Stephen Whitfield, Senior
Is the Cloud Mature Enough for High-Performance Computing? The majority of Shell’s HPC work helps support its seismic imaging operations. The company supports 45 HPC applications, with the bulk of its processing and production workload taking place in-house. Oil and gas is in the midst of a pervasive digital transformation in which the industry is changing the way it manages assets, the way it interacts with customers, and the way it develops internal workflows. Perhaps one of the most significant impacts of this transformation, however, is the way in which companies characterize their subsurface data.
The Processing Problem: Can Computers Keep Up With Industry Demand? Big data is one of the big buzzwords in oil and gas operations today. Operators cannot get enough of it. Managing a successful venture requires the ability to extract valuable information from massive data sets and process that information in a quick and efficient manner. High-performance computing (HPC) is critical in making these things happen.
Stephen Whitfield, Senior
Both EIA and BP project a growth in global energy demand, offset by a decline in energy intensity as consumer products increase in efficiency. BP projected global energy demand growing by around a third by 2040, marking a significantly slower rate of growth than in the previous 25 years. LNG will increase the global availability of gas, with supply more than doubling due in large part to exports from the US and Qatar—BP projected that those two countries will account for almost half of all global LNG exports by 2040. EIA said that, after LNG export facilities currently under construction are completed by 2022, US LNG export capacity will increase even further, and Asian demand growth will allow US natural gas to remain competitive there in the short term. After 2030, additional suppliers are projected to enter the global LNG market, including Mexico, and this may make additional US export capacity uneconomic. In the short term, liquids will still play a role in the energy mix, but projections on the extent of that role vary from source to source. In its World Energy Outlook 2018, the International Energy Agency (IEA) writes that oil markets are soon to enter a period of renewed uncertainty and volatility, including a possible supply gap in the early 2020s. IEA projects a rise in oil consumption in coming decades due to rising petrochemicals, trucking, and aviation demand, but meeting that growth in the near term will require a doubling of approvals of conventional oil projects from their current levels. Without such an increase, US shale production would have to add more than 10 million B/D between present day and 2025, which the IEA said was “a historically unprecedented feat.”
As oil production in the Permian Basin continues to rise, the consequent rise in produced water volumes is placing a financial squeeze on operators in the region. Figuring out what to do with this water is a challenge every operator faces. Given the potential seismicity and capacity issues surrounding saltwater disposal, reusing that water has become a viable solution for reducing costs and limiting water-sourcing constraints—last year Wood Mackenzie estimated a potential savings range from $1.00 to $2.50 per barrel. However, another solution could provide additional relief: treating water for discharge, effectively creating fresh water that can be used for irrigation and uses in other industries. As oil production in the Permian Basin continues to rise, the consequent rise in produced water volumes is placing a financial squeeze on operators in the region.
With demand for oil increasing and demand for refined-product storage within the midstream sector also increasing, operational reliability and uptime have become a greater priority for the owners and users of terminals and tank farms. The industry sees value in optimizing tank turnaround schedules and extending tank in-service intervals by predicting and avoiding failures while reducing the health, safety, and environmental risks associated with waste removal and human exposure. Robotic applications have developed to the point where they can help improve the reliability, safety, and costs of tank storage. Getting companies on board with robotics is not an issue, but finding the right in-service tank-inspection approaches for robotic applications is. Rengifo spoke at a panel discussion during the American Petroleum Institute Inspection and Mechanical Integrity Summit that focused on ways in which owners and users can incorporate robotics into their tank-integrity programs, as well as the obstacles they and other vendors face in facilitating robotics.
Stephen Whitfield, Senior
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has added new play production data to its shale gas and tight oil reports. Last December, US shale and tight plays produced approximately 65 Bcf/D of natural gas and 7 million B/D of crude oil, accounting for 70% and 60% of US production in those areas, respectively. These totals represent a significant jump in the last 10 years: shale gas and tight oil accounted for 16% of total US gas production and approximately 12% of US total crude oil production, according to EIA statistics. EIA updated its production volume estimates to include seven additional shale gas and tight oil plays, increasing the share of shale gas by 9% and tight oil by 8% compared with previously estimated shale production volumes. The change captures increasing production from new, emerging plays as well as from older plays that had previously been in decline, but are now rebounding because of advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
Inspection data management systems (IDMS), software programs that organize data in a facility’s fixed-equipment analysis program, have been in use for decades, but choosing the right software can be a challenge. Determining exactly what they want out of the software, and understanding how each program under consideration fits with their business needs, can make that search and subsequent implementation go much smoother. Most IDMS software focuses on two primary tasks: creating and keeping track of inspection schedules for various equipment, and recording the results of each inspection for later review and analysis. It assists in assessments of corrosion rates and in-line inspections, among other things. Several programs integrate the methodologies for risk-based inspections with the functionality of IDMS, and these programs have become widely used today.
Facility piping systems need a lot of resources to assure their integrity and avoid the failures that may lead to catastrophic events such as safety-related incidents that could cause injury to personnel or interrupted operations that could lead to financial losses. Juan Carlos Ruiz-Rico, a senior engineer at DNV GL, discussed this combined methodology at the API’s Inspection and Mechanical Integrity Summit in Galveston, Texas. With piping, you have different materials, thicknesses, and sizes. You have systems with soil-to-air interfaces. You could have electrical interference due to power lines located near your facility.
Stephen Whitfield, Senior
Mozambique LNG1, a sales entity jointly owned by co-venturers in the Mozambique Offshore Area 1, has signed a sale and purchase agreement with CNOOC Gas and Power Singapore. Area 1 operator Anadarko said the agreement covers a supply of 1.5 mtpa over a 13-year term. Mozambique LNG will be the country’s first onshore LNG development. The facility will be equipped with two LNG trains with a total nameplate capacity of 12.88 mtpa to support the development of the Golfinho/Atum fields, which are located entirely within Offshore Area 1. Approximately 75 Tcf of recoverable natural gas has been discovered in Offshore Area 1, the equivalent of 12 billion bbl of oil.
An image from a space-based infrastructure of hyperspectral sensors created by Orbital Sidekick, a startup moving to provide monitoring services to the oil and gas industry. Its Spectral Intelligence analytics platform was deployed on board the International Space Station. Pipeline projects face a lot of scrutiny today. The approval of a new pipeline can be a major event, and a leak or a spill at a pipeline can lead to widespread questioning of their viability in the general public. This scrutiny makes integrity management more important than ever as companies look to assure people that pipelines are safe and reliable.