AspenTech ‘Optimize’ 2011 User Group, Washington

BP leverages Cape-Open to reconcile separator data on Clair asset. Aspentech SmartStep model-based controller fixes problem plant. Bharat Petroleum implements MES at Kochi refinery.

The AspenTech ‘Optimize’ 2011 conference, held recently in Washington, is an interesting gathering in that it crosses the upstream/downstream silo boundary, ‘comingling’ presenters from producers and refiners.

BP’s Malcolm Woodman vaunted the merits of integrating Petroleum Experts’ GAP and AspenTech’s HySys using the Cape-Open standard. Cape-Open was originally designed for use in refining, but here the use case was in the upstream, on BO’s West of Shetland Clair field. In this ‘Field of the Future’ usage, BP treats the reservoir as a component of the overall process in its ‘Upstream System Optimization’ program. For steady-state modeling of wells and flowlines, BP uses Prosper and GAP. Facilities are modeled in HySys. Integrated modeling brings multiple benefits, not least the promise of an estimated 1-4% production hike. Evaluation of several integration options led BP to chose the Co-Lan/Cape-Open standard. Cape-Open interfaces allow computer aided process engineering (CAPE) applications to interoperate. Cape-Open is neither software nor a data model. It is a methodology for ‘wrapping’ applications like GAP so they can interact with an ‘open server.’ The project required no modifications to GAP and took approximately two weeks to develop. The result is that GAP model inputs and outputs are now visible in HySys, allowing black oil to compositional mapping and reconciling fluid descriptions across domains. On the Clair asset, Cape is used to reconcile separator representations between GAP and HySys for gas lift optimization. The Clair field deployment is work in progress. Woodman noted, ‘further work is required to prove that the interface will underpin the sustainable use of integrated models in operations.’

Jim Graves described how BP has improved reliability of a hydrogen plant that had increased in complexity since its original design. Standard PID controller tuning had become very difficult. BP used historical data to build a model-based PID controller. Aspen SmartStep was used to create and test the system. The system has proved very successful. Once commissioned, the controller was online 99% of the time during the first month, smoothing operations that were previously difficult to manage due to interactions and dynamics. Acceptance was helped by a knowledgeable operations team that was receptive to advanced process control.

A. Rao (Bharat Petroleum) presented results from the implementation of a manufacturing execution system (MES) at its Kochi, India refinery. The project set out to create a decision support system to automate and optimize refinery work processes, including planning, hydrocarbon accounting and performance management. MES modules link to external systems including LIMS and SAP. The Aspen enterprise integration framework, a custom master data model and Aspen’s manufacturing master data manager formed the core of the system. More from

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