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Process Design
Based on numerous site assessments, one plant design does not fit every situation. Our engineering services determine exactly what is needed for your facility. Services include process design (front-end engineering design; FEED), trouble-shooting and optimization, feasibility studies, computer simulations, detail design, construction management and startup.

Natural Gas

natural gas chemical engineering plant design

Costello provides design of natural gas plants from the wellhead to the pipeline and biogas plants from the digester to the pipeline. This includes slug catchers, KO pots, Amine units, dehydration units, compression systems and sulfur recovery units, H2S monitoring systems, odorization systems and meter runs for custody transfer.

We have experience with various chemical and physical solvent such as amine units which utilize DEA and MDEA, Selexol units and dehydration units using TEG.

Complete purification of Biogas and natural gas is offered on a case by case review and typical components removed include hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, water and other sulfur bearing chemical compounds.

Our extensive experience in the natural gas fields of Texas and off shore California allow us to translate this know-how into Biogas purification. We can also provide plant startup support, troubleshooting, training, second opinion reviews and revamp services to increase plant capacity. We specialize in natural gas engineering services.




 Why you should schedule a seminar for your company
• This course provides an overview on the processes and equipment utilized by natural gas processing plants to make pipeline grade natural gas

• It emphasizes the fundamentals of what raw natural gas is and how one chooses the appropriate technology to purify a given gas

• It develops a sound working knowledge of the unit operations and processes found in typical gas processing plants

• It integrates an understanding from the wellhead to the processing plant to the final transmission line

• It fosters important technical skills and a knowledge base to aid in decision making

Who Should Attend
This course is suitable for any managers,
engineers and specialists who are involved in
Natural Gas Processing Plants and Operations.
They Include:
• Plant manager
• Operations Managers & Engineers
• Production Managers
• Business Development Managers
• Those responsible for collecting and analyzing natural gas samples
• New hires directly involved in gas processing and treatment operations
This Course is also of substantial benefit to both technical and non-technical personnel employed in activities that support the gas industry.

Module 1 The Chemical Composition of Natural Gas While commonly grouped in with other fossil fuels and sources of energy, there are many characteristics of natural gas that make it unique. This module will cover background information about natural gas, what it is, how it is formed, and how it is found in nature.

Natural gas is a combustible mixture of hydrocarbon gases. While natural gas is formed primarily of methane, it can also include ethane, propane, butane, pentane, hydrogen sulfide, carbonyl sulphide and carbon dioxide. This session will cover the basics of physical and chemical makeup of gas mixtures and how the mixtures are affected by temperature and pressure.

Module 2 The Wellhead A wellhead is a general term used to describe the component that is used to suspend casing strings and provide sealing functionality for oil wells. Wellheads can be located on oil platforms, sub-sea or onshore. A wellhead system provides the following basic functionality: support of the casing and tubing strings; providing a seal between the different strings; allowing for access to annuli between the different casing/tubing strings. In this module, we will cover more on the functionality and attributes of wellheads.

Module 3 The Gas Fired Heater What is the purpose of the gas fired heater? How does this heater work? The gas fired heater provides a reduction in pressure and a reheating of the gas. In this module, we will also discuss its purpose and function in more details. The Joule-Thomson effect will also be discussed.

Module 4 Hydrates Natural gas hydrates are naturally occurring ice-like solids in which water molecules trap gas molecules in a cage-like structure known as a clathrate. They can form in the line from the wellhead to the plant. How they are prevented from forming in the pipeline and plugging said pipeline will be discussed.

Module 5 Three Phase Separators Vessels that separate well fluids into gas and two types of liquids, oil and water, are known as three-phase separators. Three-phase separator can be horizontal, vertical or spherical. Separators are commonly called free-water knockout separators because its main use is to remove any free water that can cause problems such as corrosion and formation of hydrates or tight emulsions, which are difficult to break.

Module 6 Compression When low pressure gas exists, a compressor is required to insure the gas can get into the transmission line. An overview of reciprocating and centrifugal compressors will be discussed along with intercoolers and knockout pots.

Module 7 Hydrogen Sulfide and Carbon Dioxide Hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide are the two principle contaminants in natural gas. Hydrogen sulfide is extremely toxic and deaths can, and have, occurred from this gas. Safety and health aspects will be discussed in this course also.

Module 8 Natural Gas Sweetening A discussion of amine units for the removal of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide will be provided. The difference between physical and chemical solvents will be covered. In addition, membrane units and molecular sieves will be discussed which are some of the more recently used technologies in the field.

Module 9 Other Contaminants and Their Removal This module will cover the contaminants mercury, nitrogen, and oxygen, and their removal.

Module 10 Sulfur Recovery Units Sulfur recovery refers to the conversion of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) to the elemental sulfur. Hydrogen sulfide is a by-product of processing natural gas and refining high-sulfur crude oils. The most common conversion method used is the Claus Process. This will be discussed and a number of other related technologies, including solid substrates for removing H2S.

Module 11 Dehydration This module covers glycol dehydration of natural gas and the various types of glycols used in addition it covers solid desiccant dehydration.

Module 12 Natural Gas Liquids This module covers the removal of natural gas liquids from the natural gas stream. The two basic methods are the absorption method and the cryogenic method. In addition to the absorption and cryogenic methods, natural gas fractionation will also be discussed.

Module 13 Liquefied Natural Gas This module covers the production of LNG and the logistics of moving LNG across the globe.

Module 14 Meter Runs and Analyzers The module covers the meter runs that calculate the volume of natural gas pushed down the pipeline to the users, the analyzers that insure that all the parameters are met for H2S, CO2, and water. Here we will learn how analyzers operate, what happens when they fail. We will also cover the fundamentals of volume determination devices.

About Your Course Leader - Rocky C. Costello, P.E., a chemical engineer, has over 30 years experience in the natural gas processing, chemical process industries and the hazardous waste business. He also has extensive experience in the safe handling of H2S gas.

Mr. Costello has spent a number of years in the oil patch where he served as Plant Manager of a natural gas processing plant in East Texas. Specifically, he and his team ensured the plant removed hydrogen sulfide from natural gas and the conversion to sulfur using Aquaclaus Technology in a safe and cost effective manner.

He received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio. He did additional graduate work in Chemical Engineering at Manhattan College in the Bronx, New York. He is the owner of R.C. Costello & Associates, Inc., a chemical engineering design firm which has been a very prosperous business for the last 15 years. His firm has designed numerous amine units for the natural gas processing industry. Most recently, his firm was responsible for start-up and training for the largest biogas plant in the world that produces pipeline grade bio-methane.

Key Points About This Course - Natural gas is increasingly the ‘fuel-of-choice’ for applications ranging from power generation, to industrial and commercial applications. Understanding each step in the natural gas value chain is important in order to identify the opportunities lie in today’s dynamic natural gas and LNG marketplace. By attending this Course, you will gain practical understanding of all parts of the natural gas value chain, economic and market issues around production operations, infrastructure component, measurements and gas quality.


please contact us at to schedule a seminar for your company!

Office: 310-792-5870


Please call for further information

R.C. Costello & Assoc., Inc.
1611 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 302
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Tel: (310) 792-5870, Fax: (310) 792-5877
E-MAIL: rcca[at]


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