Operational Simulation is the high level numerical modelling of an operation or process in time, that is used to collect statistics of expected performance, investigate sensitivities, and optimise designs.
Since oil and gas operations are complicated by many interacting factors, operational simulation is an ideal tool to use to estimate expected performance and likely variability. It is commonly used in pre-construction phases of a project and for life extension projects.
One of the key features that BMT’s SLOOP operational simulation software is designed to model is the impact of the weather. The weather and ocean conditions affect almost all offshore operations and can significantly extend operation times, increase risk and reduce production rates if poor decisions are made without considering its impact. SLOOP has powerful features for investigating the influence of the met-ocean environment on the development and/or operation of a field. Wind, waves, currents, ice or any other property that can be represented by either a continuously varying value, or by a number of discrete states, may be modelled.
SLOOP works by constructing a model of an oil and gas field or process and then simulating the operation over time. The simulation is repeated many times using different environment records. Other random events such as equipment failure, resource availability, and vessel delays may also be included in the model. After the simulations are complete, statistical data can then be analysed for all aspects of the simulation. Simulation results can also be directly interfaced into field economic models.
SLOOP can simulate a complete development or just selected aspects of the operation. Additionally, simulations can be ‘snapshots’ of a particular point in the life of the project, or can represent the complete lifetime starting from the initial development. The flexibility of the software means that any aspect or time period of an operation can be assessed.
The “crystal ball” power of SLOOP has helped many of our customers identify economic opportunities through risk minimisation that were not obvious even to the most experienced personnel. This observation has resulted in several major oil companies acquiring SLOOP themselves for their concept stage planning of fields. Many of our customers prefer to benefit from our experience and ask BMT to carry out the SLOOP modelling on their behalf. In these cases, we work closely with the project team to ensure all the relevant stakeholders are considered and results delivered are clear, informative and beneficial to the project.
SLOOP can be applied to an almost limitless array of operational assessments because of the software’s versatility. However, some of the more common applications are as follows:
- Platform installation
- Drilling operations
- Vessel spot-hire arrangements
- Shuttle tanker operations
- Planning of production system outages and maintenance
- Intervention and subsea maintenance tasks
- System reliability and weather dependence
- Berth availability
- Offshore and onshore storage capacity optimisation
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