Natural Gas Services from the Well to the Pipeline

Allied Equipment

Separating impurities and hydrocarbons from natural gas is a complex process, one involving a breadth of quality equipment to facilitate the process. For over two decades, Allied Equipment has been a leader in this field.

Headquartered in the heart of the Permian Basin (where twenty percent of the United States’ oil and gas supply is produced) in Odessa, Texas, Allied Equipment provides gas treating and processing solutions for the natural gas production industry. The company had its start in 1987 and is now the nation’s largest manufacturer of storage spheres for compressed natural gas (CNG) stations. Allied got its start fabricating equipment for oil and gas processing. In the mid-2000s, the company began focusing on building gas-treating plants and equipment for its customers.

Vice President Jayson Feltner spoke about the company and its role in the natural gas industry.

“Allied is one of the few companies in the gas treating industry that can engineer, design, build, install, operate, and service gas treating equipment,” Mr. Feltner explains. “We are vertically integrated to provide a turnkey solution for our customers.” This versatility of services has made the company successful in the market. “We can take a producer from the wellhead all the way to the residue pipeline. We have a ninety-nine percent runtime for our plants.”

Allied Equipment provides a full line-up of gas treating and gas processing products to remove impurities such as hydrogen sulphide, carbon dioxide, water, sour gas and sand. Company engineers manufacture and supply these gas plants per customer specifications.

The company’s modular amine gas treating plants are used to remove carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and other contaminants from natural gas as it comes from a well. Amine is an organic compound that binds to these impurities, allowing it to be effective at removing them from natural gas and reducing levels to a permissible amount. With leading edge technology, its amine gas treating plants have proven to be an effective solution to achieve pipeline quality gas. Removing contaminants helps natural gas become more saleable in the market and reduces pipeline corrosion.

Allied Equipment’s gas plants have capabilities to recover saleable hydrocarbon liquids from gas streams and supply usable gas that can be transported to consumer pipelines. Heat exchangers and refrigeration systems are used to cool the gas so heavier hydrocarbon components can liquefy and be separated from the vapor phase lighter components. The separated natural gas liquid (NGL) is then stabilized to reduce vapour pressure for transportation.

A variety of gas separators including two phase separators, three phase separators, spherical sand separators, horizontal separators, vertical separators and trailer mounted separators are manufactured by the company. These are designed to clean extracted natural gas or gas from oil separators through high pressure liquefaction.

Allied’s dehydration units remove entrained water from natural gas to prevent hydrate formation and corrosion, making the gas ready for further treatment or transportation. The company also provides reboilers designed to provide the heat from hot oil for its amine strippers, which reverse the chemical reactions and drive off acid gases during the natural gas treatment process.

To reduce the expenses associated with gas plant ownership, Allied provides a contract treating option which provides a monthly processing fee that allows its customers to pay only for the gas that is treated and sold into the pipeline. The company also specializes in cryogenic natural gas liquid treatment.

Allied Equipment has also become a leader in the production of CNG refuelling equipment, supplying fuel to vehicles at many CNG and hydrogen stations across the world. The company also assists clients with securing funding for station development and vehicle procurement. It is involved with the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Coalition and many alternative fuel industry associations.

As a “one-stop shop” for these services, Allied has a team of engineers that design a number of proprietary, pre-engineered products to meet the needs of its customers. It has design services and uses the latest software and practices to supply customized solutions for its clients.

“We pride ourselves on being a big, small business,” Mr. Feltner shares. “We’ve experienced a lot of growth and revenue, but we’ve been able to keep that family feel to our offices. It allows us to all work together, we all work together. Our company is designed to be able to handle engineering, production and installation all together; most companies have different divisions that handle these operations.”

With its in-house operations, it has a stringent quality control policy including routine inspections by third-party experts. By adhering to these high standards, the company meets some of the strictest standards in the industry, much of which are set by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors (NBBI). Simulations are performed before the equipment is built to resolve any problems and to ensure its products are safe before being moved to the field. This avoids costly onsite modifications, saving money for Allied and its clients.

“We’ve had no recordable incidents within the last three years,” says Mr. Feltner. “We are a company that focuses on safety.” The United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration certified Allied Equipment meets the Consultation Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program.

To be sure, the way the company operates enables its employees to be flexible and agile when developing projects and when the actual work is being done. “In some companies, different divisions are fighting over their share of the bottom line. Our company is so vertically integrated, that the guy that is overseeing the installation is often involved in the planning and construction,” says Mr. Feltner. “A lot of times, a lot of our guys will be out in the field looking at the site and figuring out what the layout needs to be and how to maximize our efficiency and minimize our footprint.”

Indeed, the Permian Basin is booming with natural gas activity and Allied has definitely benefited from the growth in the region. “With shale fracking, we have all these formations that are being hydraulically fractured, we’re becoming the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. With all of the fracking going on, this has added the need for NGL processing because it is more valuable than the gas itself. There’s more interest in cryogenic processing, stabilization, so our portfolio of products has helped us fit in well with the industry shift from natural gas to NGL production.”

Benefiting from the boom, Allied Equipment recently grossed $100 Million in yearly growth and revenue. Many of its latest projects have been in the Eagle Ford Shale region in South Texas. One of which was the completion of the Lone Star Cryogenic Facility. This is the third-largest facility in the state, processing two hundred and fifty million cubic feet a day of liquid rich natural gas. It is the second of four facilities that are being constructed in the area.

Other projects include the development of large amine plants and condensate stabilization for major midstream operators in the Permian Basin, Eagleford Shale, as well as Marcellus and Utica shale plays. The company is also building stock standard plant designs to allow customers to have access to the equipment they need on a dramatically accelerated schedule.

“We have strategic partnerships with many engineering companies in the area,” says Mr. Feltner. “Our top five customers make up a large percentage of our revenue; once we have a customer, we don’t usually lose them. Once someone has an Allied plant running at their facilities, they tend to come back because of the runtime they operate on.”

Allied Equipment does face a few challenges that the company is working to address. One of these is dealing with the appearance of a lot of new companies that have sprung up in the midstream sector. “You get a lot of low-priced cookie-cutter plants that are not operating efficiently. We’ve added I&E and service capabilities to provide fieldwork in order to support our clients. We can quickly assess and address issues with any system so they can operate as efficiently as possible.”

With over a quarter-century of history in Texas along with sixty years combined experience among its senior team of managers, Allied Equipment is here to stay.

“We’ve had longevity in the industry; we’ve been here and will continue to be here. We have the experience and the client relations and the ability to deliver customized solutions to them,” asserts Mr. Feltner. “The natural gas industry has changed a lot over the years and we have shown the ability to adapt and fine-tune our products to deliver on the economics of the current market.”

For more information about Allied Equipment, please visit http://www.alliedeq.com/

August 17, 2017, 11:38 AM EDT

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