Welcome to this selection of peer-reviewed papers. The papers focus on the design of surface facilities in specific equipment items and broader optimization issues. Equipment design often requires a working knowledge of many equipment design aspects and how each of these interacts with changes in the process. This interaction starts with field attributes and affects the design of facilities.
The first paper 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.
The second paper 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.
The following paper 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.
The final paper 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.
SPE’s publication policy requires that papers “avoid commercialism and plagiarism” and that “there are no commercial references.” These are some of the primary issues that reviewers and editors address to maintain the professionalism of the published papers.
Thank you for taking the time to review the papers on the next pages. I hope you enjoy this issue as much as I enjoyed selecting its contents.
Jim Collins, Peer-Review Editor, ConocoPhillips
Williams Chirinos, Inexertus
Galen Dino, AMEC Oil and Gas Americas
Sudhakar Mahajanam, ConocoPhillips
Gerald Verbeek, Verbeek Management Services