TOPICS OF INTEREST
FACILITIES PLANNING AND MAINTENANCE
COVID-19 and Low Oil Prices—Critical Supply Chain and Procurement Strategies
With oil prices at historic lows and with COVID-19 supply chain disruptions, the time has come to evaluate supply chain and procurement strategies, sourcing techniques, and costs.
Upstream Digitalization Is Proving Itself in the Real World
For the upstream industry, where improvement in efficiency or production can drive significant financial results, there is no question that the size of the digital prize is huge. So are the challenges.
Integrated Design Assessment Optimizes Layout and Engineering of Timor Gas Field
The complete paper presents an integration of geology, geohazards, geophysics, and geotechnical assessments for a design of an offshore gas production facility and an associated export pipeline.
Global Upstream Industry Moves Into Survival Mode
As the fallout deepens from the coronavirus pandemic and the global collapse in oil and gas prices, oil- and gas-producing regions around the world are feeling the pain.
ExxonMobil Shares Blueprint for Stricter Regulations of Methane Emissions
The largest oil and gas major in the US is calling for tighter rules around methane monitoring, wellhead venting, and the replacement of equipment components with “high-leak potential.”
Enverus Acquires RS Energy Group and Q Engineering
The provider of subscription-based analytics services for the North American oil and gas sector continues its streak of purchasing data-focused firms.
SPE Talks To: Mathias Carlsen
In this episode, we discuss the state of shale EOR in the US and what hydrocarbon producers need to know about seperator oil shrinkage.
Guyana Hits New Milestones
First oil from the 120,000-B/D Liza Destiny FPSO is flowing ahead of schedule.
Chevron Sanctions First Deepwater Ultra-High-Pressure Development
The Anchor development in the US Gulf of Mexico is the first ultra-high-pressure project requiring 20-ksi operating pressure to reach a final investment decision.
Tullow Oil CEO, Exploration Director Resign Amid Lower Production Outlook
The resignations come as the company makes downward revisions to its production guidance after a disappointing performance from its TEN and Jubilee fields offshore Ghana.
Total Officially Enters Libya’s Waha Concessions
Total will invest $650 million in the development of two main projects, North Gialo and NC 98, resulting in a 180,000-B/D increase in production.
Digital Twins Mature in the North Sea
A proving ground for the use of digital twins has emerged in the North Sea. There, operators Total, Aker BP, and Shell have each developed and deployed twins that they expect to pay big dividends.
ADNOC To Boost Oil Production From Giant Bab Field
The upgrade project will increase the maturing field’s oil production to 485,000 B/D.
For Subsea Technology, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”
Subsea advancements in the works include longer tiebacks, an underwater drone that lives on the seafloor, and a robotic manifold capable of actuating dozens of valves. Do these new capabilities, born of necessity, signal a sea change in industrywide technology development?
Aramco Plan to Restart Damaged Oil Facilities “Optimistic”
Rystad estimates almost 2 million B/D will remain shut in on average during September and October, with full restoration to pre-attack levels not coming until closer to year end.
Alliances Drive Upstream Digital Deployment
Partnerships with big tech, tech startups, and innovative service companies—and the merging of their data, cloud, and software applications—are proving essential for operators in the scaling phase of digital deployment. Equinor, Microsoft, and Halliburton are among those joining forces.
Innovative Design and Execution Lead to Successful Grand Banks Platform Operations
The Hebron platform was successfully installed on the Grand Banks offshore Newfoundland and Labrador in June 2017. It consists of a single-shaft concrete gravity-based structure (GBS) supporting an integrated drilling and production topsides.
Evaluation of a Riser After 10 Years of GOM Service Life
As part of an effort to evaluate existing riser systems, an operator launched an inspection and testing program to investigate risers retrieved following well abandonment after a service life of nearly 10 years in the Gulf of Mexico.
What is the definition of offshore-facilities project success in the context of Industry 4.0? Generally, cost, time, and scope are the common project-success indicators. However, I believe we can expand these indicators to the social and environmental areas.
Extra-Long Subsea Tiebacks Reduce Deepwater Development Costs
The complete paper presents and discusses the authors’ technology-development program regarding very-long oil-tieback architectures (50–100 km) and enabling technologies.
