Integrated Flow-Assurance Modeling of the BP Angola Block 18 Western Area Development
- Martin James Watson (FEESA Ltd) | Neil Hawkes (FEESA Ltd) | Paul Frederick Pickering (FEESA Ltd) | Jon Charles Elliott (BP Angola) | Leofric William Studd (BP Exploration Co. Ltd.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Projects, Facilities & Construction
- Publication Date
- June 2007
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1 - 12
- 2007. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 5.6.8 Well Performance Monitoring, Inflow Performance, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 1.1 Well Planning, 7.1.9 Project Economic Analysis, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 5.7.5 Economic Evaluations, 4.3 Flow Assurance, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.6 Natural Gas, 5.6.9 Production Forecasting, 4.5.3 Floating Production Systems, 4.1.1 Process Simulation, 4.3.1 Hydrates, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 4.5 Offshore Facilities and Subsea Systems, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 7.1.10 Field Economic Analysis, 4.2.2 Pipeline Transient Behavior, 4.2.4 Risers, 7.1.7 Intergated Asset Management
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As oilfield developments become more challenging and economically challenging, flow assurance has become crucial to the feasibility of projects. Consequently, flow-assurance issues such as hydrates or wax deposition must now be considered early in concept selection. Modern numerical methods, coupled with the latest software engineering techniques, now allow the rigorous calculation of multiphase thermal hydraulic behavior in an integrated asset model (IAM) on time scales acceptable for concept selection.
This paper describes the application of a new IAM tool to analyze options for the development of fields in the western part of BP's Angolan deepwater Block 18. Novel aspects include the embedding of field scheduling rules such that the drilling schedules were predicted automatically from the model. In addition, different field architectures were considered including tubing and pipeline sizes, looping of pipelines and subsea multiphase boosting, and the impact on production rates and drilling schedules was quantified. Furthermore, the option to tie back to the planned Greater Plutonio floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel was also modeled with the forecast ullage profile being imposed on production from the new fields. All calculations were performed using rigorous multiphase thermal-hydraulic models allowing flow-assurance constraints to be analyzed simultaneously.
In the last 10 years, as oil companies have begun to explore and develop fields in deep and ultradeep waters, numerous flow-assurance issues have come to the fore and have started to drive field concept selection. In particular, problems associated with poor deliverability, thermal performance, and wax/hydrate avoidance have presented challenges that have necessitated special measures such as subsea production boosting and highly insulated production flowlines.
In the early stages of design, during concept selection, it is critical that unworkable development concepts are screened out, leaving only those that are technically feasible. Moreover, because economic feasibility is strongly governed by the achievable production rates and revenues, reliable predictions of the system's deliverability are also essential.
In the past, field-development designers have been somewhat fixated on capital expenditure and to a greater or lesser extent have focused their efforts on modifications to drive down costs. However, while this approach is not unreasonable given the tools available to them, failing to properly quantify the effects of these changes on the system deliverability and, hence, the revenue stream is frequently detrimental, leading to suboptimal designs. This is especially true given the sensitivity of project economics to the production rates achieved in the initial years of production.
This paper describes the application of a new IAM tool, called Maximus, to the selection of development concepts for BP's planned western area evelopment (WAD). This future development is located in Angolan deepwater block 18 approximately 30 km to the west of the planned Greater Plutonio FPSO, and comprises five potential fields.
Owing to the distribution of the fields, WAD presents several flow-assurance challenges. In addition, given the comparatively small reserves base of the five fields, proper assessment of system deliverability was considered essential. Hence, it was decided to screen all reasonable field-development options using the new IAM tool to provide accurate system-deliverability predictions through the lifetime of the project while simultaneously applying various flow-assurance constraints. Thus, it was possible to quantify the effects of a range of system parameters on the production rates and operability of each concept.
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