SPE-BSEE Data-Sharing Initiative Aims To Improve Risk Management
Various industry experts discussed the progress of an initiative led by SPE and BSEE to develop a safety data-sharing framework to help mitigate potential risk in operations.
Why Our Way To Develop Projects Fails To Minimize Capex—Part 2
In the first part of this series, the author explained why the current way of performing FEED does not allow minimization of costs by optimizing the design. In this article, he describes how the current contractual setup of the EPC also fails to minimize the costs of equipment/materials and works.
Commercial GTL Project Opens in Southeast Texas
A recently opened plant in Wharton marks the first small-scale commercial gas-to-liquids project in the state of Texas.
Technip CEO: Industry Downturn Creates Opportunities for Innovation
Investment in digital technologies may increase project efficiency and reduce costs. However, Technip’s chief executive officer (CEO) said it is equally important to strengthen relationships with companies along the supply chain.
Field-Scale Testing Vital To Understanding Gas Hydrate Behavior
Replicating field conditions for flow assurance experiments at a reasonable cost often presents many challenges, particularly when it comes to designing an experiment with appropriately scaled geometry, an expert said.
GE CEO: Partnership With BP Among Highlights of Digital Initiatives
The oil and gas sector is an area primed for transformational development of its operations through new digital infrastructures, GE’s CEO said in an address to technological developers and company partners.
Why Our Way To Develop Projects Fails To Minimize Capex—Part 1
In this first of a two-part series, the author describes why the use of lump sum contracts for FEED services contract followed by an EPC contract does not fulfil the requirements to lower oil and gas facilities capex.
Studies Reveal Geological Faults, Stress Orientations in Texas, Oklahoma
Geophysicists from Stanford University have compiled a map of new maximum horizontal stress orientations in Texas and surrounding areas, potentially giving operators new information for avoiding seismic activity in their hydraulic fracturing operations.
WY DEQ: Hydraulic Fracturing Not Likely Culprit of Water Contamination
The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality recently concluded that hydraulic fracturing operations were not the likely cause of well water contamination in a small town.
Consortium Tackles Decommissioning Inefficiencies
A team of oil and gas consultancy companies have formed a collaborative program aimed at offering integrated support for operators looking to retire redundant facilities without in-house overhead.
New Report Predicts Lower IoT Spending Over 10-Year Period
A recently released report predicted that IoT networks will not take up as much of the overall market share as previously anticipated.
Three Key Principles To Solving Operational Flow Issues
When the underlying cause of flow-related issues on offshore projects is unknown, an expert said an investigation of fluid flow behavior based on an understanding of the first principles of flow assurance is necessary.
Efficiency, Innovation Needed for Sustainability Initiatives
As governments around the world seek to lower energy consumption in the wake of the low oil price environment, the 2016 SPE President said the industry must be proactive in ramping up its sustainability efforts.
China Shipyard Launches Liftboat, Contracts for Dive Support Vessel
Mekers Offshore, a Zhejiang-based company, launched its first in a series of liftboats at Shanghai Bestway Dajin Heavy Industries yard in Jiangsu, China.
Kashagan Adds to Global Glut With Quick Production Buildup
Kashagan crude reached the global markets. The world’s most expensive upstream project restarted production and about 195,000 barrels, produced during the startup process, were shipped for export.
TOC Analysis of Waste Water: Practical for Continuous Monitoring
Three metrics that are used for monitoring organics in water are total organic carbon (TOC), chemical oxygen demand, and biological oxygen demand. While less commonly used than the other two methods, TOC can offer practical advantages to operators.
Full Life Cycle Approach Improves Water Management Economics
A look at a water management plan for developing shale assets in the Permian Basin encompassing the full life cycle of each field.
ATCE: Addressing Human Factors Can Make Megaprojects Work
Studies show that almost 65% of megaprojects fail to meet the performance goals established when the financial go-ahead was given. Operators can avoid costly pitfalls if they focus on addressing the human-related problems.
Astronomy, Fiber-Optics Provide Blueprint for Data
Managing an unconventional asset requires the proper analysis of large amounts of data. How can unconventional asset operators utilize data processing technologies commonly used in other industries?
Safety Improvements in Unconventionals Require Situational Awareness
Past experiences with problematic situations often drive the decision-making process, and while experience may be helpful, it can also lead to the development of biases that hamper an organization’s ability to manage dynamic environments such as unconventional projects.
Cold Finger Method Effective at Testing Paraffin Inhibitors
A presentation from the 2016 Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Technical Symposium examines a testing strategy to determine the effectiveness of paraffin inhibitors.
