Gas conservation and utilisation are prominent objectives in the development of North Sea oil fields. In fields like Brent, the composition and large volume of associated gas, together with regulatory, commercial and reservoir management considerations have led to the construction of offshore gas handling plant of great complexity.

The reliability characteristics of individual system components form an inadequate basis for predictions of total system behavior. Yet, for several years before the system will be fully commissioned this very behavior represents a vital input to the decision making process: sales contract volumes need to be determined and system vulnerabilities need to be identified.

The paper describes how an integrated Monte Carlo simulator was designed and built to fill the specific requirements of economic evaluation, commercial planning and regulatory compliance.

Setting, layout and operating modes of the four-platform Brent gas handling system are briefly discussed. The paper then outlines model objectives, input data requirements and simulation techniques. Specific features discussed in some detail are the implementation of real-world operating priorities and secondary system limitations in the model. Application examples discussed to illustrate the use of the model include the analysis of sales contract shortfall risk as a function of nomination level and the economics of system modifications.

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