US20180051549A1 - Erosion management system - Google Patents

Erosion management system Download PDF

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US20180051549A1
US20180051549A1 US15/556,674 US201615556674A US2018051549A1 US 20180051549 A1 US20180051549 A1 US 20180051549A1 US 201615556674 A US201615556674 A US 201615556674A US 2018051549 A1 US2018051549 A1 US 2018051549A1
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erosion
production fluid
controller
configured
component
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US15/556,674
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Simon Charles HOLYFIELD
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OneSubsea IP UK Ltd
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OneSubsea IP UK Ltd
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Priority to US201562173740P priority
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Priority to US15/556,674 priority patent/US20180051549A1/en
Priority to PCT/EP2016/055374 priority patent/WO2016142541A1/en
Publication of US20180051549A1 publication Critical patent/US20180051549A1/en
Assigned to ONESUBSEA IP UK LIMITED reassignment ONESUBSEA IP UK LIMITED ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HOLYFIELD, SIMON
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    • E21B47/0001
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B47/00Survey of boreholes or wells
    • E21B47/10Locating fluid leaks, intrusions or movements
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B47/00Survey of boreholes or wells
    • E21B47/001Survey of boreholes or wells for underwater installation

Abstract

An erosion management system is configured to monitor erosion of a component of a mineral extraction system. The erosion management system includes a controller configured to receive feedback from a flow meter related to a flow rate of a production fluid flowing through the component. Additionally, the controller is configured to receive feedback from an erosion detector related to an amount of solids in the production fluid. The controller is configured to determine an erosion rate of the component based on the feedback from the flow meter and the feedback from the erosion detector.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims priority to and benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/131,639, entitled “Erosion Prediction & Warning System”, filed Mar. 11, 2015, and U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/173,740, entitled “Erosion Predicting & Warning System,” filed Jun. 10, 2015, the disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference in their entireties for all purposes.
  • BACKGROUND
  • This section is intended to introduce the reader to various aspects of art that may be related to various aspects of the present disclosure, which are described and/or claimed below. This discussion is believed to be helpful in providing the reader with background information to facilitate a better understanding of the various aspects of the present disclosure. Accordingly, it should be understood that these statements are to be read in this light, and not as admissions of prior art.
  • Natural resources, such as oil and gas, are a common source of fuel for a variety of applications, such as heating homes, powering vehicles, and generating electrical power, for example. Mineral (e.g., oil, gas, and/or hydrocarbon) extraction systems are typically employed to access, extract, and otherwise harvest desired natural resources, such as oil, gas, and/or hydrocarbon, that are located in a reservoir below the surface of the earth. For example, a mineral extraction system may include one or more wellhead assemblies and Christmas trees for controlling the flow of a production fluid including oil, gas, and/or hydrocarbon out of a well. In some instances, the production fluid may also include solids, such as sand. The solids in the production fluid may erode equipment (e.g., piping, valves, etc.) of the mineral extraction system, which may reduce wall thickness of the equipment, damage or remove protective layers on the equipment, and/or reduce the life of the equipment.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Various features, aspects, and advantages of the present disclosure will become better understood when the following detailed description is read with reference to the accompanying figures in which like characters represent like parts throughout the figures, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic view of an embodiment of a mineral extraction system with an erosion management system;
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic view of an embodiment of an erosion management system;
  • FIG. 3 is a schematic view of an embodiment of an erosion management system coupled to a wellhead system;
  • FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of a method for managing erosion of a mineral extraction system based on erosion parameters;
  • FIG. 5 is a flow diagram of a method for managing erosion of a mineral extraction system based on erosion rate; and
  • FIG. 6 is a flow diagram of a method for managing erosion of a mineral extraction system based on predicted erosion parameters.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS
  • One or more specific embodiments of the present disclosure will be described below. These described embodiments are only exemplary of the present disclosure. Additionally, in an effort to provide a concise description of these embodiments, all features of an actual implementation may not be described in the specification. It should be appreciated that in the development of any such actual implementation, as in any engineering or design project, numerous implementation-specific decisions must be made to achieve the developers' specific goals, such as compliance with system-related and business-related constraints, which may vary from one implementation to another. Moreover, it should be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking of design, fabrication, and manufacture for those of ordinary skill having the benefit of this disclosure.
