End-to-End Oil Pipeline Efficiency with an All-in-One Flow Assurance Lab
Eric Smith, Senior Multiphase Technology Specialist, Assured Flow Solutions
- Smith and his team save a lot of coding effort, letting Wolfram SystemModeler do "a lot of the heavy lifting. It all happens automatically, and it's there right out of the box."
- "Doing parameter analysis in the Wolfram Language takes a few seconds compared to hours in industry standard packages," which Smith says has led to a drastic increase in productivity.
- Smith appreciates the tight integration between SystemModeler and the Wolfram Language, which allows him to "have a system model running with the push of a button, then process it all in the notebook front end."
- Petroleum engineers in production and transportation
- Industrial lab technicians and researchers
- Operations researchers and industrial engineers
In the petroleum industry, flow assurance is the process of getting oil to flow smoothly through a pipeline—a combination of physical testing and chemical engineering, as well as a range of computational optimizations and analyses. Standard industry software is slow and tedious to use, requiring analysts to run repeated large-scale simulations from Excel spreadsheets with manually entered parameters. Technology specialist Eric Smith of Assured Flow Solutions (AFS) was looking for a more robust software solution that could cover the entire flow assurance process while also allowing interactive exploration of parameters for faster, more thorough results.
Using Wolfram technologies to build their flow assurance system introduced new flexibility and power to the AFS workflow. Analysts can extend the capabilities of their spreadsheets with more powerful computation—analyzing, visualizing and exporting data directly from a manageable, automated front end interface. This allows them to split complex pipeline calculations into smaller pieces, delivering relevant results quickly.
The deep integration between the Wolfram Language (via Mathematica or Wolfram|One) and SystemModeler—as well as with external devices, formats and systems—means that AFS can bring all their modeling, analysis and visualization together in a single, unified system. Wolfram Notebooks provide flow assurance engineers with the ideal interface for interactive explorations, which they can then deploy immediately to clients as dynamic reports, presentations or applications. "Our processing power and ability to create visualizations is much better with the Wolfram Language," Smith says.
Combining the analytic power of the Wolfram Language with the multidomain modeling of SystemModeler has greatly improved the efficiency and quality of AFS's flow assurance lab. The team has come to rely on Wolfram's start-to-finish modeling workflow for a broad range of pipeline calculations. Smith says that their switch from standard industry software—initially seen as a risky move—has paid off: "It seems to be the smart thing to do. We can do a lot more with a lot less."