Lucid Energy: A Top Natural Gas Processor Serving the Permian Basin
Lucid Energy Group is one of America’s largest natural gas operators serving the country’s top oil and gas producers in the Permian Basin. Boasting over 2,000 miles of pipeline and 1.2 billion cubic feet of processing capacity, Lucid prides itself on being a trusted and reliable partner. To help deliver on that promise, the company uses WIN-911 to send voice call out alarm alerts to plant operators working in the field.
“We rely on WIN-911 to send us alarms whenever we’re away away from the plant’s control panel working on other things. We used to have an another alarm notifier but WIN-911 is so much more convenient as it is hooked up to our plant call phone, and if something goes wrong, we know immediately and can hurry to fix the problem.”
Jimmy Flores, Plant Operator, Lucid Energy Group
With volatile compounds, the margin for error is minimal
For any natural gas distributor-processor, public safety and regulatory compliance is a top concern. But with older infrastructure, staying on top of regular maintenance can be a big challenge.
For a plant first constructed in the 1970s, like the one that operator Jimmy Flores works at, fast response to equipment alarms can be the difference between providing uninterrupted service and a major system shutdown. Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) compressors, says Flores, are particularly time-sensitive.
“The moment an acid gas compressor loses compression, the clock starts ticking. We only have a short time to troubleshoot and get it back up. It is very important to pinpoint the critical issue. We only have two hours to respond to the situation; any time after requires a complete plant shutdown,” Flores says.
Flores says his plant has two to three operators on dayshift, and two at night, and runs 24/7 all year long. “One person is at a central control panel at all times watching a SCADA, and one is taking care of outside maintenance. Standby crews help with maintenance as needed,” explains Flores.
This situation essentially chains the control panel operator to sitting and waiting for something to happen. Not an ideal use of time. The existing control software they use does not have a remote notification option. Fortunately, WIN-911 had a simple solution: the analog voice module.
A Robust Alarm Notification Solution with Automatic Call-Out
While performing an upgrade on equipment, management decided to add WIN-911 to the plant’s monitoring systems.
With its direct connect to the plant’s Wonderware InTouch 2017 HMI, WIN-911’s integration with the existing call system was seamless. From the point of view of Flores, the voice call out notification is a game changer. “In emergencies, it allows the operator to leave the control panel to help other operators, and automatically calls out when there is an alarm.”
Flores describes how WIN-911 recently helped plant maintenance staff avert a system-wide shutdown. “We have two residue compressors, and they can lose power. A power surge or breaker failure can require a hard restart. The moment a compressor loses power, our SCADA system starts flashing, and WIN-911 immediately calls our operator’s phone, and we hurried to fix the problem.”
No more unplanned downtime
Since adopting WIN-911, Flores and staff have seen an overall reduction in maintenance-related incidents at the plant. Plus any feelings of being constantly tethered to the control panel have been effectively erased, even at night.
“WIN-911 is especially helpful during our night shift and can help manage human error. When an operator loses focus on the control panel or is busy with other tasks, a phone call from WIN-911 helps prevent safety issues. Some times operators have to leave the control room, WIN-911 alerts with a phone call, allowing operators to have visibility into critical alarms, such as a compression failure, as well as other alarms that may not be as much of a concern, such as a low temperature,” says Flores.
- Residue compressors
- Temperature sensors
- Amine & Glycol systems
- Cryogenic systems
- Flow sensors
- Pressure sensors
- Phase power failures