  • The drawing figures are not necessarily to scale. Certain features of the embodiments may be shown exaggerated in scale or in somewhat schematic form, and some details of conventional elements may not be shown in the interest of clarity and conciseness. Although one or more embodiments may be preferred, the embodiments disclosed should not be interpreted, or otherwise used, as limiting the scope of the disclosure, including the claims. It is to be fully recognized that the different teachings of the embodiments discussed may be employed separately or in any suitable combination to produce desired results. In addition, one skilled in the art will understand that the description has broad application, and the discussion of any embodiment is meant only to be exemplary of that embodiment, and not intended to intimate that the scope of the disclosure, including the claims, is limited to that embodiment.
  • When introducing elements of various embodiments of the present disclosure, the articles “a,” “an,” and “the” are intended to mean that there are one or more of the elements. The terms “comprising,” “including,” and “having” are used in an open-ended fashion, and thus should be interpreted to mean “including, but not limited to . . . .” Any use of any form of the terms “connect,” “engage,” “couple,” “attach,” or any other term describing an interaction between elements is intended to mean either an indirect or a direct interaction between the elements described.
  • Certain terms are used throughout the description and claims to refer to particular features or components. As one skilled in the art will appreciate, different persons may refer to the same feature or component by different names. This document does not intend to distinguish between components or features that differ in name but not function, unless specifically stated.
  • The present disclosure is directed to embodiments of an erosion management system configured to monitor (e.g., oversee) erosion of one or more components of a mineral (e.g., oil, gas, and/or hydrocarbon) extraction system. For example, the erosion management system may be configured to monitor and determine one or more erosion parameters for the one or more components, such as a rate of erosion, an amount of accumulated erosion, a wall thickness of the respective component, a thickness of protective layers on the respective coating, and so forth. In order to determine and monitor the erosion parameters, the erosion management system may include a controller that receives feedback (e.g., signals, data, etc.) from one or several flow meters and sensors of the mineral extraction system. The controller or another device (e.g., computer) may use the feedback in algorithms, modeling programs, and/or lookup tables to determine the one or more erosion parameters.
  • Additionally, in some embodiments, the erosion management system may be configured to monitor and determine one or more predictive erosion parameters based on the one or more erosion parameters. For example, the erosion management system may determine a remaining usable life of the respective component based on the one or more erosion parameters. Further, in certain embodiments, the erosion management system may be configured to provide recommendations to a user based on the one or more erosion parameters and/or the one or more predictive erosion parameters. For example, the erosion management system may provide recommendations to adjust a flow rate of a fluid (e.g., a production fluid) to reduce the erosion rate and/or to increase the remaining useable life of a component. In some embodiments, the erosion management system may provide recommendations based on inputs from a user. For example, a user may input a desired or target life of a component, and the erosion management system may recommend one or more actions that, if executed by the user, may enable use of the component for the duration of the desired or target life. In some embodiments, the erosion management system may automatically adjust one or more parameters of the mineral extraction system, such as a flow rate of a production fluid, to reduce the erosion rate and/or to achieve a desired useable life of a component.
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic view of an embodiment of a mineral extraction system 10 with an erosion management system 12 that determines and monitors one or more parameters or conditions of the mineral extraction system 10. For example, as described in more detail below, the erosion management system 12 may determine or monitor one or more erosion parameters for one or more components of the mineral extraction system 10, such as a rate of erosion, an amount of accumulated erosion, a wall thickness of the respective component, a remaining usable life of the respective component, and so forth. Additionally, as described in more detail below, the erosion management system 12 may provide recommendations to a user, monitoring system, or control system relating to recommended adjustments for one or more parameters of the mineral extraction system 10 and/or may automatically adjust one or more parameters of the mineral extraction system 10 based on the determined erosion parameters (e.g., via a control system).