Equinor Picks 10 New Startups for Accelerator Program
Digital technologies serve as a primary theme of this year’s group, with a few environmentally conscious firms included in the mix.
Third Oil Spill Reported Off Newfoundland and Labrador
Production from the Hibernia platform was shut down again on 17 August after its second oil spill in a month, while Husky Energy began to ramp up output from the White Rose field following the largest-ever spill off Canada’s easternmost province.
Murphy Oil Greenlights US Gulf Floating Production Facility
Anchored by the Khaleesi-Mormont and Samurai fields, the King’s Quay FPS will receive and process up to 80,000 B/D of crude oil.
Built on Several New Tools, Marathon’s Digital Oilfield is Maturing
Marathon Oil says its shale fields are producing more oil and gas with less hands-on work from company personnel thanks to a growing arsenal of digital technologies and workflows.
OTC Event Selects 10 Startups Worth Watching
The results are in. Here are this year’s “Most Promising” startups as decided by upstream investors and oil company innovation teams
ExxonMobil Moves Forward With Second Guyana Development
Expected to start up in mid-2022, Liza Phase 2 will produce up to 220,000 B/D of oil.
New Gas-Separation Technology Reduces Cost, Weight, and Footprint
Hydrocarbon processing and treating systems often require large and elaborate surface facilities. When operating in challenging locations, such as deep water or the Arctic, these systems can be expensive. This paper discusses a new adsorption-based gas-separation technology platform.
ExxonMobil, Chevron Target Nearly 2 Million BOE/D in Permian Production
The US majors plan to produce around 1 million BOE/D each from the basin, which has become a primary focus of their upstream operations.
Equinor Opens Digital Support Centers in Bid to Create $2 Billion in Value
Two new centers in Bergen, Norway will lean on emerging digital technology to oversee much of the Norwegian operator’s offshore operations.
Predictive-Maintenance Approach Uses Machine Learning To Increase Efficiency
This paper focuses on compressor systems associated with major production deferments. An advanced machine-learning approach is presented for determining anomalous behavior to predict a potential trip and probable root cause with sufficient warning to allow for intervention.
Permian Pulse: Using Satellite Imagery Analytics To Track the World’s Busiest Oil Play
Companies are bringing satellite monitoring to the unconventional oilfield—namely the Permian Basin—where they are training machine learning models to track and predict drilling and completions work.
Production and Facilities
Creativity and innovation have long characterized production and facilities, and this year is no exception. The economic challenges of the oil industry clearly have provided a strong stimulus for even more creativity and innovation.
Reframing Exploration Strategy Optimizes Project Value
The objective of this case study is to describe a specific approach to establishing an exploration strategy at the initial stage on the basis of not only uncertainty reduction, but also early business-case development and maximization of future economic value.
Stochastic Work Flow Bridges Gap Between Subsurface and Surface Disciplines
This paper presents an unbiased stochastic data-driven work flow in which surface and subsurface uncertainties are accounted for and their effects on facilities design and operational decisions are quantified.
Setback Rule Defeated in Colorado, But Industry There Remains Threatened
Colorado voters soundly defeated a measure 6 November that would have restricted the vast majority of new development in the country’s fifth largest oil-producing state. The outcome was a big relief for the oil and gas industry, but its existential fight in the state hasn’t ended.
Hilcorp Gets Approval for First Oil Production Facility in Alaska’s Federal Waters
The green light comes 4 years after the privately-held firm filed its development and production plan. Liberty Island would consist of gravel, stretch 9 acres, and sit just a few miles offshore.
AR Headsets Give Oil and Gas Sector the Quicker Fix
Wearable computers are turning heads in the oil and gas industry and appear to be on a trajectory for widespread adoption.
Shallow Ports Keep US from Exporting Even More Crude
Even though exports are rising to more than 1.6 million B/D, the US is facing a new bottleneck at its port facilities.
Natural-Gas-Liquids Recovery—Retrofit Breathes New Life Into Old Scrubber
This paper presents details of the retrofit scrubber design and shows the importance of using high-efficiency separation internals.
Hybrid Solvent Helps Ease Bottlenecking in Natural-Gas Plant
Processing sour natural gas is a challenge. If mercaptans are present in the sour gas, the limited mercaptan-absorption capacity of the well-known alkanolamine solvents can be a problem.