Bakken Pipeline Gets Final Go-Ahead From Feds
The Dakota Access Pipeline, which will connect the Bakken and Three Forks production areas, has received the regulatory go-ahead from the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Salvage Operations Ongoing at Grounded Semisub Off Isle of Lewis
Eight salvage experts have boarded the Transocean Winner, which ran agorund off the Isle of Lewis on 8 August.
Bayesian Networks Helpful in Shale Risk Management
By using a Bayesian network, a probabilistic graphical model, in their shale operations, companies might eliminate some of the hurdles they face in these areas, an expert said at the 2016 Unconventional Resources Technology Conference.
URTeC: New Strategies Needed To Maximize Produced Water Storage, Usage
At the 2016 Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, Barry Donaldson, vice president of global sales and marketing at Tetra Technologies, discussed possible cost-effective water management strategies.
Noble Jim Day Semisub Cold Stacked
The Noble Jim Day semisubmersible (left) arrived at Harbor Island in Port Aransas, Texas, on 29 July to be cold stacked.
McDermott and Nakilat-Keppel Marine Enter 5-Year Agreement in Qatar
McDermott and Nakilat-Keppel Offshore Marine (N-KOM) agreed to an exclusive cooperation agreement for offshore engineering, procurement, construction, and installation projects within Qatari waters.
Top 30 Projected Markets for Upstream Oil and Gas Equipment Exports
In a market assessment tool for US exporters, the US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration ranked 74 markets based on export potential for US oil & gas equipment through 2019.
DNV GL Opens Hazard Awareness Training Center
DNV’s new training center will run full-scale experiments for a joint industry project aimed at investigating cost-efficient explosion load descriptions for process areas.
Statoil: Subsea Compression Systems To Extend Field Life
A closer look at the design and construction of Statoil’s subsea gas compression systems in the Åsgard and Gullfaks fields, the first of their kind in the oil and gas industry.
Startup Companies’ Role in Industry’s Future
Innovative technologies will be critical to the industry as it manages through an oil price downturn, and the industry must create a supportive environment for startup companies that promotes the growth and competition needed for a stable marketplace.
Early Implementation Key To Combating Cybersecurity Threats
As cyberattackers find ways to exploit the vulnerabilities in present security systems, the industry continues to develop more robust cybersecurity controls to protect its assets.
A Deeper Look At Modularization In Facilities Construction
As operators look to reduce the time and cost for projects, adopting a modular approach to facility design. While this approach may provide some benefits, it may not be the most efficient path.
Mature Oilfield Facilities Enhancement: Use of Two-Screw Multiphase Pumps To Stimulate Increased Well Production
In maturing oil wells, oil production is often restricted as reservoir pressure depletes. Two case studies highlight the application of two-screw multiphase pump systems in to extend well life.
How to Avoid Project Train Wrecks
Why do we as an industry do so poorly in executing large capital projects? Oil and gas is not alone. The many reasons for failure of megaprojects fall into five broad categories.
Finding New Ground in Subsea Integrity Management
Deepwater production has become more reliant on the integrity of subsea, umbilical, riser, and flowline (SURF) systems. A JIP explored cost-effective inspection and maintenance options.
Designing Efficient Facilities in Challenging Locations
Three case studies discuss the challenges of defining efficient facilities in difficult locations.
Managing Nontechnical Risk in Offshore Projects
Nontechnical risks, primarily around HSE or social responsibility, increasingly pose risks to project timelines. To manage these risks, companies are seeking systems that can ensure quality performance in these operational areas.
Solving Deepwater Challenges in a Low Price Environment
Construction costs, contractor involvement, flow assurance, and the integration of new technologies created to improve production are some of the deepwater challenges exacerbated by the current low price environment.
Water Management for Enhanced Oil Recovery Projects
Produced water from chemical floods can cause problems for separation and water treatment equipment due to the polymers and surfactants used. Challenges are greater offshore where space limitations can affect treatment options.
The Unexpected Challenges in an FPSO Mooring Project
A routine maintenance project became more complicated when an ROV inspection exposed unexpected trenching that reduced the holding capacity of the system.
Monitoring, Maintenance Of Mooring Systems Help To Extend Design Life of Production Facilities
As many platforms begin to produce beyond their design life, maintenance of mooring systems becomes more critical. With redundancies in place, operators may be unaware of initial failures, which can have major consequences if another failure occurs.