  • The mineral extraction system 10 may be configured to extract various minerals and natural resources, including hydrocarbons (e.g., oil and/or natural gas), from the earth. In some embodiments, the mineral extraction system 10 may be land-based (e.g., a surface system). In certain embodiments, the mineral extraction system 10 may be subsea (e.g., a subsea system). As illustrated, the mineral extraction system 10 may include a surface vessel 14, such as a rig or platform, generally located at a surface 16 of the earth.
  • Additionally, the mineral extraction system 10 may include one or more wellhead systems 18 located at a depth or distance below the surface 16. Each wellhead system 18 may include a wellhead 20 coupled to a production tree 22 (e.g., Christmas tree). The wellhead systems 18 may each couple to a well 24 that enables extraction of a production fluid containing minerals and natural resources, such as hydrocarbons (e.g., oil and/or natural gas), from a subterranean reservoir 26. In some embodiments, one or more of the production trees 22 may be coupled to a common manifold 28 by a jumper 30 (e.g., hose, pipe, tubing, flow line, etc.). Production fluids extracted from the wells 24 may flow from the production trees 20 to the manifold 28 via the jumpers 30. The manifold 28 may direct the production fluids to the surface vessel 14 through one or more risers 32 for collection and/or processing. In some embodiments, one or more production trees 22 may be coupled to (e.g., directly coupled to) a riser that directs the production fluids to the surface vessel 14.
  • Additionally, the mineral extraction system 10 may include components to control the extraction and production processes from the wells 24. For example, the mineral extraction system 10 may include one or more fluid control devices 34 (e.g., valves, chokes, choke actuators, etc.) configured to control the flow of the production fluid. For example, the fluid control devices 34 may be configured to adjust the flow rate of the production fluid. In some embodiments, the manifold 28 and each production tree 24 may include and/or may be coupled to a fluid control device 34. Further, in some embodiments, each wellhead system 18 (e.g., each wellhead 20 and/or each production tree 22) may include one or more chemical injection metering devices (e.g., chemical injection metering valves (CIMV)) 36 configured to inject one or more chemicals into the production fluid flow from the wells 24. In some embodiments, mineral extraction system 10 may include CIMVs 36 in the manifold 28, the riser 32, and/or other locations in the hydrocarbon extraction system 10.
  • During extraction operations, additional substances, such as water and solids (e.g., solid particulates, sand, sediment, rock fragments, etc.), may flow out of the wells 24 with the hydrocarbons (e.g., oil and/or natural gas) in the production fluid flow. For example, solids may be present in the production fluid due to the characteristics of the reservoir 26, such as the strength and/or porosity of the reservoir 26. Additionally, solids may be present in the production fluid if the drawdown pressure (e.g., the differential pressure between the reservoir 26 and the wellhead system 16) is too high. The solids in the production fluid may erode one or more components of the mineral extraction system 10, such as the wellheads 20, the production trees 22, the manifold 28, the fluid control devices 34, and so forth. For example, the solids in the production fluid may reduce the wall thickness (e.g., pipe thickness) of the components and/or may wear through erosion-protective layers on the components. The erosion from the solids in the production fluid may damage and/or reduce the useable life of various components in the mineral extraction system 10, which may increase the downtime and expense of the mineral extraction system 10 associated with repairing and/or replacing the various components. While the embodiments described below relate to solids in a production fluid, it should be appreciated that the present techniques for monitoring and controlling erosion may be applied to any suitable fluid including solids or erosive particles.
  • As described below, the erosion management system 12 may determine and monitor one or more erosion parameters of one or more components of the mineral extraction system 10, such as the wellheads 20, the production trees 22, the manifold 28, and/or the fluid control devices 34. For example, the one or more erosion parameters of a component may include the rate of erosion of the component, an amount of accumulated erosion of the component (e.g., the reduction in wall thickness of the component and/or the reduction in the thickness of protective layers on the component), the wall thickness of the component, the thickness of protective layers on the component, and so forth. Additionally, as described below, the erosion management system 12 may be configured to determine and monitor one or more predictive erosion parameters of the one or more components based at least in part on the one or more erosion parameters. For example, the one or more predictive erosion parameters of a component may include a remaining useable life of the component. Additionally, as described below, the erosion management system 12 may provide recommendations to a user and/or may automatically adjust one or more parameters of the mineral extraction system 10 based on the one or more erosion parameters. In particular, the erosion management system 12 may provide recommendations and/or adjust parameters of the mineral extraction system 10 to reduce, block, or minimize erosion to one or more components of the mineral extraction system 10.
