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flow assurance

io provides flow assurance expertise working with other disciplines to deliver an integrated approach to systems engineering.

Flow assurance integrated with reservoir, subsea and development engineering


Our Flow Assurance experts have a broad range experience throughout the full lifecycle of projects and work closely with other disciplines to bring an integrated approach to systems engineering. Our team use the standard flow assurance toolkit including PIPESIM, OLGA, Multiflash and PVTSIM to draw insights appropriate to the project phase and to support decisions at the level of engineering being performed. We ‘start with the end in mind’ so that, regardless of project phase, we will understand how different concepts would operate to deliver the production required.


We develop concepts that best manage flow assurance risks during operation of the facility


Our flow assurance specialists design and engineer technical solutions that transport hydrocarbons from the reservoir to the point of sale at the desired flowrate while avoiding blockages and production losses. Our focus during the early stages of project planning is on identifying flow assurance risks and how these risks - such as hydrate formation, wax or scale deposition, gel formation, sand deposition and asphaltenes - impact the system design. Having developed an outline field layout for different concepts and identified options for managing the various flow assurance issues, we evaluate the optimal operating envelope to size the flowlines and pipelines, considering any necessary mitigations, for example, insulation, heating or chemical injection, to support cost estimation.


During subsequent phases, we will focus on developing flow assurance management strategies to explain how the various flow assurance risks will be managed during different operations. For example, a hydrate management strategy may define that hydrate formation is prevented by insulation during normal operation with electrical heating used during shutdown and restart with the secondary option of depressurisation. Having defined how the system is intended to operate, we will then focus our simulation activities on demonstrating the viability of the proposed strategy with the level of definition increasing as we move through the project phase.


Our expertise lies in identifying the key cases and simulations required to meet the range of operating conditions throughout field life


During Feasibility/Assess and Concept Selection, we focus on steady-state analysis to support high level cost estimating whilst ensuring an operable option with efficient deliverability of hydrocarbon from the reservoir to the processing facilities. Activities typically include pipeline sizing, insulation assessments, artificial lift requirements and developing strategies for managing hydrates, wax and other flow assurance risks. Our experience is that the insights from steady-state simulations are generally sufficient to evaluate the technical robustness of different concepts although there are occasions where performing a small number of transient simulations during this phase is necessary to ‘de-risk’ a particular concept, for example, to assess the slugging characteristics of a flowline or to confirm that a system can be depressurised during shutdowns to prevent hydrate formation.


Through FEED, our focus moves to transient simulations to support the detailed engineering of the pipelines and processing facilities and to confirm the operability of the selected development. Our expertise lies in identifying the key cases and simulations required to meet the range of operating conditions throughout field life. This typically includes steady-state, turndown, shutdown, cooldown, restart and depressurisation simulations. We have experience supporting commissioning and decommissioning as well applying the standard toolset to very specialist areas such as HIPPS design and system design of hydraulic submersible pumps.


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