Pipeline Simulation
Industries | Upstream

 KBC works across all elements of the business construct in upstream production 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.

Low oil prices and high costs have created a major cash flow issue for asset owners and operators in the upstream industry. As market fundamentals deteriorate, typical operating models of upstream oil companies are being challenged. Operators are reacting by making cuts to capital and operating expenses and adjustments to their asset portfolios in order to deliver desired returns. There is a sharp focus on operational excellence and production optimisation.

Strategy and Business Excellence

Competitive advantage is a challenge at present for those producers who aren’t hedged, have full exposure to oil price volatility and who are located in high cost basins. For some producers, constrained cash flows from low crude price realisations are only just covering their cost of production. In these situations, fully leveraging the asset portfolio to deliver value to shareholders is critical if one’s position on the long-range marginal cost curve needs to be improved. Leveraging the asset portfolio requires prudent capital allocation and investment decisions to be made.

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

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


For a production asset, converting strategy to results requires the alignment of people, systems, and tools in the business operating model to deliver safe and reliable production 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

With crude prices expected to remain low for some time, oil companies' ability to generate revenue is primarily a function of field production levels. Our services help our clients Produce the Limit, enabling them to safely optimise the operation of their asset over Life of Field. We do this through integrated production modelling of offshore and onshore networks from wellbore / sandface through to the topside processing facility.

As part of our Life of Field approach, we assess the actual operating performance of fields with their Maximum Achievable Potential (MAP) by modelling production networks to identify and recommend changes to existing operations without capital expenditure.

At a more granular level, we provide Advanced Process Control (APC) to safely push facility operations closer to their process or equipment limits. This offers an opportunity for maximising production. This is particularly valuable in offshore production facilities where topside space constraints on platforms limit the design of separation equipment. Our Multi-Variable Control (MVC) strategies are the key to production optimisation through increased throughput and increased energy efficiency.

Cost Optimisation

One of the levers for Upstream Operators to enhance their ROCE performance, in today's low crude price environment where cash flows are constrained and 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 from reservoir to transfer line, and across the entire Life of Field. 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 field development projects through our field development RightSise solution. This allows operators and engineering companies to "get it right the first time" across a range of new and existing assets, with regards to the design of field development plans.

People and Organisation

Any successful operating model which converts strategy into results for a production asset requires alignment of people, systems, and tools 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

Upstream production is 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 and facilities design. 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™ and Petro-SIM™ technologies.

KBC is the only technology provider to supply all three key production 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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