On offshore rigs, oil-based mud (OBM) cuttings can create logistical and environmental risks. Onshore disposal requires costly transport, and bad weather can halt shipping operations. The liability for waste treated onshore belongs to the operator. Although offshore disposal removes this liability, UK North Sea regulations specify that oil on cuttings (OOC) must be less than 1%. (by weight?) A rigsite thermomechanical cuttings cleaner (TCC) applies high temperatures to help reduce OOC to less than 1% and recovers base oil and water for reuse.
A TCC unit was installed on a semisubmersible rig to process OBM cuttings for a 24-well program. Mechanical action is applied directly to the cuttings by means of hammers that create friction, causing temperatures to exceed the boiling points of water and oil so that hydrocarbons are separated. The oil and water vapors are removed and condensed where the base oil and water are further separated and recovered. The TCC process on this rig was supported by vacuum-pump conveyance equipment and specialized storage tanks. Cuttings were no longer shipped to shore, and crane lifts associated with "skip-and-ship" operations were minimized significantly.
The TCC unit processed 14,500 metric tons (MT) of OBM cuttings throughout the duration of the 24- well program. The total footage drilled with OBM was more than 160,000 ft. All cuttings were disposed offshore. Approximately 13,500 bbl of base oil (valued at USD 135/bbl) was recovered for reuse in the drilling fluid system. The TCC unit ran for a total of 3,500 hours with zero downtime or nonproductive time (NPT) associated with cuttings disposal. The average is approximately 150 operating hours per well. One important benefit was the dramatic reduction of skips handling and crane lifts, which provided safer working conditions for rig crews. On a conventional skip-and-ship operation, the operator would fill and transport up to 35 skips per day. This translates to 2,380 crane lifts per well that were unnecessary. Offloading delays caused by bad weather were no longer a factor, thus helping reduce uncertainty and saving valuable rig time. Processing this volume of drill cuttings offshore meant that more than 57,000 skip crane lifts were avoided. The TCC mobilization process for this program was executed efficiently by coordinating with quayside contractors (welders, platers, electricians, etc.) to complete much of the installation work scope onshore.
Thermal treatment enables operators to address stringent offshore discharge regulations globally, excluding countries with zero discharge policies. Cost benefits include the following: No "wait on weather" time (rig day rate = USD 300,000) No dedicated vessels for transport No quayside cuttings handling No trucking to treatment and disposal facilities
No "wait on weather" time (rig day rate = USD 300,000)
No dedicated vessels for transport
No quayside cuttings handling
No trucking to treatment and disposal facilities
Safety and environmental benefits add the following value: Reduced manual handling of skips Reduced crane lifts Base oil reuse Liability for waste ends at rigsite
Reduced manual handling of skips
Reduced crane lifts
Base oil reuse
Liability for waste ends at rigsite
On a Sunday in mid-May, members of the London Section Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) had the opportunity to meet in an informal setting and share their geological experiences at one of the most significant geological settings in southern England. Located 20 miles west of BP's Wytch Farm oil field, Lulworth cove is the most visited geological site in Britain. Lulworth cove shows excellent exposures of folded Jurassic and Cretaceous strata such as Portland stone, Purbeck limestones and shales, and Wealden maerls. From a tectonic point of view, the site reveals the well-preserved Purbeck monocline, caused by a tectonic inversion in what is now the English Channel. The day was organized so that 12 ELP members from operating and service companies in attendance could informally share experiences.
We all identify the need to integrate climate change into corporate strategy, with a profitable Carbon Capture Utilisation & Storage (CCUS) business model the elusive goal. Today, CCUS forms 10% of the R&D program of Total, a founding contributor to the OGCI Climate Investments fund. Here in the North East of Scotland, UK and Scottish Governments, along with project developer Pale Blue Dot Energy and Total are providing match funding to the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facilities fund to progress feasibility work on the Acorn CCS project. As society continues to drive an expectation beyond hydrocarbons, what proposal might the North East of Scotland offer in response?
To meet ambitious emissions reduction targets, the UK must envisage radical changes to the energy economy. Already affecting power generation, these changes must drive further into transport and domestic/industrial energy consumption. Two technologies which may play a part in the decarbonisation of the UK energy business are CCUS and the use of Hydrogen as an energy carrier and energy store, with several studies showing that clean hydrogen is potentially the lowest cost route to meeting UK emission targets in multiple sectors. This builds on the UK’s world class gas network infrastructure, which can be repurposed to avoid becoming stranded, avoiding the enormous expense of increasing the capacity of the electricity transmission network, much of which would lie idle during the summer. The UK gas network carries approximately three times more energy than the electricity network, at one third the unit cost to consumers, and meets winter peaks that are five times greater.
