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Onshore oil and gas

Solutions for safe, reliable and efficient operations 

The safety and efficiency of oilfield production systems depend to a large extent on the quality of the technology that they use. Electrical drives and motors can be organized so that the right amount of power is supplied at the right time. Automation can ensure that a plant runs as it was designed to, providing its operators with real-time information, and flagging problems before they occur. Pipeline operations can be overseen and controlled to a high degree of accuracy. Over the lifetime of a project, these improvements can cut operational expenditure by as much as 20%, greatly outweighing the capital costs of installing the equipment.

In addition to the high, medium and low-voltage equipment that makes everything possible, we provide the wellhead control panels that production engineers need to manage what is happening below the ground, the SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems that handle the operation of the pipeline network above the ground and the custody transfer and production metering processes that are needed to keep track of what has been produced. We also offer the ancillary systems that integrate all this information and make it available to engineers and technicians. ABB also acts as an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor.

 

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Well systems

When an oilfield is first breached, the raw crude can come out of the ground at a pressure of more than 23,000 psi. After about 10% of the reservoir has been extracted, the field has to be “lifted” by pumping oil or gas into it, after which enhanced recovery methods are needed. Managing this process – making sure there is no blow out in the early stages, that pumping operations are carried out safely and that “wellbore integrity” is maintained, presents considerable challenges.

ABB has worked on many onshore production plants around the world, and our project teams have gained the experience to design integrated solutions to meet these challenges. These include all the units required for well-head electrification, of course, but also advanced applications such as well optimization, slug control and erosion management. We also provide packaged solutions, such as the “polymer hydration skids” that help to recover as much oil as possible from a depleted field and solar-powered operating systems.


Gathering systems 

Gathering systems take the raw material that has just emerged from the ground and convey it to holding tanks and processing plants. This process consists of a number of separate stages, each with its own specialized teams and its own extensive data stores.

To operate these gathering systems effectively, companies have to encourage their teams to collaborate with one another, and to share information on secure networks. ABB’s systems gather and distribute the production and operational information that is needed to allow every member of the company to make informed contributions to the decisions that are taken and which may have important consequences for operational efficiency and health and safety – without the need to bring in specialized IT consultants. 

 

 

Gas and oil separation plants 

The matter that comes out of the ground when a well is producing is often a mixture of gas, oil, sand and water. The first step is that the water is isolated and re-injected into the well, after which the gas and oil can be separated out and put into different streams.

In a modern well, this is often done by spinning the crude in what is called a hydrocyclone, and ABB has extensive experience in powering them and monitoring what they’re doing at any given moment. The aim here is firstly to ensure that they are operating safely, and secondly that they are doing so as efficiently as possible, both with respect to the energy used and the wear-and-tear on the machinery.
 

 

 

Unconventional  

Unconventional resources, such as shale gas, coal-bed methane and tar sands are another area of expertise for ABB. We provide a number of smart solutions for the energy-intensive techniques that are needed to  recover hydrocarbons from these sources. We have supplied systems to coal-bed methane projects in the US, Canada and Australia for many years. 

Using a combination of our System 800xA distributed control system and remote terminal units  as sensors, the system is able to monitor the entire production process from collection to distribution, including water management and telecoms, and thereby to guarantee safe and reliable production.


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