  • In order to determine and monitor the erosion parameters and/or the predictive erosion parameters of the mineral extraction system 10, the erosion management system 12 may include sensors 38 (e.g., erosion detectors, solid particulate detectors, sand detectors, temperature sensors, pressure sensors, conductivity probes, optical sensors, salinity sensors, water sensors, etc.), flow meters 40 (e.g., multi-phase flow meter, wet-gas flow meter, etc.), and a controller 42. For example, as described below, the sensors 38 may measure and/or generate feedback relating to erosion, a mass flow of solids in the production fluid flow, a concentration and/or amount of solids in the production fluid flow, temperature, pressure, conductivity, salinity, water content (e.g., water cut) in the production fluid flow, or any other suitable parameter. Additionally, the flow meters 40 may measure the flow rate of a fluid (e.g., the production fluid). Further, as described below, the controller 42 may be configured to determine erosion parameters and/or predictive erosion parameters based at least in part on feedback from the sensors 38 and the flow meters 40.
  • The sensors 38 and the flow meters 40 may be placed in different locations in the mineral extraction system 10. For example, in some embodiments, the sensors 38 and/or the flow meters 40 may be disposed in and/or adjacent to one or more components of the mineral extraction system 10, such as the wellhead systems 18 (e.g., the wellhead 20 and/or the production tree 22), the manifold 28, the jumpers 30, the riser 32, and/or other locations in the mineral extraction system 10. In certain embodiments, the sensors 38 and/or flow meters 40 may be mounted on a pipe section (e.g., a bore) downstream of a bend, a change (e.g., reduction) in cross-sectional area, or other point that may be susceptible to erosion from solids in the production fluid. Further, in some embodiments, one or more components of the mineral extraction system 10 may include multiple sensors 38 and/or multiple flow meters 40 disposed about different locations of the respective component. By providing the sensors 38 and the flow meters 40 in multiple locations in the mineral extraction system 10, the erosion management system 12 may provide precise monitoring and/or targeted control of erosion throughout the mineral extraction system 10.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic view of an embodiment of the erosion management system 12. As illustrated, the erosion management system 12 may include the controller 42 (e.g., one or more controllers) that may be configured communicate with and/or control the sensors 38 and the flow meters 40. Additionally, in some embodiments, the controller 42 may be configured to communicate with and/or control the flow control devices 34 (e.g., chokes, choke actuators, etc.), and the CIMVs 36. The controller 42 may be operatively coupled to the sensors 38, the flow meters 40, the flow control devices 34, and/or the CIMVs 36 via any suitable communication link, such as, for example, RS-422, RS-435, RS-485, Ethernet, controller area network (CAN) (e.g., CAN bus, CANopen), optical fibers, and/or wireless communication.
  • As described below, the controller 42 may include one or more processors 60 that are configured (e.g., programmed) to access and execute instructions stored by one or more memories 62 (e.g., tangible, non-transitory memory devices) to control the erosion management system 12. Additionally, in some embodiments, the controller 42 may include a user interface 66 (e.g., an input and/or output device) configured to receive inputs from a user and/or to provide user-perceivable indications related to the mineral extraction system 10 and/or the erosion management system 12. For example, the user interface 66 may include a display, a speaker, a keyboard, a mouse, buttons, switches, a workstation, a computer, a handheld device, and so forth.
