Wood adapting software for subsea blockage prediction

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Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK – Wood and NERA (National Energy Resources Australia), in collaboration with the University of Western Australia (UWA), are supporting development of an online hydrate blockage prediction model for operating gas condensate systems.

Methane hydrates forming inside multiphase subsea production pipelines can eventually cause blockages. Removing these obstructions from a pipeline is costly and time-consuming exercise, and in the case of LNG facilities, the interruptions to production can have severe financial consequences, Wood said.

As part of the ‘Long Subsea Tie-back’ project, the company will integrate the UWA’s mechanistic hydrate model into its online Virtuoso performance monitoring software, allowing operators to calculate in real time the operational risk of a hydrate blockage in their assets both now and in the future.

The program is a further development of the Wood-led Transforming Australia Subsea Equipment Reliability (TASER) project which focused on improvements to subsea equipment design and cost reductions associated with equipment that fails prematurely.

Dr. James Holbeach, Wood’s strategy & development director for its automation and control business, said: “The project will enable more optimized engineering design and drive significant cost savings for operators through reduced chemical usage and improved production recovery.”

The company aims to deliver a fully integrated and commercially available version of Virtuoso with the UWA Hydrate Mechanistic model by October 2019.


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