Improving Corrosion Inhibition Fluids and Techniques in Offshore Projects
This feature takes a look at the work being done by companies to improve corrosion inhibitor fluids and inhibition techniques for offshore projects.
Megaprojects Call for the “Total Project Manager”
Project managers for megaprojects that will take years to complete require special skills to deal with the many challenges. As a result, engineering and construction firms report a shortage of project managers.
Building a High-Performance Facilities Engineering Organization
In this article, a methodology is presented for the formation of a facilities engineering organization in an upstream operating company and others such as engineering contractors.
A Strategy For Driving Step Change Reductions in Capital Project Cost
Many companies are seeking 20% to 50% reductions in project costs. This level of capital cost reduction requires serious rethinking of the strategy for developing and executing projects.
Current Developments in the World of Risers
New technologies, practices, computer modeling, and design may help to improve the methods for the condition assessment and management of life cycle for risers. As area of recent study has addressed methods to improve the prediction of the riser annulus environment.
Value-Added Engineering: A Solution to a Down Market
In the face of potential long-term revenue reductions and profit losses, the oil and gas industry needs a carefully planned, well thought-out approach to solving the challenges associated with a protracted widespread market downturn. Fortunately, value-added engineering can be part of the solution.
Forging of Subsea Equipment: Standardization of Specifications Aims To Improve Delivery Time
To provide a best practice approach aimed aimed at reducing delivery time and production costs and improving material quality, a joint industry project led by DNV GL resulted in a recommended practice for steel forgings in subsea applications.
Life Extension of Mature Facilities Through Robust Engineering and Chemistry Solutions
The development and upgrade of mature facilities is ultimately driven by the significant shift in the composition of the arrival fluids, mainly the increasing water cut and solids production.
Lessons Learned as World's First Cell Spar Laid to Rest
After 10 years, the world’s first cell spar, Anadarko’s Red Hawk, was decommissioned. It remained the only cell spar fabricated and again made history as the deepest floating production unit ever decommissioned in the GOM.
Modeling the Behavior of Asphaltenes
For many projects, asphaltene management plans are a matter of remediation or prevention. In the past decade, models have been developed to predict how asphaltene particles will behave in oil—the conditions under which precipitation and agglomeration occur.
Taking on the Technical Challenges of Sour Gas Processing
High H2S and CO2 content in natural gas pose significant challenges to processing equipment. This article explores the challenges of sulfur removal and high pressures in the presence of acid gas.
Spar Innovations: Thinking Inside the Box Reaps Savings
For Anadarko, the secret of the “design one, build many” approach to offshore production facilities is to control its enthusiasm for change. The company’s experience with eight operated spars shows the benefits gained with this approach.
Case Study: Sand Separation in Surface Facilities for Heavy and Extra Heavy Oil
Upstream separation processes remain a hot topic for facilities engineers. Striving to design separators with the optimal sizing for a variety of reservoir conditions, increasing water cuts, and dynamic gas/oil/water production characteristics is critical, but challenging.
Commissioning: Making the Connection Between Construction and Operations
Although the commissioning of a floating production system (FPS) generally takes place between the “mechanical completion” and “first oil” stages, commissioning activities begin long before then.
LLOG’S Delta House Who Dat Writ Large
LLOG Exploration’s Delta House floating production system (FPS) looms large over Kiewit Offshore Services’ fabrication yard in Ingleside, Texas.
The Value of Mentoring in Career Development
A few weeks ago, I noticed that someone had viewed my LinkedIn profile. We all have had this happen, and often it will be recruiters or business development professionals looking for contacts, or people who wish to remain anonymous for some reason.
Taking a Closer Look at Why Projects Fail
The high failure rate of projects is well documented. Companies want to find the most efficient ways of managing their investments, and when those investments do not meet their targets, they want to know the reasons.
Design and Performance Testing of a Subsea Compact Separation System for Deepwater Applications
Because of extremely high internal and external pressures, unconventional separator designs must be used in ultradeepwater applications. A major operator has qualified a number of subsea technologies covering a wide range of operating conditions and fluid properties that encompass its subsea portfol
Improving Human Performance: Tackling the Challenges To Develop Effective Safety Cultures
Human error is identified as a root cause of accidents and incidents in 60% to 80% of the cases and a causal factor in another 50% to 60% of all mishaps across many industries.
Offshore Construction and Installation Innovations Aim for Deeper Waters
During OTC in Houston last month, offshore construction capabilities drew a room-capacity audience to a technical session about advances in deepwater construction techniques and vessels, including pipelaying and heavy lifting.
