The natural gas midstream gathering and pipeline landscape has become much more dynamic in recent years. Some of the attributes contributing to these continuous changes in operations are due to increased supply from shale gas explorations in North America and increasing natural gas demand in Asia. These changes require new pipelines and compressor stations to be built or existing pipelines and compressor stations to be modified to match new required operating conditions.
Economic factors such as initial capital investment and life cycle costs are very important considerations in the decision process to evaluate the benefits of building new stations or modifying existing stations. This paper presents a discussion of some of the more fundamental factors to be considered in evaluating the economics of station optimization projects, and also introduces a variety of options to manage the lifecycle of the centrifugal gas compressors units and stations.