Flow Assurance Overview

Course Duration: 2 days | Time: 8am to 4pm | Course Locations: Lagos, Houston, Bali

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Flow assurance is defined as multidisciplinary work towards maintaining sustained oil and gas production by properly managing the hydrocarbon flow without restrictions/blockages due to undesired phase changes and slugging. In recent years, the term has achieved a much broader definition and includes all issues important to maintaining the flow of oil and gas from reservoir to surface facilities (onshore and offshore). Flow assurance issues are some of the most critical design components in the engineering and operations of offshore production facilities from sand face to surface storage. Flow assurance failures often result in production shut-down and costly interventions and can make a project uneconomic. As future development of hydrocarbon resources moves into more challenging environments with high capital costs and restricted accessibility (deeper water, longer tiebacks, deeper wells, and higher temperature and pressure reservoirs) the importance of flow assurance is becoming more and more pronounced. This course is aimed at leaders, managers and engineers working on oil and gas field projects and operations who want to develop their understanding of potential flow issues between sand face and surface facilities, and learn how to manage these issues. It will build on fundamental principles to develop an understanding of what flow assurance is, and how to successfully address flow assurance issues in oil and gas field development projects and operations. Particular emphasis will be given to the interrelatedness of flow assurance with many other engineering disciplines and with key project and operational decisions. The course will provide an overview of basic flow assurance issues such as waxes, asphaltenes, hydrates, emulsions, scale, corrosion, erosion, solids transport, slugging, and operability. It will also cover basic theory of each flow assurance topic, systematic evaluation of conditions under which it may occur, related production chemistry/fluid characterization, practical diagnosis and mitigation schemes.
The course will comprise the following modules. Each module will comprise presentation material, examples, and participation in case studies.
1.Definition and Scope of Flow Assurance Flow Assurance design elements for oil and gas production and transportation systems Physics/Science of flow assurance and production chemistry Onshore, offshore, subsea, and deep water production/completion environments Pressure-temperature path from reservoir to processing to export Multiphase thermal-hydraulics issues Production chemistry & solids issues Design solutions Operational strategies (prevention & remediation) Systems engineering considerations Fluid Characterization and Fluid related Issues Causes of blockage – hydrates, wax, scale, asphaltenes, napthenates How to manage causes of blockage – engineering and chemical solutions Corrosion, and how to manage – material selection or chemical solution Obtaining fluid samples, and undertaking laboratory analysis, to assess risk of fluid related issues occurring in the expected pressure-temperature envelope
3.Multiphase Flow and Flow related Issues a)Multiphase flow regimes and their characteristics Multiphase flow concepts Definition and importance of multiphase flow Flow pattern characteristics (behavior & basic types) Slip and liquid holdup 2-phase vs. 3-phase flow Overview of governing equations for multiphase flow Modeling approaches b)  Thermal-Hydraulics: Changes in pressure and temperature – Slugging, Surge and liquid handling c) Erosion, Sand deposition 4. Flow Impedance : Surveillance, Diagnosis and Mitigation a)Blockage due to solid deposition Paraffin Hydrates Asphaltenes Sand Scale Precipitants due to fluid/chemical incompatibility b) Liquid Slugs/Gas Surges c) Emulsions d) Foaming e) Loss of System Integrity Corrosion Erosion
5. Flow Assurance Issues during Production Operations and Management Strategies a)Transient Operations Shutdowns (Planned or Unplanned) Restarts/Shutdowns (Rate change) Rate Change (increasing or decreasing) Pigging b) Late Life Production Pressure drop (increased liquids hold-up) Liquid Hold-up (opex – glycol) Terrain slugging c) Surveillance for Flow Assurance
6. Field Development Project Design from Flow Assurance Perspective Differences between Greenfield and Brownfield projects Balance between managing flow assurance risks, ease of intervention, and CAPEX Location, capacity and economics of processing facilities Flow line sizing, configuration and layout, and setting overall field production capacity Specification of chemical injection system configuration Additional instrumentation and monitoring Start-up plan
7. Summary of Key Points & Wrap-up Participants presentation and feedbacks Class exercises
Oil and Gas Field Development Managers, Operations Managers, Asset Managers, Engineers and anyone who is responsible for designing and maintaining sustained flow from challenging completions (offshore, deep water, longer tiebacks, deep wells, higher temperature/pressure reservoirs, comingling of produced fluids and long surface gathering lines, etc) The course will give participants an appreciation of the breadth of flow assurance and how to solve typical flow assurances challenges safely and cost effectively.