Seafloor Factory Concept Drives Subsea Power Technology Development
As offshore development moves into deeper waters, harsh environments, and longer distances, the economic and practical advantages of moving as many components to the seafloor as possible has become a driving factor in technology development.
Lack of Facilities Standards: The Achilles’ Heel of Modularization?
Modularizing components for facilities sounds like a great idea, but may not be as simple as it seems. The lack of standards is a major impediment. You have to know that parts will work together. But the process of modularization has started and will continue.
Quantifying Separation Performance Taking Bothamley’s Work to the Next Level
Mark Bothamley's series quantifying separation performance in the August-December 2013 issues represents a significant addition to the literature in two-phase separator design. Ken Arnold proposes additional areas of study to take our knowledge even further.
Definition of a Cutoff Natural Frequency for Smallbore Pipework Connections
Vibration-induced fatigue failures of pipework smallbore connections result in elevated safety risks and costly interruptions to normal operations. A common cause is poor design. This article discusses design considerations to avoid these failures.
Produced and Flowback Water Recycling and Reuse - Economics, Limitations, and Technology
The demands for the fresh water used in many hydraulic fracturing operations are placing pressure on water sources in some regions of the United States. Because of the high volumes of water needed for fracturing and competing demands availability of fresh water has decreased and costs have grown.
Implementation of a Metric-Driven, Statistical Chemical Management Program for Unconventional Plays
The challenges for operators in the Eagle Ford have been enormous, which can push chemical management to the back burner. But there is a price to be paid down the road. Operators have recently become more mindful of implementing metric-driven chemical management programs.
Flow Assurance -Hydrates and Paraffin Management
As environments become more challenging, the importance and complexity of flow assurance has evolved. To effectively manage flow assurance, oil and gas operators must take a holistic approach, particularly when working in deepwater offshore environments.
Challenges in the Design of Separators
Reliable separation is becoming an enabling technology to help develop remote location resources and more difficult applications, such as heavy oil, produced water, sand disposal, and back-produced fluids in enhanced oil recovery.
Topside Processing Plants Go Compact on FPSOs
The development of compact topside processing plants for floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels is a growing industry trend that can reduce operating and capital expenditures over the life of the vessel, a researcher and scientist said recently.
Corrosion Monitoring and Mitigation Technologies
A wide range of corrosive elements and compounds from a variety of crudes has led to a renewed industry focus on corrosion and the effects it has on pipelines and vessels.
Advances in Coatings Protection Extend Offshore Facility Life
As producers push logistical and technological limits to operate in deeper water and more remote locations, maintaining and repairing offshore structures can present a number of challenges unique to these environments. One of the costliest is corrosion.
Gas/Liquids Separators—Part 3: Quantifying Separation Performance
In this third article of a three-part series, the results of selected gas/liquid separation case studies/sensitivities are presented to show the effects of key separator selection/sizing decision parameters, fluid properties, and operational parameters.
Personal Perspectives of Two Distinguished Lecturers: Experience Opportunity and Adventure
The time for the annual selection of SPE’s Distinguished Lecturers (DLs) is coming soon. If you are unfamiliar with the DL program or have not explored it in depth, consider learning more as the selection process for the 2015–2016 lecture season begins on 1 February 2014.
Sand Management Methodologies for Sustained Facilities Operations
Facilities sand management is tasked with the goal of ensuring sustained hydrocarbon production when particulate solids are present in well fluids, while minimizing the impact of the produced solids on surface equipment. How to do that?
The Challenges of Processing and Transporting Heavy Crude
As the world's supply of crude becomes heavier, many of the world’s oil producers will have to think more carefully about heavy crudes and the challenges they pose for processing, storage, and transportation.
Gas/Liquids Separators - Part 2 Quantifying Separation Performance
In this second article of a three-part series, methods for improved quantification of operating performances of the gas gravity separation, the mist extraction, and the liquid gravity separation sections of gas/liquid separators are discussed.
Tanker Conversions to FPSO Design and Integrity Management -Challenges
Conversion of very large crude carriers to FPSO's can speed time to first oil under the right conditions, there are many considerations in the planning and execution of these conversions.
Gas/Liquid Separators: Quantifying Separation Performance
Many two-phase and three-phase separators in the oil and gas industry continue to underperform. This article explores the weaknesses in different sizing methodologies and proposes manageable approaches to quantifying each.
