For assets that require compression from the start, or for those which will utilise it after an initial period of free-flow, an effective compression system has the potential to enhance the productivity of the asset through the remainder of field life. Conversely, a poorly conceived design can constrain operability and flow rates.
The selection of the compression concept and developing its design to match life of field (LOF) conditions is therefore an exercise of fundamental importance for asset owners and operators. By engaging Mirade, the client can ensure that this essential element in the overall asset development plan is assigned the in-depth expertise and knowledge it requires.
Tailored Work Scopes
Every oil and gas asset is unique – presenting a particular set of challenges in each case. Mirade never applies a ‘one size fits all’ approach to project definition or execution. After carefully listening to the client, Mirade develop a project-specific scope of work for new and young assets which may include one or more of the following services: Integrated asset modelling, concept design studies, preparation for FEED, design reviews and audits, field development planning.
The range of process conditions which must be accommodated by the compression system across the life of the asset is often considerable. To ensure that these are fully quantified and allowed for in the design, Mirade use Integrated Asset Modelling (IAM) / Integrated Production Modelling (IPM). This may be executed with the client’s existing models or Mirade may develop new ones on their behalf.
An integrated model is an invaluable way of:
This methodology may be applied for design studies in greenfield as well as brownfield applications. The level of detail applied to the modelling of each element in the production chain will be determined by Mirade during consultation with the client, but may include:
In cases where the project utilises a full model – from reservoir to delivery, Mirade may develop production profiles for a range of conditions, scenarios and options affording a rigorous analysis of each option. These can include economic reviews made by utilising revenue profiles in the appraisal of design and development options.
Mirade encourage the use of integrated models in concept design studies because it allows them to ensure that the overall optimum solution is identified.
What is the objective of a concept design study involving compression? To design a new compression system? True, but can the objective be described more fundamentally?
Mirade believe that the true objective is to determine the optimum way to achieve the desired production profile with a corresponding pressure regime that meets the operating requirements of all key elements in the production system.
The resulting pressure-flow combinations at key points in the production chain fundamentally affect the design and operability of the principal system components – wells, pipelines, process plant, compressors, drivers, control systems, etc.
By applying this more holistic philosophy, Mirade identify, quantify and validate solutions which represent the best blend of CAPEX and revenue applied across the overall asset – not just the compression system. This is achieved while ensuring robust operability of all key elements in the production stream. Via system and compressor modelling, Mirade apply this approach to determine the overall optimum solution.
The performance that can be achieved by a centrifugal compressor is a function of a multitude of factors – both process and machinery related. Not only is the performance achievable application (installation) specific, but it is also related to the compression concept design selected for the facility.
During concept design studies, Mirade’s in-house centrifugal compressor design expertise affords a ‘joined-up’ approach to the rigorous analysis of options and selection of the optimum solution – see compression machinery design. This can be achieved by Mirade without having to resort to OEM input, which allows design reviews to be conducted more quickly. If OEM involvement is required, this can be conducted later when the design is more developed – affording a more meaningful conversation with the machinery vendor.
By deriving truly representative centrifugal compression performances and using these in system and integrated asset models, Mirade are able to ensure that the option select process is built upon the same performance magnitudes that will be provided by OEMs during the later bidding phase of the project cycle. This ensures continuity and avoids unexpected technical or option select changes arising when key decisions have already been made.
During both the option select and solution validation stages, Mirade’s centrifugal compressor design experience ensures that solutions are robust by subjecting them to rigorous testing via simulations across various operating scenarios.
Mirade know what is technically achievable with compression, and having this expertise present in clients’ projects is invaluable.
In compression concept design studies where the remit allows the use of integrated asset modelling, Mirade identify the overall optimum solution while viewing the production stream as a whole. Thus Mirade’s solution may not be limited to a compression system design but could also include, for example, timetables of well inventories or intrafield pipelines.
Mirade’s solutions are also enhanced by aiming to minimise disruption to ongoing production and to increase NPV through phased CAPEX and installation of new plant and equipment.
By investigating, quantifying and validating overall system operation, Mirade not only avoid sub-optimal compression designs, but also avoid compromised well / pipeline / process plant operating regimes.
A true measure of a successful compression system concept design is its ability to adapt to the changing conditions that commonly occur through its operating life. By building upon the data generated from IAMs / IPMs (Integrated Asset / Production Models), Mirade ensure that the concept design makes provision for future changes such as flows, pressures, molecular weights and third-party stream integration. This due diligence is applied not only to ‘on-skid’ architecture, but also to associated plant.
By mapping the life of the compression system and associated plant, Mirade develop machinery timetables which chart the changes that will be made through the life of the field to accommodate changing process conditions as well as phased installation of machinery and plant. This can then be fed into CAPEX and NPV analysis to fully validate the option select process.
Mirade bolsters the delivery of the concept design through the delivery of production and revenue profiles in addition to machinery and CAPEX timetables. This aids buy-in from various stakeholders and key third-parties, such as:
With such a detailed understanding of future field operation and CAPEX spent, the asset owner / operator can make the necessary provisions well in advance – avoiding future unpleasant surprises.
A thorough and well-executed concept design study is the precursor to a smooth-running FEED (Front End Engineering Design) project. Having completed the concept design work, Mirade can greatly aid the timely and cost effective completion of the FEED by preparing documentation and presentations which communicate essential details of the concept design to the FEED contractor.
Such deliverables not only make sure that design details are properly transferred, but also ensure that the FEED contractor understands the rationale of the concept and the decision process that led to the selected design. This avoids the FEED contractor believing that it is necessary to add time and cost to their remit by revisiting work already completed during the concept study.
Mirade are also able to offer additional strategies which can bring forward the installation date of the compression plant.
Since every centrifugal compressor design is made specifically for each application, the selection process is complex. There is therefore the potential for incorrect assumptions to be made by those with less extensive experience of making compressor specifications, or by machinery vendors who may not be aware of process plant issues outside of their remit.
The potential for such oversights is understandable when one considers that not only must the selection be robust within the confines of the compression train, but also within the capabilities and limitations of the surrounding process plant.
Mirade are able to complete technical audits of compression system design proposals / specifications made by third parties, as well as technical audits of compressor OEM proposals (whether based upon Mirade-produced specifications or on specifications by third parties).
Such audits are an invaluable way of providing an independent viewpoint to identify any oversights in the design or selection process. Identifying these early can avoid very costly and time-consuming project deviations.
The special mix of skills and experience offered by Mirade, means that they are able to understand in detail the requirements and capabilities of the operating company / operator as well as those of the machinery OEM.
This experience provides the missing link in compression projects – bridging the differences in knowledge that can sometimes exist between the purchaser / operator of the compression equipment and the OEM.
Mirade have extensive experience of liaising with OEMs – aiding smooth communication between the vendor and operator / purchaser. Mirade achieves the right balance of asking ‘necessarily searching’ questions while always maintaining respect for the OEM and ‘keeping them on-board’.
Mirade can assist compressor owners / operators with FATs (Factory Acceptance Tests). Mirade’s understanding of compressor performance means that their reviews and feedback from FATs are particularly meaningful.