Mark your calendars for SPE’s workshop, “Subsea Standardization: Finding Common Ground,” which will take place in San Antonio, Texas, 9–10 April 2013. Topics include the current states of operators’ and suppliers’ efforts and discussion of processes for achieving subsea standardization, covering quality, welding, and materials. Service data objectives, joint industry projects, and a list of potential milestones and deliverables will be considered.
Paul Jones, subsea manager at Chevron, writes about the dream of an ultimate subsea system in Oil and Gas Facilities. One path to this system is an architecture that is compact and modular—a plug-and-play architecture with common interfaces that can be configured over the full life cycle of the field. Each component’s performance would be understood, enabling fit-for-purpose designs to be deployed when required. Read the column here.
ATCE 2013 will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana on 30 September-2 October, and now is the time to submit paper proposals for consideration in the conference program. Submit a paper proposal outlining your PFC-related technical advancement, new method, case study, or practical application by 28 January 2013 online at www.spe.org/atce/2013.
Projects, facilities, and construction professionals—if you haven’t joined SPE yet, you’re missing out on the resources that could help you meet the increasing demands of your job.
As an SPE member, you can take advantage of conferences, training courses, live web events, technical sections, and many other programs targeted towards your area of expertise. And, our new magazine, Oil and Gas Facilities, is the only industry publication dedicated exclusively to the quickly-growing projects, facilities, and construction discipline. Join SPE and enjoy a discounted member subscription rate of USD 39—one of the many benefits of an SPE membership.
Carlos F. Mastrangelo, Petrobras, Houston, Texas, USA
Considered by most of his peers and specialists in the oil industry as the right person responsible for the concept’s definition, going back to 1980s, that made popular the Petrobras way and worldwide use of FPSO’s used as permanent production system. He was responsible for the first FPSO that opened a window for use of this concept as a definitive system and for the biggest turret basic design with 75 risers. He was recognized by SPE Brazilian Section in 2005 as the engineer of the year for his contribution to the development of offshore facilities.
Please join SPE in congratulating the 2012 SPE International Award recipients. The SPE Board of Directors approved the 2012 International Award recipients at their recent meeting. Seventeen international award committees recommended these winners to the board because of their outstanding and significant technical, professional, and service contributions to SPE and the petroleum industry. The winners were chosen from a pool of first rate candidates. SPE President Ganesh Thakur will present the awards to the winners at ATCE in San Antonio Texas.
Projects, Facilities, and Construction Award
Carlos F. Mastrangelo, Petrobras, Katy, Texas, USA
|Monday, 8 October 1400–1700||Paper Session – Enhancement of Facilities Technology
This session presents various operators’ experience to improve the facilities’ performance with the target to optimize design, extend the lifetime of the existing facilities, and improve the economics of the development. The session covers many facility applications such as water handling equipment, gas development, and application to abandon facilities.
|Monday, 8 October 1930–2200||Special Event – Learnings from Facilities Megaprojects Dinner
This event will recognize some of the largest and most innovative projects from a projects, facilities, and construction standpoint. Join us to benefit from the lessons learned from these challenging projects. Invited panelists will describe the effort that went into the concept, design, execution, and production of the following select projects: installation of massive production facilities in a short time span for several million BOPD in Saudi Arabia; large offshore facilities in Brazil; pioneering of deepwater projects in the Gulf of Mexico; and the Canadian oil sands projects in Alberta.Sponsored by:
|Tuesday, 9 October 0830–1155||Technical Panel Session – Challenges in Projects, Facilities, and Construction
This session will focus on the challenges that engineers and managers in the Projects, Facilities and Construction discipline are facing now and are likely to face over the next five years. Panelists will discuss the technical challenges and risks in bringing projects to completion in a timely and cost effective manner. The session will also address issues facing PF&C discipline professionals, as well as opportunities for individuals to move into exciting new areas, including the skills required and what they can expect in terms of demand for their knowledge.
|Tuesday, 9 October 1400–1700||Paper Session – Facilities Technology Applications
Technology application is always a question of selecting the right technology to fit for the field facilities. This session comprises an interesting selection of topical development concerns. In some cases, selected technology has to be changed for the appropriate application.
|Wednesday, 10 October 0830–1155||Special Event – Knowledge Sharing on Separations
Reliable separation is becoming an enabling technology to develop remote location resources (e.g. arctic, deepwater, and subsea) and more difficult applications (e.g. heavy oil, produced water, and sand disposal). Separations expertise is scattered around the globe without opportunities to share separation technology, fundamental research, and device qualification, or network to discuss common problems. The SPE Separations Technology Section will help address these challenges by organizing events, capturing lessons learned, and eventually fostering some JIPs. This session covers separation topics ranging from issues with conventional separator design to emerging technology trends.