Training of Project Managers Gains Traction
The oil and gas industry's performance in executing megaprojects is dismal in terms of cost overruns and schedule slippage. An operating company has introduced a support group dedicated to project management and developed a program based on online resources, social networking, mentoring and coaching
New Water-Treatment Technologies Tackle Offshore Produced-Water Challenges in EOR
Enhanced oil recovery processes, particularly offshore, create challenges for produced water treatment. This option reviews technology options and current applications.
Optimization of Reliability and Maintenance Unlocks Hidden Value
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.
Built-In Bias Jeopardizes Project Success
In spite of massive investments in project management best practices and the organizations to implement them, major oil and gas projects continue to experience cost overruns and schedule delays. A root cause that has not been sufficiently explored is the built-in bias toward overconfidence.
Advancements in the Removal of Mercury From Crude Oil
Issues associated with mercury’s presence in hydrocarbon processing systems have become more apparent as deeper and hotter reservoirs (often with higher levels of mercury) were exploited, and with the low-temperature gas processing used for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and natural gas liquids.
Rapid Rise Hydrocarbon Fires – An Engineering Perspective
The energy contained in oil and gas makes them immensely useful—and dangerous. A fire fueled by hydrocarbons can quickly threaten anything exposed to it. Building in passive fire protection when constructing facilities is wise practice.
A Strategic Shift in Well Abandonment Services
Global decommissioning projects are ramping up as many installations near the end of their life cycle. Many operators are now planning for major removal projects. Changes in technology and regulations have caused operators to make significant shifts in well abandonment operations.
Managing Subsurface Uncertainties in Facilities Design
Bridging the gap between facilities and reservoir engineers is critical in designing systems that are flexible enough to allow a spectrum of reservoir feed conditions to be accommodated over the life cycle of the field. While subsurface uncertainties can't be eliminated, they can be managed.
Trends in Facilities Design and Construction
Operators’ demands for structural designs are changing along with the need to produce from harsher environments, deeper waters, remote areas, and marginal fields. New-builds and modifications require different approaches in assessment of cost, design, and construction.
Human Factors Getting to the Future Faster
SPE has formed a new technical section focusing on human factors engineering, which seeks to bring in knowledge from other industries, thereby ensuring safe operations and fostering a coordinated safety culture from top-level executives to workers on the ground.
Highlights in Projects, Facilities, and Construction
ATCE included expanded content for project, facilities and construction professionals. Panels discussed our performance in managing megaprojects and our challenges in designing separation equipment. Two technical paper sessions were also included.
Processing of Sour Natural Gas Reaches New Highs
ExxonMobil is testing its Controlled Freeze Zone technology, a single-step cryogenic process that allows carbon dioxide (CO2) to freeze in a controlled method and then melts the CO2. After recovery of the methane, the CO2 can be sequestered or used for EOR.
Advances in Electrostatic Treatment of Crude Oil
Physical properties of crude oil, such as gravity, viscosity, and water density, drive the selection of technologies to be used for effective dehydration. For heavy crude oils, process temperature is often increased to lower viscosity, but there are limits, after which alternatives are needed.
Project Management With a Focus on Details
Project management is one way to keep an eye on the big picture. Focusing on the little things too can increase your bottom line. The complexity of modern facilities construction projects necessitates a cradle-to-grave approach to managing projects over long periods of time.
Flaring, Venting Draws Attention to Unconventional Plays
Industry proponents and many leading academic institutions agree that natural gas is the safest, cleanest-burning bridge fuel. One risk in the development of this resource involves the inevitable leakage of methane.
Offshore Asset Integrity Management Advances With New Technologies
Asset integrity management encompasses the design, operation, and maintenance of an asset to preserve its integrity at an acceptable level of risk throughout its operating life.
Gas Hydrate Control Using Monoethylene Glycol in the Gulf of Mexico
One of the more challenging flow assurance problems in deepwater subsea gas pipelines and equipment is the formation of natural gas hydrates. Gas hydrates form under conditions of low temperatures and high pressures, such as those found in deep water.
Shale plays: Environmental Issues Related to Surface Facilities
As the development of US shale plays expands to undeveloped or underdeveloped areas, the environmental issues related to surface facilities move to front and center. Operators, regulators, politicians, and the general public have become more aware of and concerned about environmental effects.
Compression Moves from Topsides to Seabed in North Sea
After approximately 25 years of development, subsea gas compression technology has advanced to a readiness level worthy of full implementation in the North Sea.
Planning for Initial Startup Success
The ultimate success of a deepwater project depends on phases from early concept selection, design, construction, commissioning, and startup to operation. However, the boundaries and transfer of responsibilities may not be sharply demarcated between phases.