Simulations are at the core of work performed by Mirade.

The simulation types applied in a given project are determined by Mirade based upon client needs and project complexity. They can vary in breadth from the calculation of the pressure ratio achieved by a compression stage, through to a large field-validated IAMs / IPMs (Integrated Asset / Production Models).

Mirade’s simulations span three principal areas:

  • Compression Machinery
  • Process Systems
  • Networks & Gathering Systems

Compression Machinery Simulations

Compression Machinery Simulations – The Problem

If compression design expertise is not present within the core project team, project success can be constrained by the following issues:

  • During the option select process, the team simply re-uses design concepts and values from other projects.
  • There is a disconnect in knowledge between the project team and the machinery OEM.

Copying is not Suitable

One cannot simply take compressor designs from other projects and apply them to new ones. This is because both the process conditions and the required compressor design are application-specific – i.e.:

  • Every oil and gas installation is unique, with its own blend of compositions, pressures, temperatures and flows. It is for this reason that each compression facility design is application-specific.
  • The performance, even the name plate performance, which can be achieved by a centrifugal compressor is design specific. Even if the best-in-class performance is attained, its magnitude will be a function of numerous influences, such as:
    • Process conditions.
    • Concept select and arrangement.
    • Future operating requirements.

Given the above variables and factors, when it comes to compressor design it is clearly inappropriate to simply ‘copy what was done on a previous project’ – an approach not unheard of in the industry.

A Disconnected Approach is Problematic

When the core project team which is tasked with designing a compression facility does not include specialist compressor design expertise, project capability can commonly be limited by the following facts:

  • The team defining the compression requirements know a lot about what happens outside of the compressor flanges, but less about what happens inside the machine.
  • The OEM knows a lot about his machinery, but less about the application-specific characteristics of the plant and production systems outside of the compression skid.

In an attempt to overcome this disconnect, the project team often have little choice but to rely on vendor contact every time they require an appraisal of compressor performances achievable with the current design approach. Invariably, projects will progress through design iterations as the solution is honed down to the selected option, however, approaching the vendor for technical appraisal and new performance curves for every design iteration becomes burdensome and overly time consuming.

Inevitably some expediencies will be adopted, which may involve assumptions regarding achievable compressor performances. This is problematic when one considers that each application and each compressor design is unique, meaning that assumptions may lead to the inclusion of erroneous performance in project simulations. The implications of these assumptions on project quality and timescales can be significant.

Compression Machinery Simulations – The Solution

Clearly, if application-specific designs are to be included in the option select and development process, an alternative way of working is required. So how is Mirade’s approach different?

Mirade performs specialist compressor design work in-house, which affords a joined-up approach.

Specialist In-House Compressor Design

Mirade understands and has specific knowledge of the aerodynamic performance of centrifugal compressors. By applying this in conjunction with specialist simulations, Mirade is able to derive application-specific performances for each compressor section, including performance curves. Importantly, this design work is performed in-house, negating the need for there to be a consultation with an OEM every time a design iteration or option evaluation is required.

By engaging Mirade, the operator / owner is able to approach the compressor OEM with a far more developed specification – affording a more meaningful and accurate appraisal of vendor offerings.

A Joined-Up Approach

Mirade understands both the performances attainable for a given compressor selection and the operating needs and characteristics of the process facilities, pipeline networks and well systems. Therefore, the decision made by Mirade as to which compressor selection is optimum honours the joined-up approach to compression system design.

Mirade’s Joined-Up Approach to Compression System Design

Compression vs.
Other System Elements

What compression system concept and design most readily meets the operating requirements, CAPEX and OPEX considerations of the process, pipeline and well systems?

Other System Elements vs.
Compression

What are the effects of the process, pipeline and well system designs and operation concepts on the compression system design, CAPEX & OPEX?

Overall Asset

What are the combined effects of compression and wider system design options on:

Asset production potential through time?
Operating flexibility including future expansion / integration?
Asset development CAPEX – immediate and future?
OPEX?

To achieve this holistic approach to the design process, it is necessary to be able to evaluate the effects of the various options, concepts and ‘what if scenarios’ using design-specific compressor performances and to utilise these correctly in modelling work. Using presumed performances will compromise the design process.

Since Mirade perform centrifugal compressor design work ‘in-house’, compression design options can be evaluated against truly representative performance, productivity and cost criteria in a timely and project-efficient way without repetition of vendor involvement for each and every option iteration and evaluation.

Before sanctioning a design option, Mirade ensure its robustness and suitability are confirmed through modelling its operation across a range of conditions and scenarios.

With their specialist knowledge of centrifugal compression design and their knowledge of the elements in the wider production system, Mirade are able to offer a truly integrated and ‘joined-up’ approach to compression system design – whether this be for the development of an entirely new compression facility or the revamp of an existing one – see web page “our services”.

Process & Network Simulations

Process System Simulations

Process systems simulation work is often critical in ensuring that the correct compressor inlet and discharge conditions are defined – including compositions, temperatures, pressures and mass flows across various process criteria. Furthermore, process plant operating and control regimes may demand that the compression trains work to particular suction or discharge conditions.

Where it is necessary to simulate process systems in which compression machinery operates, Mirade performs work using industry-proven third-party process simulators. In instances where particular process engineering expertise is required, such project work is facilitated by Mirade’s collaborations with other consultancies.

Mirade’s understanding of process requirements ensures that compression solutions are not developed in isolation, but within the framework of process plant design and operating criteria.

Networks & Gathering System Simulations

Compression system design is commonly affected by the operating characteristics of pipeline systems. Additionally, compression operation can affect pipeline conditions, which is particularly important for multi-phase networks. Similarly, well operation is also influenced by the flow and pressure capability of field gas compression systems.

Where it is necessary to include network and well system considerations and / or simulations in the development or investigation of compression systems, Mirade works with industry-proven third-party network simulators. In instances where particular network and multi-phase pipeline engineering expertise is required, such project work is facilitated by Mirade’s collaborations with other consultancies.

Mirade’s IAM (Integrated Asset Modelling) capability is enhanced by their project experience of working alongside subsurface teams, reviewing output from reservoir and well models as well as developing and history-matching IAMs with reservoir and well representations.

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