Whitecastle Engineering Ltd (WEL) provides specialist consulting and engineering solutions for the oil and gas (O&G) and petrochemical sectors.
We focus on the optimisation and project delivery of complex thermomechanical production systems over the lifecycle of an asset: design, selection, specification, front-end engineering design (FEED), detailed engineering, troubleshooting, debottlenecking, rerating, risk assessments, spares and maintenance.
Our solutions are suitable for high-value production systems such as power plants; gas compression; O&G pipelines; water pumping; refinery and petrochemical plants, in addition to critical machinery, including gas and steam turbines; gas compressors; pumps; and wind, gas and diesel engines.
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We work with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), investment entrepreneurs, insurance, operators, loss adjustors and governments.
Expert project engineering services for the offshore sector
WEL leverages our technical expertise and career experience to deliver expert project services with a proven track record of reducing operational and financial risks of greenfield and brownfield projects.
As a specialist engineering team, we optimise the technical and financial resources of the project.
The characteristics of our work are:
• Comprehensive concept designs through rigorous analysis
• Accurate technical specifications
• Sensible bid evaluation that follows our clients’ business objectives
• Optimised selection process based on experience
• Technical support during contract negotiations that generate value
• Inspection and testing of parts and equipment during manufacturing
• Site performance testing and benchmarking
We are prepared to ask difficult questions to suppliers and other project factors to deliver your business objectives.
Gas compression systems
Gas compression technology plays a key role in the energy, O&G, petrochemical and power industries, ranging from offshore gas injection operations for oil production enhancement to refrigeration units in petrochemical plants.
The range of application of the technology creates various solutions that can be an off-the-shelf unit or high-end machines with a bespoke design to suit the application, site, gas composition, volume capacity and the type of technology (centrifugal, reciprocating, screw, multi-geared, axial, and other hybrid solutions).
For greenfield sites, we provide high-quality technical support during the different phases of the project, starting with feasibility and concept studies to detailed engineering and commissioning.
For existing facilities, WEL helps clients with re-rating studies, independent production evaluations, troubleshooting, testing, control logic optimisation, and maintenance and spares management.
We use cutting-edge turbomachinery modelling and simulation technology to provide independent and complete business solutions. For example, we have developed a process to use a combination of in-house and commercial software to conduct advanced aero-thermodynamic modelling of gas compressors to generate specific performance maps for changing operating conditions.
Using this information, we conduct independent evaluations of the production capacity and discharge pressure limits of a compression system to account for changes in operating conditions, including variations in gas molecular weight, increased discharge pressure, reduced suction pressure, and changes to volume and flow.
Performance condition monitoring services
WEL is experienced in designing, configuring and commissioning bespoke process and power plant performance monitoring systems, including preparatory instrumentation assessment, plant energy audit analysis and subsequent personnel training.
The structure of the performance monitoring systems contains graphical user interface (GUI) modules that display key performance indicators (KPI) of critical equipment calculated from real-time field data. A comparison between the real-time based calculations and results from a previously tuned thermodynamic model allows the identification of specific areas or equipment presenting efficiency losses.
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Energy audits and efficiency optimisation services
To improve energy efficiency of a process plant, the operator needs to assess the use of the input energy against production and operating costs.
WEL provides engineering solutions for the correct quantification of energy losses and the financial impact these have on their operations, as well as impartial and independent recommendations to optimise plant energy efficiency levels and can help customers to execute and deliver such improvements.
An energy audit is a field/desktop engineering exercise using the design characteristics of the equipment, field data and thermodynamic principles to estimate the current performance of individual equipment and the plant as a whole. The engineer uses values for temperature, pressure and flow (volume) at critical points across the plant from where the thermodynamic properties of the medium are calculated to estimate the equipment KPIs.
Our engineers hold postgraduate engineering degrees from leading UK and European universities that give us a competitive edge in the industry.
Machinery expertise for improving maintenance
Insufficient maintenance can lead to a short runtime depending on the nature of the item or component that is subject to a ‘breakdown maintenance’ approach. Where the item is not critical this can be a valid approach. Real peace of mind relies on experience of the plant and its components to make those decisions.
Wholesale replacement of all parts at a major turnaround is not a guarantee of forthcoming peace of mind and can be very expensive and wasteful.
Understanding the equipment can pay dividends in knowing what to replace, what to overhaul or what to exchange for a reconditioned part. These are areas that can deliver real value for money without compromising reliability, performance or efficiency to the business needs.
Legacy equipment expertise
WEL specialises in keeping older legacy equipment in service for as long as is reasonably possible and practical.
Legacy equipment refers to old machinery equipment that is no longer manufactured but can deliver the results originally installed to provide. The OEM’s legacy equipment may have closed or been taken over by another company who may not believe in keeping it operational.
The new owner may try to persuade operators to replace with a newer version from his current product range. In some cases, this can be beneficial but is not always the best for the operator. There will be additional costs involved since the newer installation will have to be designed according to newer and likely more stringent regulations, whereas the existing plant can continue in accordance with existing guidelines.