Welcome to the peer-reviewed papers section of Oil and Gas Facilities. One of the advantages of being an editor is that I am provided the opportunity to read many papers, some of which I may have ignored otherwise, simply because they do not necessarily deal with subjects in my areas of interest. However, as I read these papers, I am reminded time and time again that we are truly a society of engineers. The origin of the word “engineers” implies that we are people that use our intelligence to come up with new ideas to find solutions for the problems we encounter. Many of the papers I read, including those selected for this issue, illustrate that very well.
The first paper deals with the current API standard for designing subsea equipment, which is limited to a working pressure of 15,000 psi and provides little guidance on temperature conditions exceeding 250°F. With the industry trending toward wells that operate beyond these limits, a new design methodology is required. The authors provide a solution to this requirement as they introduce a methodology that combines the API and ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessels Code to design subsea pressure-containing components for high-pressure/high-temperature conditions.
The second paper takes on the issue of produced water. As an oil field matures, there is an increased quantity of produced water that has to be treated before it can be disposed of or used. The appropriate technology and treatment level depend on a number of factors, and this paper reports on a small pilot plant that was used to conduct produced-water treatment trials at a crude-oil gathering facility. The flexible design of this plant allows for different combinations of the available treatment processes, and the paper provides results on the treatment of various mixtures of brine and oil.
The third paper also deals with water, but in the form of hydrates, as it evaluates the risk of hydrate formation at the top of pipelines caused by the temperature gradient. This paper describes the results of preliminary tests that were conducted in a new experimental setup that was constructed to investigate gas-hydrate risks in various operational scenarios (e.g., top of pipelines, deadlegs/jumpers, startups, and shutdowns).
The last paper brings us back to maturing fields and addresses the issue of liquid-loading in aging onshore gas developments. The paper discusses the use of wellhead twin-screw pumps for gas-well deliquefication and provides recommendations on how to use this kind of equipment successfully.
I hope that you will review these papers, and, as always, SPE welcomes further discussion. I invite you to submit a discussion whenever you feel that the content of a particular paper warrants further debate, and considering the subject matter of these papers, that should be a foregone conclusion.
Gerald Verbeek, Peer-Review Editor,
Verbeek Management Services
Williams Chirinos, Inexertus
Galen Dino, AMEC Oil and Gas Americas
Sudhakar Mahajanam, ConocoPhillips