’s product VEGASWING, which is used as a simplistic level switch. The tuning fork of VEGASWING is made to vibrate by piezo drive, and if the medium comes in contact with the tuning fork, the vibration frequency is reduced, while the electronics respond by triggering a switching signal output.
The product has a reputation for performing reliably in all liquids regardless of the pressure, temperature, foam and viscosity of the installation process, as these do not influence the switching accuracy or repeatability . Point level sensors are also easy to install and can be easily configured and commissioned.
Santos also uses VEGA’s VEGAFLEX guided wave radar which uses universally applicable measurement principles. VEGAFLEX uses microwave pulses which are guided along a rod probe and reflected by product service.
The instrument is unaffected by build-up or vapor, which is perfect for the harsh Australian environment. It also uses an intelligent tuning system for easy and fast setup, commissioning and diagnostic capabilities.
Reliable and efficient
According to Santos senior control engineer Chun Kang, the company now has a large amount 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 log in and start accessing data from the instrument.
“This is a very important benefit – remote access has dramatically improved our operation and efficiency,” he says.
Over the years, Santos has realized that dealing with experienced and trained staff who know their equipment has made the relationship stronger. An example of this is the correct selection of equipment and installation to meet specific application needs, providing reliable and excellent performance, in which case resulting in no failure of the VEGA instruments supplied.
Santos has focused on improving efficiency, cost of construction and commissioning, as well as operating and maintenance expenses. Since 2018, VEGA instrumentation has continued to play a key role in keeping these requirements under control while providing accurate and reliable results for the project.
“I have been working in oil and gas for over 25 years and before that I was always very confident in the quality and level of service from VEGA,” says Chun.
“However, since I have been with GLNG, the technical service has been extremely reliable. We can always contact VEGA Australia Headquarters for their full and dedicated professional support.
“Their full support is unquestionable. In addition to the quality and reliability of the product itself, it is extremely pleasant to be involved in the many units installed on site with zero failure rate.
Already a strong relationship, Santos continues to work with VEGA Australia in the future.
This article appeared in the October edition of The Australian Pipeliner.