Seven Oil and Gas Research Projects for North America


By MarEx 2016-05-05 19:42:25

In a concerted drive to find smart solutions to safely reduce complexities and cost in the North American oil and gas industry, DNV GL is leading seven new joint industry projects (JIP) from the region in 2016. The initiatives will support overall efficiency efforts in the pipelines, wells and subsea, umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) sectors.

Key focus areas for DNV GL in 2016 will be centered around solving challenges around standardization, operations (OPEX services), safety, environment, regulations and performance. They also focus on high pressure high temperature (HPHT) environments and sour gas (gas containing significant amounts of hydrogen sulfide) developments.

DNV GL is inviting industry players to take part in the following JIPs:

- Extended application of corrosion resistant alloys
- Guidance for qualifying materials in compliance with API 17TR8 HPHT design guidelines for subsea equipment
- Increased consistency for sour service testing and assessment
- Sour HPHT fatigue testing for clad subsea components
- Prediction of internal flow induced vibration of complex subsea pipework
- Jumper VIV instrumentation and field measurements - expanding ongoing JIP
- Safe assessment of embedded flaws in sour pipelines

According to a recent research report published by DNV GL, one-third of North American respondents are concerned that they do not have a strategy in place to maintain innovation in a declined market. However, 31 percent see greater involvement in JIPs as a priority over the next 12 months, while four in ten want to increase collaboration with other industry players (40 percent).

The report also found that 60 percent of respondents agreed that operators will increasingly push to standardize their approach globally- up from 42 percent in 2015. Only nine percent expect an increase in spending in R&D and innovation, a figure that has been cut by more than half in two years, from 20 percent in 2014.

Technology Outlook

DNV GL’s Technology Outlook 2025 report states that, inevitably, the oil and gas industry is prioritizing technologies which drive meaningful efficiencies.

This includes automation in areas such as drilling and inspection, but also in areas like autonomous or remote controlled choking back of high water and gas producing zones using smart completions. Digitalization will clearly impact many areas, and is an integral aspect of automation (e.g. in autonomous drilling monitoring and diagnostics), but one area of potentially substantial impact is monitoring and data analytics to achieve the necessary flow conditions for stable and economic subsea production. 

The development of multiphase flow capabilities has enabled subsea production by simple, effective, and safe wellstream transport from the wellhead to the processing facility. Despite being enabled by advanced flow modelling, subsea systems have traditionally been quite simple from a control and monitoring perspective. This simplicity has allowed subsea systems to deliver reliable production from 5,000 wells around the globe.

Subsea system integrity and main flow parameters are monitored from remote control rooms 24/7. By 2025, DNV GL expects active monitoring and data analytics to optimize flow conditions for stable production. Better prediction of flow-related problems leads to quicker action to assure continuous flow, which has a significant impact on field economy through reduced downtime. 

More importantly, improved control over the flow and process conditions allows operation closer to the physical limits for a stable multiphase flow. This is especially relevant for heavier or waxy oil, gas with high liquid content, and large sand production. This is expected to enable simplifications in field development solutions, e.g., through longer tie-ins and simpler designs.

The increased level of monitoring will also cover the integrity of the system and the surrounding environment, including improved leak detection. Data gathered from subsea systems will also improve inspection, maintenance, and repair strategies. In sum, this will help designers and operators to safeguard a stable uninterrupted flow, while boosting confidence in the integrity of the system.

In total, 43 DNV GL-led JIPs have been initiated globally this year.