Klemens is a research assistant and PhD candidate in Petroleum Engineering (within Earth Science & Engineering program) at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (founded by Saudi Aramco) focusing on Multi-Data reservoir history matching utilizing ensemble Kalman-based techniques. His work has been presented at several conferences amongst others at the IPTC 2014 and the OTC Asia 2014 and in an invited talk at the Petroleum Engineering Department at Texas A&M. Klemens has come 2nd place in the IPTC YP Poster competition in 2014, 2nd place in the graduate division at the Middle East & South Asia Student Paper Contest 2013 and 2014. As the president of the SPE KAUST Student Chapter he has led chapter to qualify for the PetroBowl 2013 and 2014, as well as led the SPE KAUST Student Chapter to become an outstanding student chapter of the year 2014, the first time in the history of Saudi Arabia.
One of the primary functions of Saudi Aramco Gas-Oil Separation Plants (also known as GOSPs) is to separate emulsified water from the crude. The water is typically highly concentrated with salt, so crude desalting is required to meet the standard quality specifications. GOSPs are typically designed with standard Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controllers to control demulsifier and wash water flow for injection into wet crude. Demulsifier and wash water injection rates are normally left to operator judgement. The challenge with manual adjustment of flowrate is the high risk of overdosing or underdosing as there are several variables that impact the required demulsifier and wash water rates. Overdosing will result in wastage of demulsifier and wash water and higher operating expenditures. Underdosing may lead to operational upsets and potentially off-spec crude production.
To overcome this challenge, innovative schemes (Smart Demulsifier Control & Wash Water Ratio Control) have been developed in-house. Smart Demulsifier Control optimizes the separation efficiency (or percentage of total produced water separated) of an upstream High Pressure Production Trap (HPPT or 3-Phase Separator) based on a dynamic target by adjusting the demulsifier injection rate and concentration in the wet crude. Simultaneously, wash water ratio control ensures that an adequate wash water rate is injected to satisfy salt-in-crude specifications. These control schemes eliminate the need for operators to determine the required dosage rate, thereby avoiding both overdosing and underdosing of demulsifier and wash water.
The Smart Demulsifier Control (SDC) scheme controls demulsifier injection using two control layers. The first layer controls the Concentration of the Demulsifier in the Wet Crude so that demulsifier flow is automatically adjusted based on the Production Rate to achieve the set point concentration determined by the second layer of control. The second layer adjusts the demulsifier concentration to control the Separation Efficiency of the HPPT, or the amount of water separated in the HPPT vs. the Dehydrator, to achieve the Target Separation Efficiency Set Point determined by a site specific process model. In case of a dehydrator upset, another PID controller with more aggressive tuning will override the HPPT Separation PID Controller to set the required demulsifier concentration to mitigate the upset.
Wash water ratio control scheme controls the flow of wash water to ensure that the salt-in-crude specification is met. A site specific target ratio is determined through a salt mass balance.
These innovative controls have reduced desalting train upsets by 78% as the process related upsets are practically eliminated. This is achieved while optimizing the demulsifier dosage where 20-40% of demulsifier dosage reduction was realized, especially during the winter season. Moreover, savings of 20% wash water have been achieved throughout the utilization of these self-calculated and smart controls that were developed in-house with minimal costs.
Thomas, Gawain (Aramco Services Company) | Ow, Hooisweng (Aramco Services Company) | Chang, Sehoon (Aramco Services Company) | Shi, Rena (Aramco Services Company) | Wang, Wei (Aramco Services Company) | Chen, Hsieh (Aramco Services Company) | Poitzsch, Martin (Aramco Services Company) | Shateeb, Hussain (Saudi Aramco) | Abdel-Fattah, Amr (Saudi Aramco)
A novel barcoded advanced tracers system has been developed and field-validated in a hydrocarbon reservoir. With a detection scheme that supports automation, this cost-effective tracers system is designed to enable potentially ubiquitous long-term full-field injections in the interest of using the high fidelity tracer data to increase the oil recovery factor through improved optimization of the water injection and oil production.
Our Advanced Tracers system uses real-time chromatographic separation and optical detection to achieve ultra-low limits of detection (LOD) at 1 part per billion (ppb) or better. Such low LOD facilitates small injection quantities, making full field deployment of Advanced Tracers cost-effective compared to state-of-the-art interwell tracers. Additionally, the detection strategy that enables automation of the analysis process for real-time tracer detection is outlined, paving way for minimal manual sample collection and work-up.
Results on recently field-validated real-time optically-detectable tracers in a hydrocarbon reservoir, detectable at ultra-low LODs, are described. This is achieved even in the presence of background oil by means of an intrinsically oil-blind detection method. The material exhibits high mobility in high-salinity high-temperature carbonate reservoirs, with tracer breakthrough successfully detected at concentrations of less than 1 ppb using chromatographic separation followed by an optical detection method. The novel methodology as outlined highlights its simplicity, safety and cost-effectiveness relative to current practices in the field.
