Remote Operations at Shell - A Case History From the Giant NAM Groningen Gas Field in the Netherlands
- Brugt Douwes (Shell Projects & Technology) | Wim van Meijeren (Shell Upstream International)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE/DGS Saudi Arabia Section Technical Symposium and Exhibition, 4-7 April, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2010. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.4.2 SCADA, 5.1.2 Faults and Fracture Characterisation, 2.3.1 Remote Monitoring, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.6 Natural Gas, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.1.6 Compressors, Engines and Turbines, 6.4.3 Data and Communication Security, 4.3.1 Hydrates
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In the last two decades Shell has been working to simplify and automate field operations processes and sub-processes in its assets throughout the world. This is driven by the need to develop competitive and cost-efficient technical solutions that increase safety and reliability of operations, especially in remote and/or harsh environments.
Remotely starting up and shutting down certain pieces of equipment was already standard practice in the industry since decades, introduced in gas fired furnaces, heaters, and boilers. Nowadays, automation has extended to sensitive equipment and complete processing units.
This paper looks at the level of automation and degree of remote operations achieved in the operation of the giant NAM Groningen Gas Field, in the north of The Netherlands. NAM is a joint venture between Shell and Exxon, operated by Shell. After an extensive redevelopment project, with the addition of compressors, more than 300 wells, previously distributed over more than 25 locally operated production facilities, are now linked up and operated remotely from one central control room by two operators. The production facilities are now normally unmanned, and only visited for repairs and/or scheduled maintenance. NAM Groningen demonstrates a technically advanced solution that minimizes HSE and risk exposure, standardizes operations, and reduces resources required to manage one of the largest gas fields in all of Europe.
Using some of the most advanced technologies available in the industry, Shell has applied such a high degree of automation to NAM's Groningen gas field, that each of the production facilities can be ramped up from zero flow to some 25 million Nm3/d in only one hour - all remotely.
Remote Operation can be defined as the control and operation of a system or equipment from a distant location, possibly kilometers away from the area. This definition does not cover the whole topic though, as it does not indicate the level of automation, level of unmanned operation, level of integration with business or management systems, or distance. The last decade has shown a significant increase in remotely operated and automated equipment, processes or complete units in the oil and gas industry. Projects and applications worldwide have grown to depend on this technology. With NAM Groningen, Shell plays a leading role in this area.
|File Size||3 MB||Number of Pages||14|