Operators Utilize Early, Strategic Planning for Successful Decommissioning
Many operators are taking a full-life-cycle approach to preparing for decommissioning—a shift borne of necessity amid cost and regulatory constraints.
Field Trials Help Boost Processing Capacity of Offshore Facility Above Nameplate Limit
The Constitution spar in the Gulf of Mexico has an original nameplate separation capacity of 70,000 BOPD and 200 MMscf/D of gas. Production potential from future developments is expected to exceed this limit.
Welcome to the Offshore Facilities feature in this month’s JPT. The three papers featured in this section were selected out of 141 submitted to SPE covering various elements of offshore facilities design, construction, installation, operation, and inspection.
Noble Leviathan Project Offshore Israel Gives ‘Opportunity To Change a Region’
Noble Energy’s latest planned gas development offshore Israel will not only have a major positive impact on the host country but could transform energy sourcing for the region, Project Manager Brian Hogan told the SPE Gulf Coast Section International Study Group recently.
Digitalization of Oil and Gas Facilities Reduces Cost and Improves Maintenance Operations
The digitalization of oil and gas facilities is becoming a new technical arena. Effective solutions can be used to convert data into information and knowledge, which can then be used to improve maintenance operations.
Eliminate Decision Bias in Facilities Planning
The complete paper holds that traditional facilities-planning methodologies, heavily based on design-basis documents and biased toward the most-conservative conditions, fail to recognize the entirety of operational conditions throughout the oilfield life cycle.
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.
Case Study: Drone Technology Inspection of UK North Sea Facility
Intel and Cyberhawk released a case study outlining the successful inspection of a gas terminal near the coast of Scotland using commercially available drone technology.
Clouds are Forming Around the Upstream Sector, and That’s a Good Thing
No longer considered a buzz phrase, cloud computing has made converts of the largest oil companies, and now the smaller ones are next.
What’s the Future for LNG?
LNG as a fuel source has been an energy staple for many Asia-Pacific countries for decades, and is increasing in importance in other regions as countries look to diversify their energy mix.
US Sanctions Hit New Russia Projects, Add Uncertainty
The new US sanctions against Russia will place added restrictions on international companies taking part in oil development projects with Russian companies and raise doubts about Russia’s plans to expand pipeline exports.
IEA: US May Be Top LNG Exporter by 2022
One of the world’s leading energy watchers says the second shale revolution will come in the form of LNG exports.
Deepwater-Structure-Installation Challenges Offshore Australia
This paper provides an insight into the challenges encountered and overcome during installation of 20 subsea structures, some close to 1000 t in weight and in water depths of up to 1350 m, for the Gorgon project offshore Western Australia.
Industry Perspectives Vary on Implementing Effective Social Performance
Social responsibility has become a common term but what defines “social performance?” In a globalized economy, with multinational corporate and state actors having a more immediate effect on individual lives than ever before, social performance initiatives should not be viewed as an expendable cost.
CERAWeek: New ExxonMobil CEO Addresses Carbon Reduction, Expresses Optimism On US Gulf Coast Downstream
The new head of ExxonMobil used his first major public appearance to emphasize the major oil company's committment to environmental concerns through the development of emerging technologies.
Renewable Energy Tech Is Now Priced To Reduce Upstream Spending
Renewable energy is often framed as being at odds with the oil and gas industry, but new price developments in the wind and solar sectors may be changing this paradigm, according to one US energy expert.
Artificial Intelligence Holds Promise for Seismic and Drilling Data
As artificial intelligence makes a significant impact on various industries, an expert examines the roles it could play in streamlining oil and gas operations in the near future.
Passive-Fire-Protection Optimization in Offshore Topside Structures
Applying sufficient passive fire protection (PFP) on topside structural-steel members is critical. Simplified and conservative approaches are available to estimate the extent and amount of PFP necessary.
In-Service Hull Inspections for Avoiding Dry Docking Safely
Current methods for external inspection of floating assets on station use divers or remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), but these methods incur high safety, people-on-board (POB), and cost penalties. New methods to eliminate diving are being developed.
This month's feature on Offshore Facilities is drawn from more than 200 papers presented at SPE events over the past year.
How Visualization Technology Is Maximizing Uptime
Visualization technology has played a key role in reducing operational expenditure (OPEX) and improving collaboration, thus maximizing uptime across the industry throughout the asset life cycle.
