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Wood and NERA to develop prediction tool

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LNG Industry,

Wood has released a statement announcing a new funding partnership arrangement with National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), in collaboration with the University of Western Australia (UWA), to support the development of an online hydrate blockage prediction model for operating gas condensate systems.

Methane hydrates are a significant challenge in multiphase subsea production pipelines. In the statement, Wood claims that these ice-like substances form inside of the pipe and can eventually create a blockage. Removing a hydrate blockage from a subsea pipeline is an expensive and time-consuming process, and, for LNG facilities, such interruptions can have significant financial consequences. As a result, hydrate blockages are avoided at all costs.

Starting next month as part of the ‘Long Subsea Tie-back’ project, Wood claims that it will integrate UWA’s mechanistic hydrate model into its operational online Virtuoso software package. This will enable operators to calculate the operational risk of a hydrate blockage in their assets both now and into the future in real time, significantly decreasing operational uncertainties.

Virtuoso is the company’s asset performance monitoring software. It provides real time operational and optimisation advice to more than 10% of the world’s upstream gas production.

According to the statement, this programme builds on another project led by Wood: Transforming Australia Subsea Equipment Reliability (TASER), which leveraged NERA funding and industry connections to focus on sharing knowledge to improve subsea equipment design and reduce costs and time associated with equipment that is failing prematurely.

Dr James Holbeach, Wood’s strategy & development director for its automation and control business, said: “Following the successful implementation of the TASER project last year, we are delighted to again receive funding from NERA for another project which will assist operators and others in the oil and gas industry to avoid costly offshore repair campaigns.

“The project will enable more optimised engineering design and drive significant cost savings for operators through reduced chemical usage and improved production recovery.”

NERA CEO Miranda Taylor added: “Through this collaboration and commitment to solving a major industry problem, Australia can reinforce its reputation as a leading destination for industry solutions and technological excellence. If this knowledge and these solutions can be applied to other industries or sectors, we create powerful multipliers that will live on long after the life of any single project.”

In the statement, Wood claims that it is planning to deliver a fully integrated commercially available version of Virtuoso with the UWA Hydrate Mechanistic model by October this year.

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