Olgert Klompstra has been working as a Process Operator at the NAM Sour Gas Treatment Plant in Emmen (The Netherlands) since 2002.
Olgert has been working at the Sour Gas Treatment Plant since he was first employed by Atlas Professionals. “Ten years ago I came into contact with the agency Dietsmann in Emmen, which was later taken over by Atlas. After following various courses I started my career as a Process Operator. I am jointly responsible for monitoring the complete process, from the collection of the natural sour gas (also called H2S or hydrogen sulphide) from the surrounding gas fields up to the delivery of the gas to Gasunie, a gas transportation company. The gas arrives here at a pressure of 10 bar and is compromised to 60 bar to meet specifications required for delivery to the Gasunie network.”
Strict safety rules
Construction of the plant in Emmen was commenced in 1982 and the plant became fully operational in 1988. This plant is unique in its sort, being the only plant in The Netherlands which is capable of processing this sour gas, also called H2S or hydrogen sulphide. “H2S is a dangerous and poisonous gas which can escape during the extraction of natural oil and gas. Due to the extremely hazardous nature of this particular type of gas, there are very strict safety rules in place at this plant. In a highly concentrated state (>100 ppm) sour gas paralyzes the olfactory nerve, making one unaware of the danger of the gas. In higher concentrations it can even be fatal. Fortunately there has never been a case of escaped sour gas at this plant; however one must always stay alert.”
“Even though I have been working at this plant for 10 years, it is still a challenging and interesting job, every day is different, and if it’s up to me, I will stay here for another 10 years. Due to competition from countries like Russia and Iraq, who are able to deliver cheaper gas, the future of this plant and of gas extraction here in the Netherlands is at risk. Nevertheless, we are trying to keep this plant in production by making use of new technology”, Olgert tells us.