  • During operation, the controller 42 may receive feedback (e.g., data, signals, etc.) from the various sensors 38. As illustrated, in some embodiments, the sensors 38 may include one or more erosion detectors 68 (e.g., solid particulate detectors, sand detectors, etc.), one or more pressure sensors 70, one or more temperature sensors 72, one or more fluid density meters 74 (e.g., fluid densitometers). However, as noted above, the erosion management system 12 may include any suitable sensors 38, such as water sensors, conductivity sensors, salinity sensors, optical sensors, and so forth. In some embodiments, the pressure sensor 70 and the temperature sensor 72 may be combined (e.g., a pressure and temperature transmitter (PTTx)). Additionally, the controller 42 may receive feedback from the various flow meters 40 (e.g., multi-phase flow meter, wet-gas flow meter, etc.). In some embodiments, the multi-phase flow meters 40 may measure the full three-phase performance over the entire gas volume fraction (GVF) and water liquid ratio (WLR) ranges.
  • Further, as described below, the controller 42 may send control signals to the CIMVs 36 and/or the flow control devices 34 to control the erosion management system 12. For example, the controller 42 may send control signals to the CIMVs 36 to cause the CIMVs 36 to inject one or more chemicals into the production fluid flow and/or to adjust a flow rate of one or more chemicals injected into the production fluid flow. Additionally, the controller 42 may send control signals the flow control devices 34 to cause the flow control devices 34 to adjust a flow rate of the production fluid. In some embodiments, the flow control devices 34 may include a choke 76 operatively coupled to a choke actuator 78. The choke 76 may be configured to adjust the flow rate of the production fluid based on control signals from the choke actuator 78. Accordingly, in some embodiments, the controller 42 may send control signals to the choke actuator 78 to control the choke 76.
  • The controller 42 may determine measurement data (e.g., parameters of the mineral extraction system 10) based on the feedback from the sensors 38 and/or the feedback from the flow meters 40. In some embodiments, the measurement data may include real-time or substantially real-time measurement data. In particular, the measurement data may include parameters or characteristics of a fluid flow of the mineral extraction system 10, such as the production fluid. For example, the controller 42 may determine the pressure of the production fluid based on feedback from the pressure sensors 70, the temperature of the production fluid based on feedback from the temperature sensors 72, and the density of the production fluid based on feedback from the fluid density meter 74. In some embodiments, mineral extraction system 10 may include additional sensors 38 (e.g., salinity sensors, water sensors, conductivity sensors, optical sensors, etc.), and the controller 42 may determine additional parameters of the production fluid flow, such as the salinity, water content, composition, conductivity, and so forth. Further, the controller 42 may be configured to determine the flow rate and/or mass flow of the production fluid based on feedback from the flow meters 40. In some embodiments, the controller 42 may determine the flow rate and/or mass flow of the liquids in the production fluid and the flow rate and/or mass flow of the gases in the production fluid based on feedback from the flow meters 40.
  • Further, the controller 42 may determine one or more parameters related to solids (e.g., solid particulates, sand, sediment, rock fragments, etc.) in the production fluid based on feedback from the erosion detectors 68 relating to solids in the production fluid. For example, in some embodiments, the erosion detectors 68 may generate feedback relating to the mass flow of solids in the production fluid. In certain embodiments, the erosion detectors 68 may be generate feedback relating to a proportion, a concentration, a percentage, and/or an amount of solids in the production fluid. In some embodiments, the erosion detectors 68 may generate feedback (e.g., output signals) relating to a velocity of solids in the production fluid, such as an impact velocity of solids in the production fluid impacting a surface of a component of the mineral extraction system 10. Accordingly, the controller 42 may be configured determine the mass flow of solids in the production fluid, the amount of solids in the production fluid, and/or the velocity of the solids in the production fluid, which may be collectively referred to as erosion measurement data, based at least in part on the feedback from the erosion detectors 68. For example, in some embodiments, the controller 42 may use the feedback in one or more algorithms, look-up tables, databases, or models to determine erosion measurement data.
