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SPE Flow Assurance – The Future State of the Art

1 – 5 June 2015 :: Newport Beach, California, USA


Technical Agenda

Session 1: Current State of the Art - Tap Into Hidden Knowledge                                                                    

Session Managers: Emile LePorcher and Cem Sarica

This session begins with a brief overview and discussion of the “State of the Art” in terms of present practice of Flow Assurance Engineering.  Besides the known art, many feel there are important truths in existence but in essence buried for one reason or another.  The discussion will follow on what might constitute little used or forgotten knowledge that could be immediately deployed compared to present cutting edge research that are still three to five years away from deployment. This session could also address prevailing myths which cripple efforts to move forward.                 

Session II:  Where Will We Be In Twenty Years?               

Session Managers: Jim Bennett and Phaneendra Kondapi                                                      

The objective of this session is to explore the long range future: What are the key challenges that will be faced in 20 years’ time? What new technologies will be required, for technical and economic feasibility? How will emerging technologies substantially change how we manage Flow Assurance issues?

Session III: Fluid Characterization and Sampling

Session Managers: Walter Chapman and John Nighswander

Discussion around characterization that needs to be provided for flow assurance design and operation.  What fluid compositional information and physical measurements are needed that isn’t already available are needed. This would apply for screening chemicals density, viscosity, emulsion strength, foaming tendency, agglomeration tendency, presence of natural surfactants. How can adequate characterization be provided without pilot scale testing that requires barrel volumes and well flowback to provide the requisite sample.

Session IV: Multiphase Flow: Do We Need to Know More or Do We Need to Use What is Available?

Session Managers: Cem Sarica and Eduardo Pereyra

There has been an enormous and growing quantity of research in multiphase flow, including large JIPs and long-running university programs, leading to many thousands of published papers and PhD theses. Do we need to continue investing in research, or is the problem that the existing knowledge is not properly used (or properly converted to practical application)? If we need to know more, what areas represent significant knowledge gaps?

Session V: Deposits the Usual Suspects: Hydrates, Waxes, Scales & Asphaltenes

Session Managers: Dendy Sloan and Lynn Frostman

Through small group breakout teams, this session will explore where we want to be in 20 years with respect to understanding how deposits are formed.  What basic science, engineering & developments are needed?  What are the commonalities and differences between the deposit types, and are there crossover technologies?  Where are the biggest gaps in our knowledge, and what could we accomplish if we filled those gaps? Is it possible to develop a reliable time-dependent model?  Each team will be assigned a specific topic and will be charged with reporting back up to three of the most important questions that need to be answered going forward and at least one innovative pathway that will lead to those answers.

Session VI: Interaction of Production Chemistry and Flow

Session Managers: Taras Makogon and Emile LePorcher

Merging chemistry of production and multiphase flow is approached differently by companies. Some have separate disciplines of fluid-related effects (prediction/prevention) on one hand and multiphase flow simulations on the other hand, while others address these topics in an integrated and simultaneous way. Session will focus on vision for both unified and divided approaches to multiphase and chemistry sides in application to future challenges of longer and deeper flow geometries and more difficult fluids. A specific attention will be paid to the transient operations in terms of fluid in place and benefit of the velocity (flow) in operation.

Session VII: Prevention Operations

Session Managers: Jim Bennett and Lynn Frostman

This session will address prevention techniques, from design to operation, covering technologies such as heat loss insulation, pipe-in-pipe - heated or not, electrical active heating, shut down and startup procedures, among others. The idea is to discuss how consolidated technologies are working and elaborate on paths for future challenges.

Session VIII: Remediation and Intervention

Session Managers: Walter G. Chapman and Taras Makogon

If mitigation measures for the formation of solids like hydrates, wax, asphaltenes, scale fail, which may have led to complete plugging of the production system, intervention is needed to remediate the blockage and allow for a restart without the formation of a new plug. The session is focused on design methods, field experience, and technologies for intervention, but most importantly on identifying future requirements and technologies for early plug detection, and their remediation, which should be HSSE compliant and at low-cost with minimum deferment.

Session IX: How Does Our Future Success of Flow Assurance Impact the Economic Recovery Limits?

Session Managers: Phaneendra Kondap and Cem Sarica

Our future success of flow assurance depends on the development of technologies that can enable cost-efficient and environmental friendly solutions while contributing to increased earnings, production and improved recovery, enhancing and prolonging the use existing infrastructure.