Recent technological advances in the oil and gas industry such as extended reach drilling, subsea processing and tiebacks from satellite fields have added to the complexity of daily operations. With a myriad of flow conditions, the dynamic interactions between different components of the gathering system can be significant. Deciphering these flow interactions can be difficult. Optimising them is a real challenge.
Whilst steady-state and dynamic modelling can provide a valuable insight into the occurring flow dynamics, the limitations of multiphase modelling and the level of reservoir uncertainty renders it difficult to determine an "optimal" operating point.
Within BP, an alternative paradigm for system optimisation has evolved from the desire to generate an operability map of the process. By combining data analytics with first principle-modelling and visualisation techniques, it is possible to generate operating maps for our oil and gas installations that are analogous to the "weather map". Process mapping provides a valuable insight into the operability of the process that can be accessed in a quick and easy manner. Operators can immediately relate to the encapsulated information by comparing their own observations with those plotted in front of them. Over time their knowledge of the process is enhanced and the process is manoeuvred towards the "optimal point".
Process mapping has led to significant increases in production within BP. Expressing the virtual insight of a model in a format that both the onshore and offshore teams can relate to has naturally led to an impressive level of asset engagement. In this paper, the people, process and technical implications of process mapping will be discussed alongside the value experienced to date.