Standardization May Hold Key to Future of Major Offshore Projects
Reducing the complexity and controlling the cost of major offshore projects are together one of the biggest challenges facing the oil and gas industry.
Field Development Projects
Field-development projects need to include and consider not only a static or dynamic subsurface characterization but also the production-systems and facilities options, to trigger profitability and establish clear breakeven thresholds.
Big-Data Analytics for Predictive Maintenance Modeling: Challenges and Opportunities
Optimization of maintenance costs is among operators’ main concerns in the search for operational efficiency, safety, and asset availability. The ability to predict critical failures emerges as a key factor, especially when reducing logistics costs is mandatory.
Contract Concerns Loom Over Iraq’s Upstream Outlook
Iraq is producing oil at record levels this year but low oil prices have cast doubts on the economic feasibility of its licensing contracts, which some analysts and policy advisers say are holding back higher output.
A Novel Integrity-Assurance Approach for Qualification of Subsea Technologies
The deepwater industry uses technology qualification (TQ) as a tool to determine which safety barriers are needed, and what level of testing is required. Even without failure data from the field, a method has been developed to quantify the integrity of various components.
Really Remotely Controlled Underwater Vehicles
Operators for remotely operated vehicles will be getting more remote in the future as land-based control begins to become a reality.
Operations Excellence Begins in Design
Achieving production and availability targets is paramount to the ultimate success of any liquefied-natural-gas (LNG) project. Both are important factors in any life-cycle economic analysis.
Statoil Gets a Jump on Offshore Costs
One of the latest offshore innovations from Statoil is nothing flashy, which is the point. A drawing shows a plain, steel jacket, standing in water 110 m deep, topped with a flat metal deck.
Treating Damaged Subsea Lines With a Light Electrical Touch
As subsea electric lines age, they are prone to cracks that allow seawater in, reducing their effectiveness, and if the leaks are bad enough, they can shut down operations.
Offshore Europe Review: North Sea’s Problems Driving Push For Change
The global industry is feeling the pain of the oil price plunge, but the UK feels it more acutely. Exploration drilling is at rock bottom levels, the offshore UK Continental Shelf is one of the world’s most expensive from which to produce a barrel of oil, and investment spending is expected to fall.
Offshore Europe: Thinking Differently is Easier Than Doing Differently
There is no shortage of ideas for reducing the cost and risk of offshore oil and gas developments. The hard part is implementing them in an industry where they require changes in long-standing habits, corporate cultures, and some new technology.
Data-Driven Production-Impact Assessment During Unplanned Facility-System Events
A data-driven approach to successfully analyze and evaluate production-fluid impact during facility system divert events is presented. The work flow effectively identifies opportunities for prompt event mitigation and system optimization.
Drilling-Systems-Automation Roadmap: The Means To Accelerate Adoption
The drilling-systems-automation roadmap (DSA-R) initiative is a cross-industry effort launched in June 2013 to help accelerate the adoption of advancements in drilling-systems automation (DSA) for both onshore and offshore wells.
Mars-B Development: An Evolution of Traditional Well, Rig, and Facility Design
The Mars-B project is the operator’s sixth Gulf of Mexico (GOM) tension-leg-platform (TLP) development.
Moorings Replacement and Hookup for a Damaged North Sea FPSO
This paper describes the measures put in place so that the mooring system of the Gryphon Alpha FPSO could be replaced and reconnected on an efficient schedule.
Upgrade of Spar Topside With Comprehensive Sand-Management System
A deepwater field located offshore Sabah, east Malaysia, features a spar dry-tree unit (DTU) and multiple subsea-hub tiebacks to a floating production, storage, and offloading vessel (FPSO).
Creating Value With Permanent Downhole Gauges in Tight Gas Appraisal Wells
Downhole instrumentation of the Khazzan tight gas appraisal wells provides a rare opportunity to quantify reservoir pressure and temperature dynamics.
New Oil Sands Technology Debuts in Utah, Promises Low Environmental Impact
In the northeastern desert of Utah, a new type of oil sands extraction technology has been born. The company behind it claims the process is the most cost-effective and environmentally sound way to develop oil sands.
Deepwater Developments Driving Technip’s Technology
Record-setting megaprojects are driving innovation at the installation and subsea construction firm.
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27 March 2020