Abstract.

Modeling and simulation of oil and gas recovery and processing is used extensively to investigate and define project viability and make improvements in upstream and midstream assets.

Nothing is usually known about ultimate performance, operability, stability, or control constraints using process (only) modeling. In most cases, only steady state modeling is used, producing more questions than answers. The ability to extend models into a dynamic mode complete with simulated control and optimization has been unattainable, due to diverse technology, high integration cost and capital control commitments well in advance of potential viability. Yet, the ability to dynamically model a complex control strategy and optimization with the process model can make a significant difference in determining economic viability and ROI. And the database derived from the model can become the design specifications for the process, automation, optimization and safe operation of the process, thereby decreasing the risk. This session walks the attendees through the dynamic modeling of a gas plant process, control, operation and optimization to produce a uniform design database and specification at an economic cost.

INTRODUCTION

Computer-based process modeling has been a mainstay of process design for many years.

Innovation in process modeling has continued to progress with new computer power, sophisticated algorithms and color visualization. This has resulted in new and attractive process enhancements that provide increased production, lower cost and higher quality. In spite of this progress, little has been done to date to merge real-time control and optimization at the modeling stage. The primary barriers to this obvious direction have been both technical and professional. On the technical side, real control systems were built with proprietary hardware and software making low cost integration to process models difficult and expensive. This barrier has been removed with the newest control technologies.

On the professional side, process and control engineers operated in different worlds with little common ground to unite their efforts. Whole industry segments evolved to exploit the differences, resulting in high cost process and control trainers on a customized basis. Easier tools that configure both process and control models are now reshaping this segment, to allow the two disciplines to learn and share their expertise. The results of these changes have created a new breed of integrated solutions characterized as a Virtual Process & Control Systems (VPACS). VPACS is an integrated set of software tools that allows configuration of continuous process unit operations and associated regulatory/discrete control, operator interface and predictive control in software without the need fo

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