The Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) has today announced the signing of three new industry projects with emerging technology companies, Resolute Energy Solutions, Oilfield Innovations Limited, and Trevelyan Trading Limited.
Upon signing the 50th project, OGIC has once again reached its project target ahead of schedule, and is now set to exceed this milestone with new projects currently in discussion.
OGIC’s total investment in collaborative work with oil and gas companies and academic expertise in Scottish universities now stands at £1.9m in funding. Additional private sector funding across these 50 projects brings the total projects value to £4.7m – almost doubling the total projects value of six months ago, when the total stood at £2.4m.
With the objective of helping companies to access the research and development capability within Scotland’s university community, the latest projects to be signed include innovative solutions to enable more efficient well plug and abandonment (P&A), as well as more economical methods to increase subsea tie-back distances by effectively reducing back-pressure on gas wells.
Ian Phillips, chief executive of OGIC, said: “From small scale developers to major contractors, OGIC is proud to have facilitated 50 collaborative projects with organisations in the oil and gas sector, connecting the energy industry with leading research and development expertise within Scottish universities. These latest projects demonstrate the real possibility to support the industry’s continued commitment to overcome industry challenges whilst maintaining cost control and operational efficiency.”
The recent collaboration with OGIC and academic expertise at Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University has enabled technology services company, Resolute Energy Solutions, to develop a more cost-effective method to better fill formation and annular void spaces.
Current industry challenges with P&A include insufficient barrier materials and high costs relating to rig time or having to reinstate derricks to conduct P&A operations. With the necessary support and funding from OGIC for the initial phase of this project, Resolute Energy worked with the Petroleum Engineering Research Group at Robert Gordon University to conduct essential research and development work. This included conducting physical tests to develop the most appropriate swellable sealing materials for downhole applications that meet specific industry standards.
Iain Lees, Director of Resolute Energy Solutions said: “Cement is the traditional barrier for plugging wells for abandonment, but this can have drawbacks due to its fixed and fragile nature. Our additive solution enhances cement and other sealant materials by adding energy and forcing the barrier to fully fill void spaces. This prevents leak paths from forming in formation tubing, annular spaces and behind casing. Tubing can also be left in place during P&A – all of which has the potential to significantly cut decommissioning costs.
“The Oil & Gas Innovation Centre has certainly lived up to their name with the support they have provided Resolute. We started the business by looking at a significant industry problem, and with the help of OGIC we are now taking it from Concept to Cure.”
Also recognising the industry demand for a lower cost P&A operation, new technology solutions company, Oilfield Innovations Limited (OILtd) created an innovative way to utilise low cost wireline to provide drilling rig equivalent well plug and abandonment (P&A).
Offshore P&A typically requires large expensive drilling rigs to reverse the installation process and remove the tubing to provide an unobstructed casing space for logging casing cement, cleaning casing surfaces and placing a supported cement plugs therein to create permanent well abandonment plugs that isolate hydrocarbons from the environment.
OILtd has created an alternative P&A method that delivers all of these criteria by compacting the tubing within the 80% to 90% liquid space within the internal diameter of the casing. Existing thru-tubing wireline tooling can be used to compact tubing and other equipment to clear and clean the casing and, as a result, provide an unobstructed casing space for conventional cement bond logging of cement outside the casing and placement of cement plugs within this.
OILtd partnered with OGIC and the academic expertise of the University of Glasgow to construct a predictive computer model to numerically calculate the process of compacting tubulars so that engineers can design wireline P&A solutions. The ten-month project also includes calibration of the numerical simulation with experimental data of a small-scale test rig and large real-scale demonstrations of the compaction of North Sea sized tubulars to validate OILtd’s hypothesis.
Bruce Tunget, Director of OILtd said: “Our approach to P&A provides the industry with a simple and effective wireline solution that is both lower in cost and lower in risk than conventional rig-based P&A methods. Through our collaboration with OGIC and the University of Glasgow, we will be able to accelerate the development of our technology by gaining a more robust understanding of the mechanics of compacting tubulars to overcome industry P&A cost and liability challenges.”
The most recent project that took OGIC to its 50th milestone, was the collaboration between OGIC, the subsea processing technology solutions company, Trevelyan Trading Limited (TTL), and academics at the University of Strathclyde.
Trevelyan’s technology solution aims to improve the efficiency of gas transportation and ease current economic challenges of cost control and output when subsea tiebacks increase in length, leading to increased back-pressure on the well, and a subsequent reduction in the volume of gas being recovered.
Trevelyan’s technology addresses this challenge by using the application of multiple integrated piggable liquid separators to remove liquids generated by the well and condensing from the gas during transportation. These separator units are designed to be ‘in-line’ structures, installed directly into the main pipeline. Larger pipeline diameters can then be used, lowering back pressure to the gas wells and allowing the range of subsea gas tiebacks to be increased to over 250km, while only using 5% of the power requirements of subsea compression.
Lee Thomas, Director of TTL said: “With the part-funding and support of OGIC, we have been able to work with the experienced team at University of Strathclyde to investigate the performance of our new gas separator concept to deliver increased recoverable reserves more economically, including simulations under a range of conditions. This has been valuable to develop the concept further and prove the viability of our combined technology approach.”
By supporting the development of the supply chain through bringing new products and services to the UK and international markets, OGIC’s work directly contributes to the twin goals of maximising economic recovery from the UK continental shelf.
Ian Phillips, chief executive of OGIC, said: “As we look to 2018, we are inspired by the resilience of the industry and the continued innovation and determination of everyone that is engaged in these projects – from the companies themselves to our project team and the academic expertise at the universities. We very much look forward to signing more projects in the coming months and continuing our collaborative work with the industry.”
For more information about the projects, click here.