For the petroleum industry, risk-based hydrate management can be a viable strategy for significantly widening the operational window. The traditional approach has been to avoid entering the hydrate region (high pressure and low temperature) altogether by temperature control (insulation and heating), chemicals (methanol and glycols) and pressure control. Although ensuring safe operations these remedies are costly for longer and colder transport conditions and not necessarily environmentally sound. This project will help meet demands of marginal field developments and operations in Artic areas by advancing the new fundamental knowledge of gas hydrate properties and develop methods for risk assessment and cost-effective hydrate management. From field experience, it is known that some oil pipelines are easily plugged by gas hydrates while others are transportable. This is commonly accepted to be due to naturally occurring polar components in the crude oils. A main goal is to combine the increased resolution of mass spectrometry (using the SINTEF owned FT-ICR MS) and advanced multivariate data analysis, block chain and machine learning to identify the hydrate-active components in crude oils. Hydrate properties in terms of plugging risk and transport properties will be measured for a number of crude oil systems (tentatively 30), and extraction of hydrates for analysis will be done. Prediction tools will be developed, relating the structure of possible hydrate active components to the hydrate properties, thus providing new understanding of gas hydrates in crude oil systems and serve as basis for developing new guidelines for risk-based hydrate management. Ultimately the results can be used for input and validation of multiphase flow models necessary for prediciton of safe operation areas for transport within the hydrate region. Industri partners will play an active role in the project with expertise and oil samples. A reference group with experts will be established.
Project leader: Marita Wolden
Category: Teknisk-industrielle institutter
Institution: SINTEF AS