Production and Facilities
The overarching theme of work published during the past year relating to production and facilities is performance and productivity improvement—doing more with less at a lower cost. This applies to the character of work that was performed and the topics that were investigated. The publications clearly illustrate how the low-price environment stimulated creativity in the improvement of existing operations and technologies as well as in the development of new technologies.
Nearly one-third of the papers reviewed for this feature involved the use of digital models and simulations. Models were used to verify the study results or were improved on the basis of study results. Where adequate models were unavailable, new ones were developed (paper SPE 182450). Computational-fluid-dynamics (CFD) simulations played an important role in a number of published studies. One study (paper OTC 27762) validates simulations by actual physical testing and includes an evaluation of multiphase CFD flow-modeling techniques. Overall, this year’s publications confirm the pervasive dependence of technological advancements on the use of valid and (hopefully) reliable digital modeling.
“Big data” played a role in several investigations, with objectives that ranged from optimizing field production (paper SPE 182450) to improving maintenance and lowering the cost for it (paper OTC 27788). Big data was also incorporated into project management by forward-using available information to systematically “Eliminate Decision Bias in Facilities Planning” (paper SPE 187283).
Compressors and compression are components of facilities that often show higher capital and maintenance costs, so it is not surprising that several papers described means to reduce these costs. Three papers addressed compressor failure/reliability issues (papers SPE 183322, SPE 183528, and SPE 183253), while two papers described means to improve production economics by the purposeful application of compressor technology, including the use of a multiphase compressor to improve recoveries on a marginal wellhead platform (paper IPTC 18692).
Inflow-control devices (ICDs) were addressed by several authors, with some focusing on the application of ICDs to steam-injection wells (paper SPE 183842). Others reported on the development of new types of devices that operate on electrical resistance (paper SPE 185682) or are viscosity independent (paper SPE 183930).
Finally, the use of 3D printing for oilfield applications was described in two papers (papers OTC 27540 and OTC 27766). A review of existing and emerging nanotechnology applications in the oil patch was also provided (paper SPE 183301).
This Month's Technical Papers
Recommended Additional Reading
OTC 27762 Modeling of a Full-Scale Horizontal Liquid/Liquid Separator Under Conditions of Varying Flow Rate, Water Cut, and Viscosity With Experimental Validation by A.B. McCleney, Southwest Research Institute, et al.
SPE 183842 Developing a Robust Inflow-Control Device Suitable for High-Rate Injection by Joshua Snitkoff, Baker Hughes, a GE Company, et al.
SPE 183840 A Robust Framework for ICD Design in a Giant Field Using 4D Dynamic Modeling by O.A. Ogunsanwo, Schlumberger, et al.
SPE 183322 Improving Control of Torsional Vibrations of Motor-Driven Reciprocating Compressors by Timo P. Holopainen, ABB Motors and Generators, et al.
SPE 183301 Nanotechnology for Oilfield Applications: Challenges and Impact by Hon Chung Lau, National University of Singapore, et al.
OTC 27540 Exploration of Applications of Metallic Additive Manufacturing for the Oil and Gas Industry by Allan Zhong, Halliburton, et al.
Production and Facilities
Ted Frankiewicz, SPE, Engineering Adviser, SPEC Services
01 December 2017
Eni Gets Development Approval for Area 1 Offshore Mexico
The Italian firm is slated to become the first international operator to produce oil from Mexican waters since energy reform took hold. The launch of early production from Area 1 is expected in first-half 2019.
Equinor Invests in Two Gas-Focused Tech Startups
Venture groups spend their time evaluating hundreds of companies each year to only make a handful of investments. These two cover interesting ends of the upstream spectrum: aerial drones and downhole artificial lift.
ExxonMobil Awards Second Liza FPSO Contract to SBM Offshore
Scheduled for startup in 2022, the FPSO is expected to produce up to 220,000 BOPD on the development offshore Guyana. Liza is one of eight discoveries ExxonMobil has made in area.
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