OIL & GAS

Very strong global reliance, wildly fluctuating production and prices, a changeable geopolitical context and new regulations, the oil and gas industry must respond to a host of new challenges:

  • Improving its carbon footprint
  • Reducing production costs and increasing yields
  • Developing new deposits

 

Securing installations to protect staff and the environment

The continuous flaring of natural gas is a waste of resources (estimated at 3% of the annual consumption of gas in the European Union) and a dangerous source of environmental, light and noise pollution in terms of the climate, fauna and human health. In the early 2000s, certain companies committed to reducing their carbon footprint by ceasing these practices. They achieved this by:

  • re-injecting the gas into the deposits to increase the pressure and maximise the quantity of extracted oil,
  • supplying power plants, and
  • processing it into LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) to be used as fuel.

However, flaring is still practised to ensure the safety of sites in the event of overpressure, the shut-down of certain equipment and during gas leakages to prevent fires and explosions. Studies carried out on flares allowed us to determine the optimal flare height i.e. to ensure the safety of staff working on the platform and to better manage discharges and radiation risks linked to gas purging.

Heavy oil spills and leaks from accidents on loading buoys or drilling/production platforms continue to cause serious environmental disasters.

AUSY’s expertise in risk management and fire safety allows us to intervene in the definition of fire risk zones and the protection of platforms. Our specialist safety engineering teams carry out zoning operations and define the most appropriate type of protection for staff and target facilities. Their QRA (Quantity Risk Analysis) skills means they can carry out probabilistic modelling on the origin and propagation of an explosion, fire or radiation, and define last resort security and system redundancy measures (HIPPS - high-integrity pressure protection system).

 

Engineering digitalisation

Reducing production costs is directly linked to the improved efficiency of engineering tools i.e. automated calculation tools and 3D design tools. Moreover, the concept of an extended office allows geographically dispersed teams to work in real time on the same 3D model or engineering document.

With the help of several industry partners, we assist oil companies to configure and manage PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) tools for platforms.

 

Diversifying supplies

All technological progress in the last two centuries has its origin in the consumption of oil (automobile, aeronautics, agri-food, etc.). Despite the assumed desire to free ourselves from our reliance on fossil fuels, to date renewable energies are not sufficiently developed to achieve this. Oil companies have now developed technologies to explore deposits in harsh environments i.e. that could not be exploited in the past, and have come up with new extraction techniques that will push back the Peak Oil date (start of the decline of global oil reserves).

AUSY works directly with oil engineers to size onshore and offshore production facilities thanks to its expertise in process engineering, naval architecture (hydrodynamics) and structural analysis. For example, our specialists worked on the world's first mooring-coupling project between a tanker and an FPSO (floating production storage and offloading facility) after conducting studies on the synchronisation of movements between the two structures, as well as sizing the equipment of the first FLNG (floating liquefied natural gas) facility. In the Arctic, our expertise in offshore structural analysis meant we were able to participate in the development of liquefied natural gas trains at the platform.

 

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