Safaniya Project

Safaniya Project – Saudi Aramco (Oil, Middle East)

In an effort to boost production rates, Saudi Aramco (SA) is upgrading oil production facilities and associated infrastructure in the Safaniya field, the largest offshore oil field in the world. To maintain a target production, the crude oil transport capacity needs to be increased and artificial lift infrastructure be provided in the offshore field. A new 46in crude oil tunkline is to be built from a new tie- in platform to onshore Gas Oil Separator Plant to increase total field production. One of the most significant design parameters considered in this project is the fluid viscosity as the production fluid has a tendency to form emulsion in the presence of water. Furthermore, liquid management is a crucial part of the flow assurance programme due to the system’s vulnerability to both hydrodynamic and terrain slugging.

MSi Kenny carried out a detailed flow assurance assessment for the new trunkline and slug catchers at the gas plant inlet utilizing integrated hydraulic/thermal models. The flow assurance assessment included verification of the trunkline size, steady state thermal and hydraulic analysis (emulsified and non-emulsified production fluid), thermal analysis of buried pipeline, transient evaluation of the hydraulics involved in ramp-up and scraping, slugging and surge analysis, erosion calculations based on API RP 14-E, and modelling the performance of multiple separators at the Gas Plant inlet under steady state and transient conditions.

The following are few key features highlighting the projects importance and technical difficulties:

  • Rheology of fluids and influence of emulsion viscosity on the system’s hydraulics
  • Liquid management under steady state and transient slugging operation
  • Assessment of the effectiveness of different separators configuration (i.e. single 3-phase large slug catcher compared to 2 smaller slug catchers in parallel)
  • Simulation of fully controlled 3-phase separators as part of an integral hydraulic/thermal model, including the trunkline
  • Erosion velocity/C-Factor assessment utilizing API RP 14E and phase weighted density procedures
  • Impact of onshore burial on the systems thermal equilibrium