Automated Gas Hydrate Management
The Holy Grail
Gas hydrates are one of the major flow assurance challenges for the industry and are expected wherever gas meets water at high pressure and low temperature. Operators typically mitigate the risk of hydrates by continuous injection of chemical inhibitors (methanol or MEG) or by investing in tracer heated pipelines for large fields. These strategies are expensive in both OPEX and CAPEX and are based on simulations of worst-case scenarios projected over life of field.
Even with the best laid plans for hydrate mitigation, operators can still be caught out with unexpected hydrate blockages, due to unexpected changes in water cut or salt composition or human error. Hydrates once formed can take days or weeks to dissipate leading to delays in cargo off-takes which results in $millions of deferred production.
Operators are looking for a more reliable and cost effective method of managing hydrate risks; a method that can adapt to changing conditions in the field, and prevent unexpected blockages. For some operators this is seen as the holy grail in gas hydrate management.
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How We Solve It
Blue Gentoo is developing an automated, real-time monitoring and management system to protect against gas hydrate risk. The device is located on the production facility. It optimises chemical inhibitor use to meet current conditions, and detects early signs of hydrate formation so that steps can be taken to avert these. It informs and alerts operators, at the production facility and remotely, to what is happening and recommends steps to achieve optimum operating efficiency . It can also be deployed in fully automated mode.
The patented technology, iHP, is in development and field trials for it are being sought. Blue Gentoo is keen to hear from interested parties.
iHP will significantly reduce hydrate risk to provide greater production assurance and peace of mind. This will result in significantly lower OPEX costs while averting the costs associated with a hydrate blockage (i.e., Deferred production income and high remediation costs). Furthermore, iHP will reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, reduce the quantity of salts and NORMs (Normally Occurring Radioactive Materials) in MEG regen/reclaim facilities, and reduce operating costs through the life of field, while enabling sustainably clean energy production.