Different to previous CCUS projects, and having the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA)’s first carbon dioxide appraisal and storage licence award, ACORN is an opportunity to evaluate a brownfield CCUS solution to capture, transport and store post-combustion CO2, combined with an upside through emerging pre-combustion CO2 capture technology relating to the production and sale of bulk hydrogen produced from natural gas with a zero-emission target. Located at the St Fergus Gas Terminal – an active industrial site where around 35% of all the natural gas used in the UK comes onshore. ACORN is designed as a "low-cost", "low-risk" CCUS project, to be built quickly, taking advantage of existing oil and gas infrastructure and well understood offshore storage sites. The Acorn Hydrogen project undertakes to evaluate and develop an advanced reformation process which will deliver the most energy and cost-efficient industrial hydrogen production process whilst capturing and sequestering CO2 emissions. An initial phase offers a full-chain demonstration project, an essential step toward commissioning the concept and subsequent commercialisation of large-scale CCUS and Hydrogen deployment in the UK.
SPE Offshore Europe represents an ideal opportunity to update both the region and industry on results, observations, and conclusions with respect to the evolving development architecture, selected process technologies, Government and gas transportation regulatory engagement as this, the leading Scottish CCS project continues its journey toward a final investment decision.
This paper's focus is the advocation of utilising diagnostic data available from digital field devices to help reduce operating costs for end users.
In recent years companies across multiple industrial sectors have invested in improving their understanding of both the historical and live data they produce. The source of the data is specific to the processes but the objective for all remains the same - to use statistical techniques to develop a toolset that can be used to predict performance based on live and historical data.
For the oil and gas industry, the continued adoption of digital device transmitters has increased the volume of data available from instruments such as flow meters, temperature probes and pressure sensors. Typically, this additional data provides information on the integrity or quality of the associated device. However, with the appropriate level of facility and instrument knowledge it is also possible to infer information with respect to the process stream.
Furthermore, this data, if correctly interpreted, can be used to predict maintenance and calibration requirements, resulting in reduced staff effort and shutdowns. The need for physical intervention due to device failure is also reduced, which in turn minimises the potential for accidental hydrocarbon release when a device is removed for repair or replacement.
NEL are currently undertaking research projects with the primary objective of developing definitive correlations between process effects, meter condition and diagnostic data response. The paper provides details of said research, with particular reference to the data science and mathematical techniques currently being trialed for the analysis stage. The techniques, when fully developed, will be metering technology specific and therefore offer a level of insight to end users on facility and meter performance which is not currently available in industry. The toolsets developed will in turn provide the end users with the knowledge and confidence to make cost saving decisions with respect to planned maintenance as well as improving facility efficiency through a more comprehensive understanding of their own data sets.
Shell in the UK has a vast network of more than 200 pipelines & umbilicals covering some 3000 kilometres. Historically, Shell has executed Side Scan Sonar Surveys along these pipelines using a Remotely Operated Towed Vehicle and subsequently followed up with ROV based surveys & inspections. However, in 2018, the respective Geomatics & Subsea Maintenance / Pipelines Departments decided to take advantage of new & emerging innovative technologies and compiled a minimal technical scope & tender document to tap into the latest that the market could offer. Consequently, Shell UK awarded DeepOcean (Norway) with a contract for their "Fast Digital Imaging Service" and embarked on a 45 day survey campaign. In 2019, the same subsea inspection project will be executed once again and the lessons learned ought to inspire and excite many different disciplines and communities, both internally within Shell and externally e.g OGA - Oil & Gas Authority & other valued stakeholders. The paper highlights the key technologies that were deployed and how the new deliverables & business insights take us down the road to Digitalisation including scope for future Machine Learning & Automation processes. Challenges arising from the acquisition and managing the associated data sets shall also be discussed. The speaker will spark dialogue at the end by asking the respective communities how robotics and artificial intelligence will change the industry landscape?
The UK and the international community have an increasing interest in the benefits of a hydrogen-based economy. Existing and emerging technologies that are inherently carbon-neutral and potentially carbon-negative are increasingly attractive, given the challenge of meeting climate targets to prevent climate change and build a clean growth strategy. The integration of clean energy technologies across the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) can increase the flexibility of the energy system, driving efficiency, cost reduction and enhancing the value of natural resources.
There are over 250 platforms and 45,000 kilometres of pipeline installed within the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS). As these assets near the end of their economic life oil and gas operators are planning to decommission these facilities in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Current cost forecasts for this activity exceed £58bn with approximately 50% borne by the operators and 50% borne by UK taxpayers.
