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Smart fields at Salym Petroleum and BP Angola

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The second plenary session, 'Intelligent Energy in the Assets', looked at what companies have achieved so far, with speakers from Schlumberger, Salym Petroleum and BP Angola

Andrew Mabian, Deputy Operations Manager, head of production operations with Salym Petroleum Development in Russia, said
that his company has achieved 'concrete and practical examples of the benefit of smart fields.'

The aim is to 'let teams have the right information, workflows, tools and capability to continually optimise Salym fields,' he said.

The company's operations are 3 hours flying distance East of Russia. It has 44 pads leading to 800 wells, a mix of injection wells (20%) and production wells (80%).

All the wells are lifted using electrical submersible pumps (ESPs). Data transmitted includes pressure and temperature data, and data about the ESPs - frequency, volts, amps, power, power factor, load, and vibration.

For water injection wells, the choke can be operated by remote control, and there is transmission of real time flow, pressure and temperature information, he said.

There are remotely controlled tools to add scale inhibitor.

As a result of installing the smart fields systems, it is possible for each operator to look after 70 wells. 'We've been able to improve well integrity,' he said. 'We have visualisation of well status, so can make a quick response to adjust wells.

'Gas utilisation is 98 per cent and we have fewer trips to the field,' he said. 'All operation and maintenance staff feel that we are much smarter and safer.'

Martyn Morris, BP
Martyn Morris, BP's regional president for Angola, who has been in BP upstream for 35 years, said he thought BP has a genuine 'Field of the Future' in Angola.

There is a FPSO anchored in 2000m of water, and 77,000 tons of hardware on the seabed.

'We have real time data from downhole, seabed, risers, topsides, all sent to our office in Luanda,' he said.

The information is also sent to BP's Advanced Collaborative Environments (ACEs) in Sunbury and Houston.

There are downhole flow control tools to optimise water flood; subsea sand detectors which are so sensitive they can detect a ROV flying alongside a flow hole; subsea sampling capability; and multiphase flow meters.

BP uses 4D seismic surveys every 'couple of years' to see how the reservoir is changing and monitor water and gas movements. 'It has helped increase recovery by 15 to 18 per cent factor,' he said.

'We did a lot of work on developing work flows and risk assessment,' he said.

There is a slug controller tool which monitors the weight of the column of oil in the riser, and can automatically manipulate the inlet valve to make sure the slug doesn't get too large it can overwhelm the platform. 'I don't believe we could have commissioned the SATERNO field without the slug controller,' he said.

When it comes to challenges, 'the hardest thing is getting the operators to use it,' he said.

'On all the new fields, we build in technology and capability, but a lot of our old fields don't have it. The challenge is to push to get people implementing technology.'

One challenge is riser integrity. 'The risers bringing the fluids up from the seabed are held in place by tensioned systems,' he said. 'The integrity of the riser depends on the riser remaining rigid.

'We have systems to maintain integrity of the risers, but I can categorically say it doesn't work.'

Ashok Belani, Schlumberger
Ashok Belani, executive vice president of technology with Schlumberger, said he thought the 'coolest' thing was Schlumberger's high performance computing network, which it is implementing all over the world, available via cloud.

Mr Belani said that it is very important to get applications integrated together. 'Today, it's very easy to say, any application which is running by itself and not integrated it is a useless application.'

He would like to see more regular analysis of data collected from wells. 'Today we have a lot of permanent gauges deployed in hundreds of wells. A lot of data, every second over years. So gigabytes of data. The data sits and it doesn't do anything. Once in a while someone does all this analysis.

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