  • The erosion detectors 68 may be any suitable type of sensor configured to generate feedback relating to the solids in the production fluid. For example, in some embodiments, the erosion detectors 68 may include acoustic detectors 80 (e.g., acoustic sand detectors) configured to detect acoustic signals and to convert the detected acoustic signals to an output signal. The characteristics of the acoustic signals, such as amplitude and frequency, and therefore, the characteristics of the output signals, may vary based on the mass flow of solids in the production fluid, the amount of solids in the production fluid, and/or the velocity of the solids in the production fluid. Accordingly, the controller 42 may be configured determine the mass flow of solids in the production fluid, the amount of solids in the production fluid, and/or the velocity of the solids in the production fluid, which may be collectively referred to as erosion measurement data, based at least in part on the output signals from the acoustic detectors 80. In some embodiments, the controller 42 may determine the erosion measurement data based at least in part on the output signals and the location of the acoustic detectors 80 in the mineral extraction system 10.
  • In some embodiments, the erosion detectors 68 may include electrical resistance detectors 82 configured to generate output signals based on the electrical resistance of the electrical resistance detectors 82, which may vary based on an extent or degree of erosion of the electrical resistance detectors 82. In particular, the electrical resistance detectors 82 may include a sensing element covered (e.g., protected) by an electrically insulated material. In operation, solids from the production fluid may impinge upon the electrically insulated material, which may erode (e.g., wear) the electrically insulated material and may expose the sensing element to the production fluid. The resistance of the sensing element may vary based on the extent or degree of exposure of the sensing element (e.g., the degree of erosion). In some embodiments, the electrical resistance detectors 82 may also include a reference sensing element, which may be disposed on a protected portion of the electrical resistance detector 82 that is protected or blocked from exposure to the production fluid and may generate a reference signal related to the resistance of the reference sensing element. Accordingly, the controller 42 may be configured determine the erosion measurement data based at least in part on the resistance of the sensing element and, optionally, the resistance of the reference sensing element from the electrical resistance detectors 82.
  • In certain embodiments, the erosion detectors 68 may include pressure sensors 84 (e.g., piezoelectric sensors) that may be configured to generate output signals based on detected pressure, which may vary based on the mass flow of solids impacting the pressure sensors 84. Accordingly, the controller 42 may be configured determine the erosion measurement data based at least in part on the pressure detected by the pressure sensors 84. Further, in some embodiments, the erosion detectors 68 may include optical sensors 86, which may be configured to emit and detect one or more wavelengths of light corresponding to absorption peaks of one or more components of the production fluid, such as solids, water, oil, and/or natural gas. The controller 24 may be configured to determine the amounts (e.g., proportion) of solids and/or other components in the production fluid flow based on the detected light (e.g., reflected light).
  • Further, the controller 42 may be configured determine one or more erosion parameters for one or more components of the mineral extraction system 10, such as the wellheads 20, the production trees 22, the flow control devices 34 (e.g., the chokes 76), the manifold 28, the jumpers 30, and/or the risers 38. As noted above, the one or more erosion parameters may include the rate of erosion of the component, the accumulated erosion of the component (e.g., a reduction in wall thickness of the component and/or a reduction in the thickness of protective layers of the component), the wall thickness of the component, and/or the thickness of the protective layers of the component. In particular, the controller 42 may determine the erosion parameters based at least in part on the measurement data, such as the mass flow of solids in the production fluid, the amount of solids in the production fluid, the velocity of the solids in the production fluid, the flow rate of the production fluid, the density of the production fluid (e.g., the density of the liquid phase of the production fluid), the temperature of the production fluid, any other suitable parameter, or any combination thereof. In order to determine the one or more erosion parameters, the controller 42 may be configured to use the measurement data with one or more modeling programs, algorithms, look-up tables, databases, user inputs from the user interface 66, or any combination thereof. For example, the controller 42 may include one or more modeling programs, algorithms, look-up tables, and/or databases stored in the memory 62 that the processor 60 executes or accesses to determine the erosion parameters.
  • In some embodiments, the controller 42 may execute one or more algorithms to determine the erosion rate. For example, in some embodiments, the controller 42 may determine erosion rate using the following equation:
  • E . L = m . p × K × U p n × F ( α ) ρ l × A t × C unit ,
  • where ĖL is the erosion rate in millimeters (mm) per year (mm/yr), {dot over (m)}p is the mass flow of solids in kilograms (kg) per second (s) (kg/s), K is a material constant (e.g., of the respective component) in meters (m) per second (m/s), Up n is the impact velocity of the solids (e.g., the velocity or flow rate of the fluid) in m/s, F(α) is a function characterizing the ductility of the material (e.g., of the respective component), ρl is the density of the liquid phase in kg/m3, At is the area exposed to corrosion in m2, and Cunit is a unit conversion factor converting m/s to mm/year.
