Executive Summary

Simon W. Richards, EPCONSULT Ltd

Well here we are again in late Winter, with Spring just around the corner. This edition marks the start of our third year. Don’t forget to keep writing those papers and sending them in for review; our Technical Editors are happiest when they’re kept busy! We’ve seven papers for you today—one less than the eight we would like to give you, but we prefer quality to quantity. Without further ado, I have written a short introduction below for each paper. I hope that you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy publishing them.

IPTC 11565—Converting the Pécorade Oil Field Into an Underground Gas Storage. This is quite an interesting and enjoyable paper. It explains the process used to evaluate the conversion and brings up some interesting points that may not be obvious. Well worth a read.

OTC 18504—High-Integrity Protection Systems (HIPS): Methods and Tools for Efficient Safety Integrity Levels Analysis and Calculations. Our second paper from TOTAL discusses an increasingly important subject: that of safety instrumented systems. Because of increasing costs of providing a “belt and braces” approach, there is increasing demand for safety instrumented systems, and this paper provides some guidance for the practitioners of this art.

OTC 19083—The New Deepwater O and G Province in Brazil: Flow Assurance and Artificial Lift—Innovations for Jubarte Heavy Oil. This is an interesting paper from Brazil, where much of the oil is heavy in nature. Two of the main challenges to this type of oil are its viscosity and its tendency to form emulsion, both of which require that additional care is taken in the design of the process facilities.

SPE 102722—Water Separation From Wellstream in Inclined Separation Tube With Distributed Tapping. This paper comprises the results of an interesting laboratory study into inline separation of water from a multiphase fluid. There is clearly much work still to be done, but with the increasing length of multiphase lines it is necessary to minimize system pressure drop while keeping pipeline size down and maintaining a favorable flow regime in the gas-liquid pipeline.

SPE 106900—Mercury Monitoring and Removal at Gas-Processing Facilities: Case Study of Salam Gas Plant. Mercury in natural gas is an issue in many places around the world. This paper presents a good overview of the challenges that mercury presents and the remedies to overcome them. It will prove valuable to those that design and operate gas plants where mercury is a feed constituent.

SPE 107852—Optimizer’s Curse: Removing the Effect of This Bias in Portfolio Planning. This paper relates to business planning and highlights a little-known topic. Essentially, the “curse” relates to a phenomenon whereby a project portfolio does not deliver the value that is expected from the offset, despite “optimization” techniques being applied. This paper discusses an interesting method whereby this over-optimism can be removed, and the actual realized value of the portfolio is much closer to the initial forecast.

SPE 110191—The Cost of Errors in Estimates Used in Concept Selection. This is an interesting paper for those who are involved in pre-FEED facilities definition and field development planning. This paper highlights a topic that is rarely discussed. Concept decisions are often taken on high-level data, and this topic should perhaps make us realize that we need to expend more effort in this stage of a project.

Again, I hope you enjoy this edition of SPEPFC as much as I enjoy writing these paragraphs. Please post your thoughts regarding these papers to the appropriate discussion board by way of the Discussion link found below each title on the Table of Contents page. If you have any further questions or comments, positive or negative, please feel free to contact the Executive Editor at simon.richards@ep-consult.com, and I promise to read them. With that I’ll hang-up and see you again in 3 months, God willing.