On a daily basis, the operators of an oil platform frequently need to analyse and decide on a response to an alarm, often without knowing the root cause. The AlarmTracker is a new solution based on DHRTC funded research helping operators make informed decisions in abnormal situations. In the first quarter of 2019, the AlarmTracker was installed for offshore testing at the Judy and Dan platforms.
The AlarmTracker is likely to be one of DHRTC’s first tangible deliveries to the oil and gas industry, and expectations for the new operator decision support system are high.
Eldor Technology, a Norwegian start-up company deeply involved in the development, predicts a possible five percent increase of oil production once the AlarmTracker is installed across the entire production system and integrated into a control and safety system on a platform. Furthermore, the AlarmTracker is expected to reduce the environmental footprint as well as the risk of safety incidents, since the solution will lead to better control of the complex production systems.
“In 2018, the development of the AlarmTracker advanced significantly,“ says Programme Manager Erik Bek-Pedersen, DHRTC.
The focus was on the software, the user interface, and the central Multilevel Flow Modeling; the latter is the core research theme in the project – an advanced modelling technique, compatible with the operator’s decision-making based on artificial intelligence and data analytics.
In early 2019, the AlarmTracker performed its first real environment test at the ConocoPhillips’ Judy Platform in the North Sea.
“It is a major achievement that we now have the AlarmTracker installed on the Judy Platform. We are running tests on the actual system, and everything is closely followed by ConocoPhillips engineers in the operation support room in Aberdeen and online by the DTU Electrical Engineering and Eldor Technology team of researchers and developers,” states Erik Bek-Pedersen, DHRTC.
The first test performed well.
“We have succeeded in creating a continuous flow of data from the platform system to the AlarmTracker, and when an alarm goes on the platform, the AlarmTracker comes up with a root cause and the possible consequences if no action is taken,” says Erik Bek-Pederen.
Later, the system will also provide an advice on action to be taken as decision support to the operators.
On the Judy Platform the scope of the test was the gas separation treatment and compression. In March 2019, further testing is to follow on the water interjection systems at Total’s Dan Platform. The main purpose in both cases being to test the functionality of the core software and the communication towards the operators.
“In 2018, the development of the AlarmTracker advanced significantly.”
“As to be expected from the first real environment tests there are some adjustments to be made in the software. As planned, the researchers at DTU Electrical Engineering will continue to participate in the development for some time to come,” says Erik Bek-Pedersen.
The core of the software solution is now considered to be at Technology Readiness Level 3, corresponding to a tested prototype, which is generally the aim for the DHRTC-projects. Erik Bek-Pedersen wants to express his gratitude to the people involved and specifically to the industry for their cooperation:
“To the researchers it has been of extreme importance that the industry has opened up access to the systems on the platform. We are grateful for the trust that ConocoPhillips and Total is showing us. We would never be able to do research and development of this high calibre without their collaboration,” says Erik Bek-Pedersen.
The AlarmTracker is a result of a university-industry collaboration team of three companies and 24 scientists and engineers doing research and development into the monitoring, control and supervisory control of oil and gas production. The research and development are carried out with funding from the Norwegian Research Council under the Demo2000 program, Eldor Technology, Total (former Maersk Oil), ConocoPhillips UK and DHRTC. At DTU Electrical Engineering the research is performed by a team of four PhD students, two postdoctoral students, and two members of the scientific staff.