Real-time optimization for Karachaganak

PipePhase moves from FEED to real-time to optimize KPO’s field performance with imperfect data.

Invensys’ Centre for Hydrocarbons Innovation has designed an innovative real time production control system for the Karachaganak oilfield located in Kazakhstan, one of the largest oil and gas condensate fields in the world with over 1,200 million tonnes of oil and condensate and 1.35 trillion cubic meters of gas. A $ 4.3 billion field re-vamp is being carried out by the operator, Karachaganak Petroleum Operating (KPO), a joint venture of BG Group, ENI, Chevron and Lukoil.


To optimize production, KPO wanted to pro-actively monitor individual wells, networks and facilities but was confronted with limited wellhead instrumentation and extreme environmental conditions which made data aggregation and allocations hard to achieve. Additionally, KPO required a scaleable solution that would accommodate changes in business requirements.

The only data available was well-head pressures based on historical test data, with a very low level of instrumentation. Multi-phase flowmeters in the pipeline leading to the processing plant gave plus or minus 20% accuracy.


The solution involved an unusual use of Invensys’ PipePhase pipeline modeling package, traditionally used in front end engineering design. PipePhase was deployed in a real-time environment to compute flow, temperature, pressure and compositional information. The ’virtual gauge’ technique reconstituted data points at each pipeline, well head and manifold from the limited data available.


The next step was to apply Automatic Rigorous Performance Modeling (ARPM) to reconcile the flow feeds entering and exiting the processing plant through the export pipeline (where metering is much more accurate). KPO engineers can now optimize the processes for maximum efficiency—and save energy along the way. The risk of over-production from individual wells is reduced, prolonging field life.

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