Kawasaki to Provide Clean Power Cogeneration to Plains E&P

The Plains Exploration & Production Company's oil field located in San Luis Obispo on California's Central Coast will -- as soon as next week -- be operating one of the lowest emission-producing gas turbine cogeneration systems in the country. The Kawasaki GPB15X package, which has been undergoing installation for the past three months, will supplement existing electrical service from PG&E, the area supplier.

PXP, headquartered in Houston, is an independent oil and gas company with several facilities in California. PXP was recently recognized by the Air Pollution Control District (APCD) of San Luis Obispo County for demonstrating that it is possible to reduce air pollution while increasing production. This new Kawasaki system will fit that intent perfectly -- it has demonstrated fewer than three parts per million-nitrogen oxides (NOx) in other installations.

"It is imperative that we continue to find ways to increase our productivity while also being able to operate our facility in a manner that is respectful of the environment, the people who are affected by our plants, and of course, all regulatory issues," said PXP Facilities Manager, Jim Nelson.

"The recognition of the APCD is only one of many that the company has received at our various sites, and we know that this new gas turbine installation will further our overall goals," he continued.

Kawasaki's M1A-13X 1.4 megawatt gas turbine, which is at the core of their GPB15X package, will be equipped with Catalytica Energy Systems' Xonon Cool Combustion(TM) system, which helps to minimize the NOx output levels. The Xonon(R) system uses a catalyst instead of a flame in the combustion process, enabling combustion temperatures below those where NOx usually forms.

The Kawasaki GPB15X is the first and only commercially available power generation package to include the Xonon Cool Combustion system.

Hiro Matsumura, president of Kawasaki Gas Turbines-Americas, said the electricity from this new installation will be used to power existing as well as new oil pumping systems. Exhaust heat will feed the facility's Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) which creates steam to be injected into the oil reservoir. This, in turn, reduces the viscosity of the oil so that it can be easily and efficiently extracted from the ground.

"We are very pleased to be playing a role in PXP's continuing efforts to increase their productivity while simultaneously minimizing emissions," said Matsumura.

The Kawasaki executive pointed to another of their California installations -- at the Sonoma Developmental Center in Eldridge -- where a similar retrofitted unit is regularly producing minimal NOx output while maximizing power delivery efficiencies.

According to Matsumura, "No other gas turbine package is capable of offering users this combination of reliability, low vibration, and ultra-low emissions levels."