  • As discussed above, in some embodiments, the controller 42 may determine the mass flow of the solids ({dot over (m)}p) based on feedback from one or more erosion detectors 68. As noted above, in certain embodiments, the controller 42 may determine the amount (e.g., proportion, percentage, concentration, etc.) of solids in the production fluid based on feedback from one or more erosion detectors 68. In such embodiments, the controller 42 may determine the mass flow of the solids ({dot over (m)}p) based on the amount of solids in the production fluid and the flow rate of the production fluid. In some embodiments, the controller 42 may determine the mass flow of the solids ({dot over (m)}p) based on the amount of solids in the production fluid, the flow rate of the production fluid, and an average mass of the solids. In some embodiments, the average mass may be an assumed (e.g., estimated) value stored in the memory 62 and/or inputted by a user via the user interface 66. In certain embodiments, the memory 62 may store a plurality of assumed values, where each assumed value is specific for a particular reservoir 26, and the controller 42 may select an assumed value based on the reservoir 26 accessed by the mineral extraction system 10. In certain embodiments, the average mass may be a measured value (e.g., from a subsea sample), which may be inputted by a user via the user interface 66.
  • Further, the controller 42 may determine the impact velocity of the solids (Up n) (e.g., the flow rate of the production fluid) based feedback from one or more flow meters 40 and may determine the density of the liquid phase of the production fluid (ρl) based on feedback from the fluid density meter 74. In some embodiments, the controller 42 may determine the material constant (K), the ductility function (F(α)), and the area exposed to erosion (At) using the modeling programs, look-up tables, databases, and/or user inputs from the user interface 66. For example, in some embodiments, the controller 42 may use the location of the erosion detectors 68 and the flow meters 40 that provided the feedback to determine erosion rate for a particular component of the mineral extraction system 10 in a model, a look-up table, and/or a database to determine the material constant (K), the ductility function (F(α)), and the area exposed to erosion (At).
  • As noted above, in some embodiments, the controller 42 may determine the accumulated erosion of the component (e.g., a reduction in wall thickness of the component and/or a reduction in the thickness of protective layers of the component), the wall thickness of the component, and/or the thickness of the protective layers of the component. In particular, the controller 42 may determine these erosion parameters based on the determined erosion rate and based on assumed (e.g., estimated) and/or known characteristics of the component, such as an initial wall thickness of the component and/or an initial thickness of protective layers on the component. Specifically, the controller 42 may determine the integral of the erosion rate and the period of time to determine a depth or thickness of a wall (e.g., surface) of the component that may be eroded over the period of time. Further, the controller 42 may subtract the accumulated erosion from the initial wall thickness or the initial thickness of the protective layers to determine the wall thickness and the thickness of the protective layers, respectively, at the end of the period of time. In some embodiments, the controller 42 may use the location of the erosion detectors 68 and the flow meters 40 that provided the feedback to determine erosion rate for the respective component in one or more models, look-up tables, and/or databases to determine the assumed and/or known characteristics. In certain embodiments, the controller may determine the assumed and/or known characteristics based on inputs from a user via the user interface 66.
  • In some embodiments, the controller 42 may use one or more models, algorithms, look-up tables, and/or databases to determine one or more predictive erosion parameters for one or more components of the mineral extraction system 10 based on determined erosion parameters for the respective component. As noted above, in some embodiments, the predictive erosion parameters may include the erosion rate, the accumulated erosion, the wall thickness, and/or the thickness of protective layers at a predetermined time in the future. In some embodiments, the predetermined time may be selected by the controller 42 or inputted by a user via the user interface 66.
