The Late Life Operations thematic session during the last day of 2018 Offshore Energy Exhibition and Conference received a lot of interest.
In the North Sea region as well as in other mature basins oil and gas operators constantly have to ask themselves whether their ageing wells, platforms and associated infrastructure equipment are still economic to operate.
The participants discussed the late-life strategies and technologies, focusing on reducing operational costs and maximizing value creation for companies, investors and resource holders from late phase operations.
The session was opened by SGS chief production technologist with over 30 years’ experience in the oil and gas field, Mike Gunningham, who also moderated the session.
Gunningham noted that in late life operations, the primary focus is on safety and keeping costs down, however, he stressed that production optimization can rejuvenate a mature field and can extend its profitable life.
The session was continued by Christopher Bell, consultant for DNV GL Oil and Gas who discussed the Big data predictive maintenance. Bell is a chartered engineer with the IMechE with over 10 years engineering/R&D experience particularly focused on the development of new technologies.
He stressed that in the scope of maintenance, reliability and availability of an asset is important. DNV GL is already working with companies on implementing a machine learning solution into the review process of asset functions.
He stressed that implementing machine learning solutions into the review process of the asset functionality has “vastly sped up” the results collection while being able to review larger amounts of data.
“While previously an inspector would review a portion, 20 cases out of 2000 logs, machine learning allows the review of the whole 2000 logs, in a matter of minutes,” Bell said.
This process would usually take up to a week someone to complete in a traditional manner.
With the capability to analyze larger blocks of data, the operators can get to the issues and the solutions of these issues quicker and more effectively, as analyzing the whole data package eliminates estimation as well as the human bias, bringing more complete results.
Nolda Tipping, project and turnaround manager for ONEgas (Shell Southern North Sea), then took the stage to discuss the future late-life projects could have through decomplexing, saying that, without giving an exact time period, the process certainly extends the life of an asset while cutting down operation costs.
This is achieved through simplifying process, and turning the platform to an unmanned one, while removing helidecks and servicing the platforms with “walk-to-work” vessels.
Tipping did stress that the decomplexing should not ignore the personal note in the process, adding the company turns to those who operated the platform first in order to take the proper steps to bring the decomplexing process forward.
She also added that converting a platform to an unmanned one does not mean cutting down jobs, as the staff is either relocated or if possible sent to an early retirement.
Offshore Energy Today Staff