Fortín de Piedra

Neuquén, Argentina

We completed the Fortín de Piedra gas processing plant in record time, which today supplies 13% of the country’s gas needs.

  • +4,500

    workers at peak construction

  • 21 M

    m3 of gas per day in processing capacity

  • +1,000

    SMEs nationwide involved in project development

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Key data

  • June 2017

    Start date

  • June 2020

    End date

  • +4,500

    workers at peak construction

  • 7.75 million

    construction labor hours

  • USD 840 million

    contract amount

  • June 2017

    Start date

  • June 2020

    End date

  • +4,500

    workers at peak construction

  • 7.75 million

    construction labor hours

  • USD 840 million

    contract amount

Central Processing Facility (CPF), the heart of Fortín de Piedra

hotspot image description Inlet manifold
hotspot image description Slug catcher
Liquefaction Train System (LTS)
Export compressors
Desalination
Stabilization
Water treatment plants
Pitcher trap

Central Processing Facility (CPF), the heart of Fortín de Piedra

  • Inlet manifold

    This is where the well fluids to be treated at the CPF arrive from the flowlines channeling the flow from each battery in the reservoir.

  • Slug catcher

    Static equipment used in gas treatment facilities which performs the primary separation of gas and other liquids.

  • Liquefaction Train System (LTS)

    The gas separated by the slug catcher is sent for treatment to the LTS 1, 2 and 3, which use a propane system to remove heavy components and water. Each train has a processing capacity of 4.66 MMsm3/day.

  • Export compressors

    These transport the treated gas from the LTS and compress it to the same pressure as the export pipeline.

  • Desalination

    The liquids separated by the slug catcher are processed in the desalination unit. Production water is separated and sent to the water treatment plant while the hydrocarbons are washed with fresh water, reducing their salt content to protect downstream equipment (stabilization) and comply with the specifications for gasoline to be sold.

  • Stabilization

    Hydrocarbons containing low salt content from the desalination train are received together with condensed liquids from the LTS for stabilization in order to meet the specifications of the gasoline for sale. Light gases separated at this stage are recirculated to the LTS inlets.

  • Water treatment plants

    The water treatment plants process both production water and the water collected from the open drains throughout the entire plant. The hydrocarbons are separated for reprocessing in the desalination unit and later sent to the stabilization trains. Meanwhile, the water is reinjected into the well.

  • Pitcher trap

    This is the exit point to the 54 km-long, 24/36” export pipeline (Tratayén) and the 40-km-long 8” export pipeline.

Customer Tecpetrol S.A.
Scope of work EPC

Segment

Oil & Gas

The Fortín de Piedra project involved the design and construction of all the surface installations required to extract, treat and transport the gas produced by Tecpetrol in Vaca Muerta. The finished works mean that 21 million m3 of gas can be processed per day at the second largest unconventional gas play in the world.

At Fortín de Piedra, the key challenge was the tight timeframe, justifying the implementation of an innovative fast-track working methodology. This modality envisages the simultaneous execution of project design and construction, where tasks and activities normally performed in a rigid sequence are carried out in tandem in an orderly manner. Thanks to this approach, we were able to achieve considerable reductions in timing and improve the schedule.

Leaders at Vaca Muerta

What it takes to design and build a project in record time at the world's second largest gas reserve.

Location

The Fortín de Piedra field covers an area of 243 km2 and is part of the Vaca Muerta geological formation, whose surface area of 30 thousand km2 makes it the second largest gas reserve on the planet, and the world’s fourth largest oil reserve.

  • Añelo, Neuquén

  • -38.456604

    Latitude

  • -69.028993

    Longitude

A construction record

28 months

  • Earthworks

    The start of the first earthworks at the CPF, corresponding to Phase 2 of the project.

    August

    2017

  • Expansion of Early Production Facilities (EPF)

    Gas processing capabilities were increased from 0.5 to 6.2 MMm3/d by expanding the EPF and building new facilities.

    January

    2018

  • Laying export pipelines

    The 36” section of the export gas pipeline was laid. 59 km of the 24” and 36” export pipeline and 40 km of the 8” export pipeline were laid.

    March

    2018

  • Plant shutdown and interconnection

    A 48-hour complete field shutdown was necessary to lay the interconnection required to link the existing pipeline to the manifold at the entrance to the CPF, a pre-requisite for subsequent start-up.

    April

    2018

  • Completion of the CPF

    The end of Phase 2 of the project allowed the plant to achieve output levels of 4.66 MMm3/d of dry gas and condensate stabilization in two of the Stabilization trains.

    August

    2018

  • Completion of Phase 3

    This stage incorporated LTS Train 2 and Stabilization Train 3. Executed over 5 months, it took output levels from 4.66 to 9.2 MMm3/day of treated gas.

    October

    2018

  • Completion of Phase 4

    Completing Phase 4, incorporating LTS Train 3 and Stabilization Train 4 meant reaching production targets of 14 MM m3/d of dry gas at the CPF, and a total output of 21 MMm3/d (including EPF output).

    October

    2019

  • Plant shutdown

    The field was completely shut down for 10 days in order to integrate Phase 4 into the current plant and perform other interventions. The works required 4 months of planning and involved over 80,500 labor hours.

    November

    2019

  • Carolina Eito · Head of Pre-Commissioning

    "When the project began, a lot of people believed that it would be impossible to meet the tight deadlines we set ourselves, but we managed to achieve this successfully."

  • Juan Carlos País · Quality, Environment, Health and Safety Manager.

    "Working with 4,500 employees at the same time, in order to meet a schedule which required record execution times, was one of the biggest challenges of my professional career."

  • Ezequiel Toledano · Welder

    "Being here is a unique experience. We are forging a future for ourselves and for Argentina."

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