Flow assurance is central to the design of a subsea production system and requires frequent interfacing with engineers from multiple disciplines. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate how cloud based digital field twin can be leveraged to automate subsea flow assurance engineering workflows and consequently, achieve efficient collaborations, faster and reliable designs, and reduced costs.
In this proposed workflow, engineers use a web application built on top of a cloud-based digital twin platform to perform flow assurance calculations and design analysis. The web based platform integrates multiphase flow simulators and other relevant engineering tools through python scripts. A user is only required to input design constraints and necessary basic information. The application acquires inter-disciplinary data (e.g. pipeline, layout, equipment, etc.) and automatically performs pre-processing, model setup, simulation, and results processing in the background and make results available to all the users at the front-end.
The digital flow assurance platform replaces traditional workflows requiring use of different standalone engineering software, and frequent exchange of information with other engineering teams in form of documents and spreadsheets. The proposed cloud-based workflow allows engineers to focus on technical analysis by eliminating several manual and repeating processes such as accessing different software, creating models, results extraction and formatting, etc. The ability to share results in form of auto-generated reports and formatted spreadsheets; minimizes human errors and promotes information exchange and transparency among project team members from different disciplines. The cloud based platform enables engineers to work on a same project from different geophysical locations and devices. Overall, this digital flow assurance workflow significantly improves engineering efficiency, save costs, and allows faster and reliable concept design and FEED (Front End Engineering Design).
The ideas widely discussed for flow assurance digitalization typically include use of data analytics and machine learning, virtual flow metering, real time data monitoring, predictive analytics, etc. This paper, however, presents novel practical idea to bring digital transformation to the way flow assurance engineers work and collaborate.