Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
Subsea Processing System Integration Engineering
General Electric (GE) Global Research, Niskayuna, NY 12309
General Electric (GE) VetcoGray, Sandvika, Norway
GE will develop and validate a physics-based subsea separation simulator that will be suitable for use by both the equipment suppliers and the facility engineers to predict system performance with confidence. The outcome will be a software tool capable of simulating multiphase flow subsea processing systems that will be ready for further expansion and validation in the subsequent pilot and full-scale testing phases of the project.
GE Global Research and VetcoGray, a GE Oil and Gas business, will execute the project.
Mark Lusted (GE Global Research) will be the project director, Dan Friedemann (GE
VetcoGray) will be the technology lead and David Anderson (GE Global Research) will be the principal investigator. This team brings unique and comprehensive capabilities to this project including:
- World-class understanding of subsea technologies
- Proven experience in experimental testing of multi-phase flow phenomena
- In-depth experience with modeling, designing and fielding subsea systems
- Broad experience with the full range dynamic simulation tools for operational performance prediction
As existing well depletion and increasing oil and gas demand drive toward production from increasingly challenging assets, Subsea Processing (SSP) at increasing depths (up to
3000m) and pressures (>300 bar) is becoming ever more important. Separation of multi-phase flow is a critical element of such SSP primarily to increase production rates and total production via supporting pumping and compression, and remedy flow assurance challenges. Despite the assertions by equipment suppliers that Compact Subsea Processing Systems are ready for deployment, operating engineers remain less certain of that readiness due to a lack of a robust simulator able to predict system performance (in particular separator performance) throughout a full range of possible operating conditions.
The objective of this project is to develop and validate a physics-based simulator capable of predicting the separator performance over the range of conditions and fluid compositions found in the Gulf of Mexico. Combining GE VetcoGray’s experience with SSP and GE Global Research’s experience with testing and simulation, GE will develop a hierarchical simulation model with four tiers: component model library, separator, separation system and statistical performance solver wrapper. This simulator will be validated at the component and simulator levels in an existing GE multiphase flow test loop optimized for this project and scaling rules will be developed to predict performance at full-scale size and pressures. The hierarchical structure of the resulting simulator will have the flexibility at the component- level to be expanded as better physical descriptions of components become available, and the Simulator will interface directly with existing production modeling software such as OLGA.
Ultimately, by bringing to bear the combined expertise of Global Research and
VetcoGray in the rapid fielding of technology, GE will develop a technology transfer plan with RPSEA to ensure software enhancement through beta user input and rapid, widespread acceptance of the Simulator throughout the industry.
Principal Investigator Chris Wolfe