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Production, Processing, Transportation and Utilisation of Natural Gas Future Need for Information and Communication Technology

Morten Hovd
Engineering Cybernetics Department www.itk.ntnu.no Gas Technology Center NTNU - SINTEF www.ntnu.no/gass

Gas Technology Center NTNU - SINTEF

Scope
Production, processing, transportation, utilisation of natural gas. No attempt to cover petroleum prospecting or drilling Utilisation of NG similar to other chemical and energy production processes
some of the needs for ICT will be similar

Background
Abundant resources of natural gas
will surpass oil production within a decade

Mostly exported
low degree of processing limits added value

Political / environmental issues

Gas Technology Center NTNU - SINTEF

Many challenges
Improved understanding of basic phenomena New products and new/improved production processes Improved operation and control Improved basis for investment decisions

Application scenaria for ICT


Research, engineering, operations, Off-line On-line
real time feedback

Gas Technology Center NTNU - SINTEF

Application areas

Gas Technology Center NTNU - SINTEF

Process design - present:


Specified production capacity of specified product Design focus:
economy, flexibility, operability environment, health & safety

A few readily accessible tools


pinch curve in heat integration process flowsheeting and simulation programs

More general approaches lead to very complex problems


MINLP optimisation problems

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Process and product design - future(?)


Specifications on
end-use properties of product (strength, abrasion resistance, electrical conductivity,) properties related to subsequent processing properties related to recycling/disposal

Severely complicates an already difficult problem Connections between microscopic phenomena and macroscopic properties
two-way communication between different model scales

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Process operations
Wide range of time scales
from fractions of a second to months

Short time scales:


from fractions of a second to (a few) minutes safety and control systems

Long time scales:


from days to months production planning, supply chain management

Intermediate time scales


from minutes to days interface between business and plant operations complex problems, but significant time for calculations

Gas Technology Center NTNU - SINTEF

Operator support
Supporting decision making by human operators
what if-analysis using simulation advance warning of developing problems documentation and operational procedures available on demand navigating historical data (what happened last time?) data analysis to identify poorly functioning equipment or control systems

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Enabling Technologies

Gas Technology Center NTNU - SINTEF

Instrumentation
Measurements and actuators Critical elements in system monitoring and control Many challenging applications
downhole, subsea, chemical processes

Reliability
maintenance is extremely costly or even impossible

Communication and energy supply

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Communication
Another critical technology area with many challenging applications Number of signals and cables
practical and safety issues in wireless communication

Challenging locations and environment


downhole subsea inside transmission pipelines

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Modelling
Models needed in all types of advanced plant design, optimisation, monitoring and control Developing, verifying and maintaining models a major cost in many applications
tools available for linear systems

Need effective tools for


developing rigorous models parameter fitting and model verification for non-linear models model reduction for complex models both ODE- and PDE-based models

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Simulation
Large scale problems Exploitation of system structure

Visualisation
Massive amounts of data
large-scale simulations on-line data from production plants

Effective visualisation required to interpret and draw conclusions from the data

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Optimisation
Many application areas
investment decisions, supply chain management, production planning, monitoring and control

Problems and requirements vary with application


computational time and complexity (on-line and off-line) reliability ability to analyse the effects of uncertainty

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Control
Makes active use of instrumentation, communication, modelling, simulation and optimisation But more than an aggregate of other technologies: Feedback can fundamentally change the behaviour of a system slugging flow in pipelines Stabilised using unstable gas-lifted wells feedback control
compressor surge

Many research issues


control structure design stability of constrained, non-linear, and/or hybrid control systems robustness to model uncertainty reducing on-line computational requirements

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MEMS technology
Potentially very interesting, but not much explored in the context of gas technology Aerospace: active skins for minimising drag on surfaces
impeller blades in compressors? transmission pipelines?

Many applications where distributed sensing would be useful


reliability, harsh environments communication and operating energy

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Conclusions
Instrumentation, communication, storage Displays, VR,

Design, operation, modification

Gather and organise information

Present, interpret

Task

Mathematical tools, human decision making

Analyse, Decide

Implement decision
Instrumentation, communication, storage (documentation). Feedback?
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Conclusions
Many application areas for ICT within gas tecnology Many engineering disciplines involved in gas technology
with different needs for ICT

In many cases, domain-specific knowledge is crucial for the successful application of ICT
some knowledge of ICT is essential for recognising potential applications

The need for ICT is recognised by NTNUs traditional engineering departments


but ICT is not an end in itself, but means to solve engineering problems does not reduce the need for understanding the engineering problem

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