Oil, gas users link models through composite flowsheet

By Control Engineering Staff May 25, 2006

Honeywell Inc. announced plans to combine elements of UK-based Petroleum Experts ’ Integrated Production Modeling (IPM) software with UniSim Design to form a system that will allow oil and gas customers to use one composite flowsheet to link reservoir models, well models, and gathering-network models with the UniSim model of the separation process.

“The key here is that Honeywell can provide process models that are compatible with Petroleum Experts’ technology,” says Mark Hagen, director of Advanced Solutions for Honeywell Process Solutions. “Integration is very powerful because it allows all functions within a customer’s organization to communicate with a single tool, a consistent set of models and technology.”

UniSim Design helps engineers create steady-state and dynamic models for plant design, performance monitoring, troubleshooting operational improvement, business planning, and asset management. It is part of Honeywell’s family of simulation software and engineering services designed to improve performance throughout the lifecycle of a processing plant.

IPM is a set of online tools that allow oil and gas petroleum engineers to design complete field models of oil or gas production systems, including the reservoir, wells and surface network. Specifically, Honeywell will integrate UniSim Design with IPM’s Prosper (well modeling and design), GAP (multiphase network optimization) and Resolve (IPM controller) functions.

The new system allows for best-in-class, closed-loop, field-wide optimization, which is said to enable customers to maximize production of an individual field or operation with existing equipment. Additionally, the new system reportedly allows customers to manage and optimize assets across multiple facilities by linking wide area optimal planning tools for multiple facilities and interactions between them and by linking to ERP systems.

This represents a significant step forward in the upstream industry, the companies say. The operative link between UniSim Design and the Honeywell Advanced Planning and Scheduling tools–which align production planning with corporate goals–provides a significant opportunity for upstream applications to benefit not only from “what-if” production plan scenario analysis, but also from overall business-plan optimization, they say.

“An operating company needs to have and maintain a holistic view of its production capabilities in order to achieve top level performance,” says Hamid Guedroudj, Petroleum Experts Ltd. director. “This can only be done with a modeling approach that facilitates heterogeneous flowsheets and can optimize the whole envelope. This new system isn’t just about the operation side–it’s also about the benefits to the business-planning side of the oil and gas industry.”

“Field-wide optimization in oil and gas production requires a multidisciplinary approach, both in technology and solution capability,” Hagen said. “This new solution allows optimization of assets from reservoir, well, pipeline network and process facilities consistently and accurately.”

Richard Phelps, senior editor, Control Engineering