Oil and gas consulting
Industries | Midstream

KBC works across all elements of the business construct in midstream to maximise Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) through maximising revenues and minimising costs whilst minimising capital employed and maintaining operator’s “licence to operate”. We create and sustain value by effectively converting strategy to results through technical excellence under-pinned by engineering simulation and analytics, sustaining performance through winning operating models and best practices that are powered by cloud, manufacturing execution system (MES) and automation technologies.

We view midstream as including gas processing and fractionating facilities, gas storage and gas transmission via conventional pipeline or liquefaction. Similarly, for oil we consider midstream to include oil storage and transportation via pipeline, rail and ship.
 
Low gas prices are pushing dry gas focused players to halt drilling, cut costs and seek out liquids-rich projects associated with non natural gas liquids (NGL) and unconventional oil. This has been and will continue to drive new midstream infrastructure build-out and tie-in underway in the United States particularly with the light tight oil (LTO) revolution. 

At current gas market prices investment in new LNG production capacity is effectively frozen, with little or no progress in project FID, even in the US.

For those involved in oil storage and transportation, the crash in commodity prices and high oil price volatility driven by geopolitical instability is resulting in mixed fortunes as the market switches between contango and backwardation depending on one’s time horizon.
 
Strategy and Business Excellence

Competitive advantage is a challenge at present for those midstream players who don't have access to liquids-rich projects, aren't in a position to physically hold oil (until prices recover) or who aren't benefitting from long-term contracts signed at times when prices were higher, e.g. Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) whose business model is geared towards generating long-term predictable cash flows using high value physical assets.

Enabled by KBC Energy Economics' capabilities in petroleum market economics analysis, we deliver data-driven investment decision support to midstream participants to help them deliver maximum value to shareholders through:

  • Business and financial analyses / modelling
  • Market insights and market studies
  • Price forecasts and crude valuation
  • Investment appraisals and due diligence (technical, commercial and HSE)

For the infrastructure and operations to convert strategy to results requires the alignment of people, systems, and tools in the business operating model to deliver safe and reliable operations while ensuring value to all key stakeholders. Our Operational Excellence model contains the processes, practices, and procedures of how the business should be operated and monitored, and how the staff interact with and influence the business. The model outlines the vision, objectives, and ambitions of the business, defines the operating business model and continuous improvement process, and clarifies the roles, behaviours, codes of conduct, and governance that the staff utilise as part of their involvement in the business.

Production Optimisation

Optimisation of supply chains comprising transportation networks and infrastructure has become critical for achieving operational excellence, particularly in dealing with demand fluctuations in the quality and quantity of feedstock, intermediates, and finished products. In the current business environment, dealing with these challenges is a key competitive advantage.

Using discrete event predictive simulation and scheduling tools, we provide solutions to better utilise midstream transportation assets such as pipelines, pump stations, storage tanks, chartered vessels and rail tankers. In LNG, gas processing and fractionating facilities we provide solutions to maximise throughput through process simulation to identify, evaluate and remove bottlenecks, allowing facilities to operate at maximum production levels.

At a more granular level, we provide Advanced Process Control (APC) to safely push facility operations closer to their process or equipment limits. Our APC technology and Multi-Variable Control (MVC) strategies react constantly and quickly by making countless automatic small changes to process parameters resulting in increased throughput and increased energy efficiency.

Cost Optimisation

One of the levers for those operating gas processing and fractionating facilities, LNG plants and pipelines to enhance their ROCE performance, in today's low crude and gas price environment where market volatility is high, is through minimising operating costs and also ensuring capital efficiency associated with capital project development. Our solutions to these challenges are rigorous, accurate and holistic in representing complex assets, e.g. from reservoir, through pipeline(s) to processing facility. We combine technical excellence, deep industry domain knowledge and operating experience to provide solutions in both of these areas:

Operating costs. We minimise operating costs through energy efficiency optimisation and also improvement in asset care and maintenance (including reliability and maintenance).Capital project efficiency. We improve capital efficiency associated with development or upgrade of facilities through cold-eyes reviews of concept and feasibility studies which allows investment objectives to be met with the lowest capital spend.

People and Organisation

Any successful operating model which converts strategy into results for a midstream asset requires alignment of people, systems, and tools in the business operating model to deliver safe and reliable production while delivering value to all key stakeholders. People require clear definition of decision rights and governance. Results can only be achieved by effective human capital management – having the right people, in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills applied in the right way, with the right management system infrastructure around them. This is no easy task with the crew change occurring in the industry, tightening HSE legislation and growing oil demand requiring new production.

At the shop floor level, our training solutions leverage experience from working with hundreds of production facilities around the world to develop comprehensive training models that drive performance excellence for the shift team positions. These models are comprised of a combination of standard principle-level training and custom-developed, site-specific training.

Cloud Enabled Performance Management

Cloud computing and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) have created the opportunity to remotely access data from clients' operations and their supply chains, enabling delivery of new ways to sustain performance at lower cost. Facility process data when combined with unstructured data such as operators' written logs, creates "Big Data". We apply real-time analytics such as statistical and rigorous models to interpret this data and produce actionable information.

Our methodologies for sustaining performance are progressive. We provide innovative and effective performance management solutions under our Sustainability and Continuous Improvement Program (SCIP) in each of the three areas influencing sustained operational excellence: People, Processes and Facilities.

Applied Technology

Midstream operations are highly complex and very risky. There are a number of engineering variables and trade-offs which need to be taken into consideration, such as reservoir behaviour and field decline, fluid composition, crude characteristics, thermodynamics, facilities design and capacity constraints across the supply chain network. In addition to these engineering considerations, human factors play a big part in ensuring safe and efficient production.

 

TECHNOLOGY

We provide world class tools for production system design and optimization with our own Multiflash™Maximus™, Energy-Suite and Petro-SIM™ technologies.

KBC is the only technology provider to supply all three key processing network design tools under one company, to provide true Integrated Production Modelling.

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Multiflash

MultiFlash is the market leading PVT tool for Production Chemists. It’s the ideal tool for analysing different crudes and their effect on your process systems; modeling hydrates and wax deposition.

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Maximus

Maximus is the most powerful thermal hydraulic flow assurance and production network modeling and optimization tool available. Flow Assurance and Production Engineers will appreciate its unique ability to handle mass, energy and momentum, including multiphase systems with flow loops and reverse flow regimes. It features a customizable open equation solver and integrates MultiFlash for fluid composition. It easily interfaces with the leading reservoir engineering tools.

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Energy Suite

Our Energy Suite uses the industry established ProSteam platform to simulate and optimise utitlity systems and power plants. Energy-SIM can be applied to the most simple or the most complex site utility configurations across a wide range of industries. Energy-SIM offers ease of use, robust, real-time, on-line energy cost optimisation, on-line performance monitoring and advanced scenario and forecasting capabilities.

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Petro-SIM

Petro-SIM is the most comprehensive process modeling and simulation tool, ideal for topsides, separation and processing facilities engineering design, evaluation and optimization. Process engineers can leverage its unique features including Cumulatives, Workflows and Fluids, and like Maximus, Petro-SIM integrates MultiFlash.

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