Flow assurance is a relatively new terminology in the upstream oil and gas industry. Its primary objective is to ensure the successful and economic flow of hydrocarbon fluids from the reservoir to the point of sale. It is normally associated with upstream operations, particularly those concerned with multiphase flow and deepwater technologies. The main reason for this is that remedial and intervention techniques can be prohibitively expensive, if even feasible. Flow assurance has, therefore, developed to address challenging scenarios where traditional techniques are not appropriate due to extreme distances, depths, temperature and pressure constraints and more innovative solutions are required.
Flow assurance is very diverse in nature and encompasses a large number of discrete subjects and engineering disciplines which AIE are ideally placed to assist with our range of subject matter experts. Importantly, AIE’s experience in oilfield chemistry and in particular production chemistry related to solids deposition and other factors restricting efficient flow of hydrocarbons are our core strengths. These flow assurance areas include:
- Asphaltene flocculation and precipitation
- Wax deposition
- Water block in gas flow
- Emulsions and foams
- Hydrate formation
- Scale deposition
- Other solids such as napthenates and corrosion products
Critically flow assurance is aimed at preventing and minimising production interruption and/or asset damage as the financial loss from such mishaps can be immense and the environmental impact and reputation damage from a catastrophic failure unquantifiable. AIE’s expertise within flow assurance is applied during all stages of system selection, design, operations and late field recovery, and importantly the chemistry aspects to ensure flow assurance across all phases of field development and life-span.
A sample wax deposition model for one of AIE’s clients is shown below. This model simulated a 112-day production duration in steps of 7 days.
AIE’s corrosion and chemical management software, Veracity CCM, includes a dedicated module for management of flow assurance threats. To know more, please view the software brochure here.