One of the world’s largest Brazilian energy producers has a daily output of over 2.5 million barrels of oil equivalent. As part of a project to deliver advanced monitoring of their offshore platform, MaxGrip carried out a risk analysis for the primary installations. Integrated solutions for failure analysis include the automatic detection of fault symptom development, leading to improved reliability and higher production levels at equal or lower operational costs.
The 100,000 km2 basin, located in Rio de Janeiro, contains more than 80 percent of Brazil’s national oil reserves. One of the basin’s 55 fields lies at a depth of between 600 and 1200 m under the surface of the sea. The offshore platform is a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit, connected to 21 production wells and 14 injection wells in the field. It has a production capacity of 150,000 barrels of oil per day and can store over a million barrels. The additional gas compression capacity of 6 million m3 per day, and its total length of 337 m and height of 65 m, makes this one of the world’s largest FPSOs. The produced oil is periodically loaded into a shuttle tanker. The produced gas is transported to the mainland by pipeline.
The company wanted to identify business potential and optimize the platform production output. They contracted a subcontractor to monitor the performance of the installations with their software. The initial analysis identified three critical production systems to be monitored: four water- injection pumps, three centrifugal compressors for natural gas compression and four 20 MW gas turbine generators that provide power for the FPSO. With its Optimizer+ software, MaxGrip carried out Failure Mode Effect and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) studies to provide the right input for the software’s reliability module.
“The company needed to know two things for certain”, says MaxGrip expert. “The risks asssociated with their critical systems, and how to improve machine reliability. We started with a visit to the platform reliability team, and familiarised the company’s engineers with Optimizer+ before setting up the failure registration that enables faster and precise reporting on production disturbances. The reliability module provides statistics about availability, reliability, mean time between failures, and actual downtime for maintenance. The software also predicts potential failure modes. It does so by breaking down dynamic behavior into individual component failure symptoms and extrapolating these values over time.”
Accurate data are the foundation for simplification and gaining control over asset performance. The combined use of Optimizer+ and the subcontractor’s software enables the company to go through the maintenance engineering Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle in a structured fashion. This in turn allows for increased production at no extra cost, lower energy consumption and less flaring. With the barriers for reliable failure reporting removed, the company’s management is now in a position to identify underperforming assets and prioritise maintenance tasks. Continuous monitoring will help to achieve operational excellence in oil and gas production by the platform.