Unplanned capacity downtime due to equipment problems in oil and gas production facilities translates not only into decreased volumes of sales product, but also the potential for interrelated equipment or process slowdowns or shutdowns. Compared to the US industrial average downtime ranging from 3% to 5%, the oil and gas industry’s estimated downtime ranges from 5% to 10%,indicating that improvement is needed in reliability and maintenance of facilities, equipment, and processes.
Emerging treatment technologies are creating new possibilities for produced water handling and allowing for options different from standard disposal. This is particularly true for offshore enhanced oil recovery applications, where technical, economic, and regulatory factors are driving produced water treatment innovations with the capability to render water suitable for reinjection or disposal.
Peer Review Editor
E. Pereyra, R. Mohan, and O. Shoham
Describes the numerical modeling of a horizontal pipe separator. In addition to providing a simpler method to calculate the required sizing of a pipe separator, the paper also describes how the physical process applies to the separator, and how experimental results validate the work.
Describes the problem of acoustically induced vibration and how a piping system can be exposed to fatigue cracking because of this stress. The potential for catastrophic failue is always a concern in highly stressed systems; however, the risk of sound causing a failure may not be fully addressed in the piping design.
L.F. Ayala H. and S. Blumsack
Applies a theory from traffic design to pipeline systems. The addition of a pipe segment in a network system is commonly used to relieve system bottlenecks, but this paper identifies a possible problem with this methodology. The paper suggests that industry should pursue a dual strategy of upgrading severe bottlenecks while simultaneously examining the existing assets with a perspective toward improved usage.
K. Ling, X. Wu, B. Guo, and J. He
Discusses the use of equation-of-state analytical programs to optimize the separator operating pressures in an oil-production system. The optimization process can provide the maximum oil volume for a specific system, but many times the constraints of the field development and economics will drive the development toward a less-than-optimal solution. However, knowing the tradeoff in recovery for various operating scenarios is valuable.