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Air Products to build new ASU for enhanced natural-gas recovery in the Netherlands  

By Gerald Ondrey |

Air Products (Lehigh Valley, Pa.; www.airproducts.com) says it will build and operate a new air separation unit (ASU) for Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V. (NAM), a joint venture between Shell and Esso. The company has secured the necessary environmental and permit approvals and construction will start at the site shortly. The installation is expected to be onstream in summer 2013 and is located next to the De Wijk gas field near Hoogeveen in the province of Drenthe, The Netherlands. The new unit will be built to supply nitrogen for the extraction of natural gas from small gas fields. The nitrogen, injected at high pressure, will make it easier and more efficient for NAM to extract the remaining 10% of gas from the depleted field. The Netherlands and the Dutch part of the North Sea contain some 175 small oil and gas fields, some of which are almost depleted. In order to preserve the gas reserves in the field near Slochteren, the government has decided to prioritize the extraction of natural gas from small fields. To enable additional gas production from the depleted field, NAM has set up its own project under the name Aardgas+ (Natural gas +). “Natural gas is normally extracted by being forced up by the natural pressure…
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