Effect of availability on multi-period planning of subsea oil and gas production systems
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Natural gas and petroleum are non-renewable and scarce energy sources. Although, it is well known that hydrocarbon reserves are depleting through the years, oil and gas remain the principal source of energy upon which our society is strongly dependent. Hence, optimization and accurate planning of hydrocarbon production are the main keys to making it safer, more efficient, and cheaper. One of the tools commonly used to evaluate the optimization of oil/gas production system is the process simulation modeling. A hydrocarbon production system typically consists of at least one underground reservoir where several wells have been drilled into the hydrocarbon-bearing rock to form a fixed topology network. Wells are interconnected with manifolds to transport the gas or oil to a storage or sale location. The process simulation consists of calculating the total hydrocarbon production for the given production system. The pressure in the wellbore is the main variable in determining the hydrocarbon production process. When oil/gas is produced, the pressure decreases until production cannot be sustained. If the well is shut down, the pressure at the wellbore increases because of the natural gas flow coming from the reservoir. In addition, artificial lift techniques, such as water injection, gas lift and pump systems can be incorporated into the simulation program. The oil/gas production has been also modeled as a multi-period optimization case to incorporate the possibility of different demands, cost and overall time behavior. The current field optimization approaches take in account the availability in a general way, adding to the planning a lot of uncertainty. The proposed study includes a suitable analysis of the likelihood of equipment failure, which will predict the availability of the equipment in a certain period of time to perform a more accurate planning. In this work, we have integrated the availability analysis to the model described above. The availability of a system is analyzed by Monte Carlo simulation, which involves the modeling of the probabilities of failure, the type of failure, the time to repair associated with each failure, and time of occurrence for a field system. The availability model performed reduces significantly the uncertainties on a multi-period planning production of either oil or gas, predicting the probability of failure and the downtime related to the hydrocarbon production through its lifetime. In this study, the unavailability of the equipment was quantified, reporting a subsea equipment downtime of approximately 7%. As a result, new production planning is accomplished in the effective work period, which will be beneficial in financial risk decisions such as a government’s deliverability contracts.
Ruiz Vasquez, Karla Liliana (2008). Effect of availability on multi-period planning of subsea oil and gas production systems. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from