High Integrity Pipeline Protection System Architecture Optimization Using Compact Models
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To ensure economic feasibility of oil and gas production systems, as a leading energy source, the subsea equipment cost needs to be minimized. Pipeline cost is a large contributor to the total budget of such systems. High Integrity Pipeline Protection Systems (HIPPS) is the leading solution to downgrading pipeline pressures thereby reducing these costs by allowing the use of thin-walled pipelines within production systems. Likewise, seeking the optimal HIPPS strategies for multiple wells and pipelines is required to simultaneously address subsea system safety, reliability and cost. This proposed research addresses what is perhaps the most important feature of subsea architectures, namely subsea safety. In this context, subsea safety refers to both safeguarding human life and the environment. The pipeline-HIPPS-pipeline (P-HIPPS-P) assembly is the universal subsea safety system and deserves individual focused attention. This proposed work will create the first detailed scientific models for high-pressure-high-temperature P-HIPPS-P systems. The proposed research will be built upon an Analysis Led Design framework, where a validated computational and physics-based modeling approach would be used to quantify optimal P-HIPPS-P assemblies that meet reliability and cost constraints for multiple well subsea fields. Technology transfer will occur through peer reviewed publications and the development of a Graphical-User-Interface software tool in MATLAB. An important aspect of this work is the model validation and subsequently the calibration. This experimental phase is necessary and provides an educational experience where the students will learn how to integrate analytical modeling results with experimental data. Validation will be performed at the University of Houston (UH) multiphase closed-loop flow facility. A similar multiphase flow loop will be designed and built at Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) for validation and student education. The specific stages of the proposed research include: (1) Physics-based modeling of multiphase flow over a HIPPS valve and its integration with multiphase flow pipeline (2) Dynamic performance simulations of the developed P-HIPPS-P assemblies (3) Sensitivity analysis of the performance of the P-HIPPS-P assemblies to address system aging (4) Incorporation of real-world constraints in a genetic search process that produces an optimized P-HIPPS-P architecture meeting both system performance and practical design constraints associated with cost (5) Integrity analysis of the optimal P-HIPPS-P architecture to identify single point failures through reliability information and component failures (6) Performance and reliability evaluation of the selected design to assess whether industry regulations would be upheld.