The Hydrogen Offshore Production (HOP) project identifies an alternative to decommissioning by providing re-use options for offshore infrastructure while addressing the national challenge of a low carbon energy supply. In doing so, the project will prove the feasibility of several decentralised hydrogen generation, storage and distribution options that collectively provide a scalable offshore hydrogen production solution, whilst offsetting a portion of decommissioning costs that are currently forecast for all offshore assets and infrastructure.
HOP will tackle the challenge of bulk hydrogen production by (1) proposing viable environmental and economic technology solutions to be deployed offshore, (2) developing a new Industrial Hydrogen Production test site to both prove the industrial benefits and to aid commercialisation of emerging technology and, (3) conducting market analysis and producing the business case for the transformation of existing offshore infrastructure, re-purposing assets and demonstrating the viability for decentralised generation of hydrogen.
As part of the project, an Industrial Hydrogen Production test site will be established with Flotta (Orkney Islands) being proposed as the location. This will provide a test bed for technology, fast-tracking its development and providing a route for accelerated commercial deployment. Within a region of considerable renewable energy generation, the island of Flotta is ideally placed to benefit from local expertise, existing supply chain and advanced technology solutions. For example, the Industrial Hydrogen Production test site would greatly benefit from lessons learnt at the nearby Orkney Water Testing Centre.
This article describes a practical approach to applying predictive analytics techniques against safety incident and near-miss data to generate actionable insights that change safety outcomes in the field. Examples illustrate three critical ways to use safety data: 1) predicting where incidents are most likely to occur, informing where to place additional resources and effort; 2) understanding the combinations of causes and sub-causes that are creating incidents, improving the focus of safety programs; and 3) revealing which proactive safety activities will best mitigate incident types predicted to occur, increasing the effectiveness of preventive measures. The authors discuss typical data and implementation challenges and encourage companies to stop waiting for "perfect" data and, instead, start applying predictive analytics to deliver targeted safety insights to supervisors and workers in the field. Are you ready to take the first step? According to the latest statistics published by Great Britain's Health and Safety Executive, the fatality rate has remained broadly flat across industries since 2012, claiming the lives of 144 workers in the UK during the 2017/2018 reporting period alone. When combined with 550,000 nonfatal injuries during the same time, it seems clear that current approaches to preventing occupational injuries are not working.
The major challenge facing society in the 21st century is to improve the quality of life for all citizens in an egalitarian way, by providing sufficient food, shelter, energy and other resources for a healthy meaningful life, whilst at the same time decarbonizing anthropogenic activity to provide a safe global climate. This means limiting the temperature rise to below 2 C. Currently, spreading wealth and health across the globe is dependent on growing the GDP of all countries. This is driven by the use of energy, which until recently has mostly derived from fossil fuel, though a number of countries have shown a decoupling of GDP growth and greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector through rapid increases in low carbon energy generation. Nevertheless, as low carbon energy technologies are implemented over the coming decades, fossil fuels will continue to have a vital role in providing energy to drive the global economy. Considering the current level of energy consumption and projected implementation rates of low carbon energy production, a considerable quantity of fossil fuels will still be used, and to avoid emissions of GHG, carbon capture and storage (CCS) on an industrial scale will be required. In addition, the IPCC estimate that large scale GHG removal from the atmosphere is required using technologies such as Bioenergy CCS to achieve climate safety. In this paper we estimate the amount of carbon dioxide that will have to be captured and stored, the storage volume and infrastructure required if we are to achieve both the energy consumption and GHG emission goals. By reference to the UK we conclude that the oil and gas production industry alone has the geological and engineering expertise and global reach to find the geological storage structures and build the facilities, pipelines and wells required. Here we consider why and how oil and gas companies will need to morph into hydrocarbon production and carbon dioxide storage enterprises, and thus be economically sustainable businesses in the long term, by diversifying in and developing this new industry.
Researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, are building replica core samples using 3D printers and installing sensors inside them as they go. Their goal is to directly monitor pore-scale flow behavior from the inside of these so-called “smart rocks.” Service companies are using the latest generation of additive manufacturing technology to print out steel components for big ticket downhole tools. There is great potential for the technology to drive down equipment costs and improve performance.
Aberdeen’s Opex Group and an industrial behavioral psychologist are designing a tool that will combine data from diagnostic surveys with historical data on oil and gas accidents and spills. The major accident of 6 July 1988, when Britain’s Piper Alpha facility caught fire and exploded, remains one of the worst imaginable scenarios for everyone working in and with the petroleum industry. Its lessons are still relevant. The Piper Alpha incident in the UK North Sea had a profound impact on the development of process safety culture and legislation around the world. With the great crew change already taking place, this column reflects on the disaster to ensure that its lessons are not forgotten.