Fluorobenzoic acid based tracer technology requires chemical derivatization of the samples for ultra-low detection limits in a GC-MS. Our novel tracer detection strategy omits the need for chemical derivatization. In addition, it enables a compact, portable, optical-based automated wellsite detection system to be used in the field, with tens of unique barcodes possible. These innovative steps are keys to near real-time tracer detection in the field, realizing one of the intelligent oil field monitoring and the reservoir management applications.
Data Analytics is an emerging area that involves using advanced statistical and machine learning algorithms to discover information & relationsips present in different types of data. The work described in this paper illustrates the application of machine learning techniques to an Oilfield Advanced Process Control (APC) project involving deployment of APC at a large onshore conventional oilfield in Saudi Aramco. APC implementation enables better control and optimization of the production from hundreds of oilwells. APC rollout at the large oilfield involved APC deployment on 300 oil wells. Using conventional APC implementation methodology, the rollout would be very difficult to manage and would have taken about 3 man years which was not practical. Use of innovative data analytics techniques was essential to ensuring the timely deployment of such a large scale APC project. A machine learning algorithm used to cluster similarly behaving wells, enabled significant (80%) reduction in the engineering effort and operator involvement in developing the models for each well. This allowed the implementation to be completed one year in advance thus realizing the APC benefits earlier than planned.
Among the many goals of environmental management in Saudi Aramco, protection of special environmental areas is recognized as high priority to both the company and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In line with this objective, Safaniya Onshore Producing Department (SONPD) designated Safaniya area sea water lagoon as Corporate Stewardship Biodiversity Area. The area is estimated to be 6 km2 peninsula, which is located in the north east of the Safaniya Producing Plant, where undisturbed native flora combines with a pristine shallow sea water lagoon, and provide a safe place for land wildlife (foxes, rodents, reptiles), marine wildlife (turtles, shrimps, fish, mollusks) and birds (flamingos, seagulls, etc.). Establishment of the Safaniya Lagoon started with surveying Safaniya and Tanajib Area, in collaboration with Saudi Aramco Environmental Protection Department (EPD) to select the most suitable region for biodiversity development. An establishment procedure was followed to secure the area with fences to limit the accessibility and prevent improper usage. A signboard was installed to identify the area as a sanctuary, forbidding entrance or any type of land use. Site development included mangrove plantation, already existing trash clean-up, and observation any type of waste dumped in the area, to ensure no contamination or danger to the habitat in the lagoon. The department successfully cooperated with Saudi Aramco EPD to plant more than 9,000 mangrove seedlings at the first two years of development. SONPD in collaboration with Society of Advocates and Volunteers for the Environment (S.A.V.E) invited employees with their respected family members to participate in a biodiversity beach clean-up campaign. The campaign helped collect more than 300 kg of waste, consisting of plastic bottles, old ropes, wood, and other waste materials. SONPD, along with its partners and programs, has now established the Safaniya Lagoon ecological and biological diversity sanctuary as a permanent refuge, with in-place protection and future mangrove planting events planned, the area is expected to expand in biodiversity with native flora and fauna, and expand a natural breeding and hatchery. During the winter season, migratory birds — such as flamingos and Amur Falcons, with flyways that pass over Safaniya Lagoon — are seeking warm weather and abundant food supplies. Creation of biodiversity is just the beginning of further area development. The next phase of sanctuary enhancement will be reutilization of tertiary treated wastewater for trees, which will form a wind barrier for mangroves.
As the industry moves toward recovery and stability, OTC will attract global industry professionals, government officials, academic experts, and many other organizational representatives to discuss technology and broader industry issues and assess the future. FEI is a maker of high-powered microscopes whose growth plan in exploration and production includes building a service company. Saudi Aramco’s plan to create a global network of research centers is becoming a reality. It recently celebrated the opening of its Houston center that the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer Khalid Al-Falih described as “an upstream research center like no other.”
A Saudi Aramco engineer discusses being one of a few women, and how she balances work and family while sacrificing neither. Tjerk Joustra, Shell, reflects on his mentoring experiences and how they have helped him along his career path. A conversation with Tricia Stephens, who recommends getting out of your comfort zone. Eni engineer Andrea Rimoldi ponders whether a transfer to Angola is worth it. Tricia Stephens encourages risk taking and thinking outside the box.
A hack on Italian oil services firm Saipem that crippled more than 300 of the company’s computers used a variant of the notorious Shamoon virus, Saipem said, a development that links the case to a massive attack in 2012 on Saudi Aramco. At least four US pipeline companies have seen their electronic systems for communicating with customers shut down over the last few days, with three confirming it resulted from a cyberattack.
This paper sheds light on SAOO’s continuing journey of sustainability and discusses implemented and planned activities that make sure the journey continues. Saudi Aramco and Raytheon signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint venture that will develop and provide cybersecurity services in Saudi Arabia and the region.