Control Upgrades

Oil & Gas


Qatar Petroleum’s NGL3 natural gas liquids plant contains three GE Frame 5 Gas Turbines driving two-stage Nuovo Pignone centrifugal-type booster compressors. Due to changed production needs and aging controls, Qatar Petroleum (QP) decided on upgrading to integrated turbine, compressor control, and safety systems to limit downtime, improve remote operation, reduce maintenance and operations costs, and improve system safety by adding an SIL-rated shutdown system.


With a short downtime requirement, QP chose GE’s migration solution rather than complete replacement. This maximized their original control system investment by reusing hardware and wiring - replacing only the Mark IV components with state-of-the-art Mark VIe components to integrate control and protection while maintaining segregated functionality. The GE scope of supply for this project included a Mark IV to Mark VIe control system migration, a Mark VIeS Safety System, and the OptiComp Compressor Control Suite.


QP immediately noticed improved controllability and operability, smoother startup/shutdown, and improved steady-state operation - while minimizing compressor surges and consequent production losses. The integrated system has improved coordination and faster on-spec production, leading to an approximate 80 percent reduction in startup man-hours. The plant has also lowered its total life cycle costs through energy and production savings, reduced downtime, and a reduction in maintenance costs by approximately 150 hours per month, freeing up operations specialists to focus more on process optimization tasks.


The plant can expect to benefit from:

*Lower installation costs. All field terminations, field wiring, and the control panel were easily reused by using quick disconnect field wiring harnesses - saving time and allowing completion of three unit upgrades on schedule.

*Ease of Operation. Sequencing and IEC 61508 SIL 3 protection, enhanced surge protection, load sharing, capacity control, and integration of all control functions.

*Lower O&M costs. Reduced gas recycle, improved load sharing, and increased output and stability.

*Lower capital investment. Standardized hardware, less software, fewer spare parts, and less training required.

*Increased Reliability. Fewer electronics, systems, and interfaces reduce the probability of failures and downtime.

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