Executing Offshore Projects More Efficiently

The partial processing skid on the Apache Forties Bravo platform, located in the UK Continental Shelf. Credit: SPE 187109.

Gerald Verbeek, Verbeek Management Services, has served as the Oil and Gas Facilities’ technical paper editor since 2013.

As this introduction is published, the 2017 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) is already 3 months behind us. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend (unlike the 8,300 professionals from 60 countries that did travel to San Antonio, Texas, for the event). But after my introduction to the previous selections, it should come as no surprise that I made full use of OnePetro to browse the papers presented at the conference.

For this selection I chose three of these papers that address various offshore issues. To be honest, two of the papers were selected in part because specific terms in their titles caught my eye: “unlocking production” and “mitigate costly downtime.”

Many articles and papers on offshore projects these days describe how project costs are reduced through standardization and more aggressive bidding by contractors and equipment suppliers. And of course this is very important in today’s project execution environment, but as engineers we need to constantly explore different ways to execute projects more efficiently, and these papers describe ideas that could well be applicable to many other projects around the world.

The third paper is seemingly completely different, and some would even argue that the first paragraph of the abstract contains a sentence that once again catches the eye, but in this case stops them from reading further: “a computational fluid dynamics model is proposed to analyze the effects … using multiphase flow modeling techniques”. But in the course of the paper, the authors demonstrate that this approach can lead to a safer and more cost-effective offshore pipeline design. And for that reason this paper nicely fits with the others.

Together these papers contain specific project execution enhancement ideas, and while it is very unlikely you can implement all of them on the project(s) you are currently working on and questionable that you can use even one of them at this time, I do hope that this introduction encourages you to read (the synopsis of) one or more of the selected papers.

And who knows when in the future one or more of these ideas may enable you to do what I hoped to facilitate with these papers: execute projects more efficiently.




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