Upstream/Downstream Real Time Surveillance and Optimization Systems: Two Sides of the Same Coin, or Never the Twain Shall Meet?

Cramer, Ron (Shell Global Solutions) | Mehrotra, Shailendra (Shell) | Goh, Keat-Choon (Shell Global Solutions Intl BV) | Steover, Matt (Shell Global Solutions US Inc) | Berendschot, Leo F. (Shell Global Solutions)


Downstream Refineries and Chemical Plants have benefited from real time optimization systems (RTO) for the last 30 years. Downstream RTO is a well established and permanent fixture in many plants - the "way we do things'round here!". Upstream E&P operations have "come to this party" much more recently and are using RTO more sparingly, even though the economic and HSSE benefits can be very significant. There are key differences between downstream and upstream. For example, downstream facilities do not deal with subsurface uncertainties, multiphase flow and isolated/harsh environments; while upstream operations do not usually have to deal with complex chemical processes. Integrated Oil Companies run upstream and downstream operations and integration of tools/practices across both regimes is often perceived to be of significant value. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast downstream and upstream RTO learnings with a view to identifying and describing: - similarities in production unit operations e.g.