Karnes Natural Gas Compressor Station

Mechanical construction and functional testing for full operation readiness of natural gas compressor station


Natural Gas Compressor Central Distribution Facility
Karnes, Texas
Client: BPX Energy (BPX)


Project Highlights:

  • Major mechanical construction completion achieved.
  • Safe introduction of all hydrocarbons, fluids, and gases into the facility.
  • Successful plant startup, turnover, and readiness for services.
  • Project completed with no injuries or accidents.

Project Description:

The Karnes natural gas compressor central distribution facility is owned by BPX and was designed for a capacity of 84 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD). The facility includes dehydration capability.

Sargent & Lundy BPX Energy Karnes 3

The commissioning work involved multiple steps to ensure complete and successful construction for safe facility startup and operation. These steps included:

  • Verify and manage mechanical completion.
  • Implement and verify piping and equipment cleanout.
  • Manage the introduction of inert gases and fluids into the facility for initial functional testing.
  • Manage the introduction of process fluids and hydrocarbons into the facility for final functional testing of equipment.
  • Provide oversight and assist vendors and contractors as equipment is brought online.
  • Facilitate the plant startup and final turnover to BPX.

Project Scope:

The BPX Infrastructure team engaged Sargent & Lundy to manage the planning, scheduling, documentation, verification, and functional testing of the 84-MMSCFD-capacity natural gas compressor station, which includes dehydration capability. Sargent & Lundy was involved through the final construction phase and turned the fully operational facility over to BPX operations.

The scope encompassed the following primary tasks:

  • Task 1: Set up the pre-startup safety review (PSSR) process and delegate responsibilities to personnel.
  • Task 2: Conduct oversight of mechanical completion in conjunction with the construction manager with primary focus on confirming the facility is constructed per design and verifying the facility will operate as designed.
  • Task 3: Ensure equipment and piping are cleared of debris and a plantwide leak check is performed using compressed air. Repair any identified leaks prior to proceeding with further commissioning activities.
  • Task 4: Purge all equipment and piping of air using nitrogen to achieve an oxygen-free environment within the equipment and piping.
  • Task 5: Add water to all liquid-service equipment so testing can begin. Function-test devices and equipment with liquid in the vessels and tanks, and pressure from nitrogen in all other equipment and piping.
  • Task 6: Introduce hydrocarbons into the facility and perform final functional testing and commissioning of the remaining equipment.
  • Task 7: Hand over the plant to BPX once all equipment is online and fully operational.

The project deliverables included:

  • Development of a commissioning schedule.
  • Development and implementation of blowout plans, nitrogen purge plans, liquids introduction plans, and fuel gas introduction plans including:
    • Reviewing plans, specifically procedures and piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs).
    • Conducting risk assessment and what-if analyses if needed.
  • Development and management of punch list of action items needed to drive project to completion.
  • As-built P&ID redlines.
  • Primary source verification (PSV) and management.
  • Equipment verification and management.
  • PSSR turnover books.

Schedule Milestones:

  • Mechanical Completion: February 2021
  • Introduction of Nitrogen and Facility Leak Check: February 2021
  • Introduction of Hydrocarbons: April 2021
  • Plant Startup and Turnover: May 2021

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