At the 2011 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) in Denver, a panel discussed the question, “10 Years of Digital Energy: What Have We Learned?” Those leading the discussion, mostly experts from major operators and service companies, centered on two main themes:
- Consolidating and Institutionalizing Successful Patterns
- Handling of Large, Disparate Data Sets
As an industry, we clearly have moved beyond the heady first years of the digital transformation, where the anticipation from many was that within a few years we would have a consolidated software solution spanning the scope of E&P workflows. While the stories told by such a panel naturally focused more on success cases (particularly for large greenfield applications), what emerges is evidence of large-scale benefits when a company invests in repeating successful patterns at its scale of operation—this is found to be true for both operators and service companies. The clearest examples of such success were on the fundamental aspects of data quality, exception- based surveillance, standardization of human workflows, and large-scale applications of focused software solutions, often having required an investment cycle of at least 5 years. Focusing on the scaling of fundamental aspects to broad application provided significant return while managing risk, with the result of sustaining those programs that delivered benefits. If the human workflow failed to rely on any new technology deployment, any gains found in the first year or two following the deployment were not sustained. So, a simple, “fast follower” approach is unlikely to be successful, unless the follower can adapt the leader’s success to their own culture and processes well.
Of course, the challenges are becoming more complex. Scaling successes from large, greenfield applications (in which initiatives may be justified easily) to brownfields, “difficult oil and gas,” and IOR/EOR will require us to focus more on the “big- data” challenge and the efficient application of qualified data to improve reservoir management through better daily decisions and more-accurate forecasting. In many cases, the problem has moved from a lack of data to an inability to contextualize the available data quickly into a particular decision process. As a result, information relevant to a decision may be available to some extent within the organization, but not easily applied to the decision because it first must be found and qualified, often through an undocumented process, before it can be used.
Once organizations can depend on a service level for qualified data, they can begin to exploit the data by use of established patterns, such as those outlined by the ATCE panelists, and emerging patterns, as illustrated by the papers in this feature.
Read the paper synopses in the May 2012 issue of JPT.
John Hudson, SPE, Senior Production Engineer, Shell, has more than 25 years’ experience in multiphase-flow research, flow-assurance design of deepwater production systems, and development of model-based real-time operations- decision systems. Since joining Shell, he has held technical and managerial positions in Europe and North America, including leading a team that developed a model-based, cloud computing solution that was deployed globally to gas plants with a total production capacity in excess of 10 Bcf/D. Hudson currently provides production-engineering support for the development of a next-generation simulator. He holds a PhD degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois. Hudson serves on the JPT Editorial Committee.
In 2010, natural-gas reserves were approximately equivalent to 75% of the oil reserves (including oil sands). Unconventional gas sources continue to make up an increasingly important part of the natural-gas supply, particularly shale gas and coal- bed methane (CBM), which contribute approximately 40% to US natural-gas reserves.
Generally, very remote offshore gas reserves cannot be exploited economically by use of fixed subsea pipelines that tend to link the field with a specific geographical market. Operators can maximize market reach through natural-gas liquefaction and improved marine liquefied-natural-gas (LNG) tankers. For ultimate flexibility, four floating LNG-production facilities are predicted to come on stream within this decade.
Commercial exploitation of the known massive hydrate reserves probably is some time off; however, the chemistry research involved in hydrate management for current natural-gas production may accelerate progress in that area. Hydraulic-water reuse is key to the future of the CBM and shale-gas industries.
There are many opportunities to learn about and share natural-gas technologies. An SPE workshop, “Reducing Environmental Impact of Unconventional Resources Development,” will take place in San Antonio, Texas, 23–25 April 2012. A joint SPE/ SEG workshop, “Injection Induced Seismicity,” will be held in Broomfield, Colora- do, 12–14 September 2012. There will be an SPE “Tight Gas” workshop in Adelaide, Australia, 10–13 June 2012, and the SPE Unconventional Reservoir Technical Interest Group (TIG) provides a useful information exchange, as does the Gas Technology TIG. The 2013 SPE Unconventional Gas Conference and Exhibition will be held in Muscat, Oman, 28–30 January. The 2013 SPE International Symposium on Oilfield Chemis- try to be held in The Woodlands, Texas, 9–13 April, includes topics on gas-processing chemical applications.
Acid-gas (CO2 and H2S) removal from natural gas and sequestration/recovery/ disposal technologies are very important in exploitation of poorer-quality gas finds. Much work continues in this area, and very large acid-gas-removal units are in opera- tion or are planned for the Arabian Gulf region.
The future of natural-gas processing and handling has never looked better.
Read the paper synopses in the April 2012 issue of JPT.
George Hobbs, SPE, is Director, Strategic Chemistry Pty. Ltd., a production consulting group. Previously, he was with Nalco/Exxon, Exxon Chemical Energy Chemicals, NL Treating Chemicals, Baroid, British Gas, Kemira Oy, and Blue Circle Cement. Hobbs has 34 years’ experience in solving oil and gas and geothermal drilling and production problems in Europe, the USA, North Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, and Australasia. He studied at the University of Glasgow, Brunel University, and the University of Adelaide, earning a BS degree in applied chemistry and a Graduate Diploma in business. Hobbs is past Chairperson of the SPE Gas Technology TIG and served on the SPE TIG Advisory Committee. He serves on the SPE Production and Operations Advisory Committee and the JPT Editorial Committee. Hobbs is a Certified Corrosion Specialist and Chemical Treatment Specialist.