A large Oil & Gas storage and transportation company with a major storage location in Texas and various stations along its pipeline needed assistance analyzing its electric utility system. The company’s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage complex in Mont Belvieu, Texas, one of the nation’s largest, delivers LPG to customers as far away as New York. The facility was experiencing excessive voltage drops under normal conditions and various rural locations along the distribution pipeline also were experiencing electrical transmission issues.
The company needed a qualified engineering company to perform analyses and make recommendations for improving the electrical distribution system at the Mont Belvieu storage property as well as several rural locations along the pipeline system.
Understanding how electric generation, transmission, and delivery systems interact and operate is paramount to guaranteeing reliable sources of electricity. Bringing a combination of detailed theoretical modeling and real-word experience, M S Benbow & Associates (MSB) was enlisted to conduct power system engineering studies and provide system capacity and optimization analyses for the oil and gas pipeline electrical system.
MSB evaluated existing studies performed by local power utility companies and developed a model of the storage facility’s electrical distribution system using SKM Power*Tools DAPPER and TMS software modules. Engineers also performed a modified load flow and motor starting analysis and a system fault current analysis.
MSB provided detailed flow analysis reports for several operating scenarios, a transient motor starting analysis for different starting methods and operating loads, recommendations to improve and upgrade the performance of the electrical system, and cost estimates for different solutions for achieving varying degrees of reliability.
The client applied the studies to its upgrade projects and was able to determine the most cost-effective solutions for optimizing the electrical distribution system that met its financial and reliability goals.
The client realized savings at the storage facility by improving voltage levels without having to increase distribution voltage or purchase and install electrical equipment such as auto-transformers and larger conductors. In one location along the pipeline route, the local utility recommended a seven-figure investment to install new lines while the client was able to present a six-figure alternative recommended in the MSB-provided analysis. The line work was later scheduled as part of the utility’s routine maintenance at no cost to the client, resulting in substantial financial savings.