Industry Article: Intelligent Hydrate Management

Avoiding risks associated with hydrates can be done without overspending

Intelligent Hydrate Management
Publication: Other industry publication
Issue: 8
Publication Date: 08/01/2015

Hydrates have been a thorn in the side of oil and gas production since before they were first discovered in gas transmission lines as early as 1934. However, our understanding of hydrate formation and prevention has increased over time, which has led us to develop thermodynamic inhibitors for use upstream. Antifreeze is one of the primary inhibitors in use offshore today, and is more often known as monoethylene glycol, or MEG.

The industry is under tremendous pressure to avoid and or mitigate risks, including those associated with hydrates, where possible. Uncertainties in measurement and dosage control, for example, can persuade an operator to use more MEG than is necessary, even more than twice the amount specified at a project’s onset. The impact of increasing the amount of MEG by 100% is seen in the increased capex of distribution facilities (e.g., chemical lines, subsea distribution units) and topsides processing (e.g., reclamation), and increased opex of MEG replacement, utilities used for recovery, and staff to run processing. This can mean higher costs over the life of the field.

A different approach to hydrate prevention using MEG can yield the same results with a large reduction in life-of-field cost. The Schlumberger hydrate management system accomplishes this by combining industry-proven monitoring, metering, dosing, and MEG regeneration technologies that work as a single unit to achieve target inhibition with MEG while preventing unnecessary overdoses.

Download: Intelligent Hydrate Management (1.12 MB PDF)

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