As the shale boom continues across the US, oil and gas companies must prepare for changes to accommodate higher production and expanding development. Facilities design is a key part of this change. An explosion of onshore, unconventional activity has meant that greater focus is being placed on costs, design and lead times of production, gathering, and handling facilities to accommodate expanding upstream development plans.
With shale oil and gas production set to peak in 2021 at 4.8 million bbl/d and 6,991 billion cubic feet respectively, evaluating how the infrastructure design of facilities can be optimized is key to a successful operation. According to the American Petroleum Institute, growth in natural gas, natural gas liquids, and crude oil over the past few years has created a rapid increase in “direct capital investment toward oil and gas infrastructure assets” by as much as 60%. Figuring out how to allocate funds efficiently to increase profitability of E & P companies has become an important task of facilities managers and engineers.
Sarah Tamilarasan, Lead Facilities Engineer of Eagle Ford Operations at Carrizo Oil & Gas, discussed how the roles of facilities engineers and managers are integrated to make their positions unique. “Thus, our operating philosophy for facilities is fine tuned for maximizing production, thus increasing revenue,” Tamilarasan said.
Facilities Engineering Manager at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Erik Storsteen, also reveals the integral role of facilities design in a company’s success. He states, “At Anadarko, we focus on the design of systems and let that philosophy guide the design of our individual facilities. We understand that facility design decisions have downstream impacts. By looking at the entire system as a whole we are able to engineer facilities that fit well into our system goals.”
Because improvements in well completions and recovery techniques are rapidly driving oil production to record levels, the need for exploration and production companies to reinvest in facilities is paramount to ensure that surface facilities are not curtailing production and are in sync with substantial growth in oil and gas yield from onshore, unconventional plays.
Operators in the Eagle Ford, Marcellus, Bakken and Permian, will meet to discuss their design philosophies at the US National Learning Hub for Facilities Engineering. The Facilities Design Onshore 2014 summit is taking place in Houston in less than two weeks from September 30 through October 1. For more information or to register, visit their website.