  • For example, in some embodiments, the controller 42 may determine the erosion rate at a predetermined time in the future by inputting a current (e.g., real-time or substantially real-time) value of the erosion rate (or current values of the parameters used to determine erosion rate) in a model that predicts or estimates changes in the production fluid over time that may alter the erosion rate. For example, over time, the flow rate of the production fluid extracted from the well 24 may decrease. Further, in some instances, the composition of the production fluid extracted from the well 24 may change over time. For example, the amount or oil and/or natural gas in the production fluid may decrease and the amount of water and/or solids in the production fluid may increase over time, which may decrease the density of the production fluid. As noted above, the erosion rate may be based on the flow rate of the production fluid, the density of the production fluid, and the amount (e.g., mass flow) of the solids in the production fluid. Accordingly, the controller 42 may use a model that predicts or estimates changes in the flow rate of the production fluid, changes in the density of the production fluid, and/or changes in the amount of solids in the production fluid to provide a more accurate predictive value of erosion rate.
  • Further, the controller 42 may determine the accumulated erosion, the wall thickness, and/or the thickness of protective layers at a predetermined time in the future (e.g., at the end of a predetermined period of time) based on the predicted value of the erosion rate over the predetermined period of time and one or more assumed and/or known characteristics of the component. Specifically, the controller 42 may determine the integral of the predicted erosion rate and the period of time to determine the predicted accumulated erosion. Further, the controller 42 may subtract the predicted accumulated erosion from the initial wall thickness or the initial thickness of the protective layers to determine the predicted wall thickness and the predicted thickness of the protective layers, respectively, at the end of the period of time. In some embodiments, the controller 42 may determine the accumulated erosion, the wall thickness, and/or the thickness of protective layers at a predetermined time in the future based on a current value of the erosion rate of over the predetermined period of time and one or more assumed and/or known characteristics of the component. For example, the controller 42 may assume that the erosion rate remains constant over the period of time, and the controller 42 may multiply the current erosion rate by the period of time to determine the predicted accumulated erosion.
  • Further, in some embodiments, the predictive erosion parameters may include a predicted remaining useful life of the component. In some embodiments, the remaining useful life of the component may be based on a minimum wall thickness threshold for the component or a minimum protective layer thickness threshold for the component. That is, the controller 42 may determine that the component has reached the end of its useful life in response to a determination that the wall thickness of the component is less than or equal to the minimum wall thickness threshold and/or in response to a determination that the protective layer thickness is less than or equal to the minimum protective layer thickness threshold. In some embodiments, the memory 62 may store a plurality of thresholds for the minimum wall thicknesses and/or the protective layer thicknesses, where each threshold is specific for a particular component of the mineral extraction system 10 and/or a particular location of a particular component of the mineral extraction system 10. Accordingly, the controller 42 may be configured to select suitable thresholds from the memory 62 based on the location of the erosion detectors 38 and the flow meters 40 that provided the feedback. In some embodiments, the minimum wall thickness threshold and/or the minimum protective layer thickness threshold may be inputted by a user via the user interface 66.
  • The controller 42 may be configured to determine the predicted remaining life based on one or more predicted values of the erosion rate. In particular, the controller 42 may be configured to use one or more predicted values of the erosion rate in one or more models or algorithms to estimate when the wall thickness of the component will likely be minimum protective layer thickness threshold and/or when the protective layer thickness will likely be less than or equal to the minimum protective layer thickness threshold. In some embodiments, the controller 42 may use a current value of the erosion rate as the predicted erosion rate. In certain embodiments, the controller 42 may predict the erosion rate over time using one or more models, as discussed above.
  • Further, as discussed in more detail below, the controller 42 may be configured to provide one or more recommendations to a user and/or to automatically adjust one or more parameters of the mineral extraction system 10 based on the erosion parameters and/or the predicted erosion parameters. For example, in some embodiments, the controller 42 may cause the user interface 66 to display a recommendation to decrease the flow rate of the production fluid to decrease the erosion rate and/or to increase the remaining useful life of the component. In certain embodiments, the controller 42 may control the choke 76 to decrease the flow rate of the production fluid decrease the flow rate of the production fluid to decrease the erosion rate and/or to increase the remaining useful life of the component.
  • FIG. 3 is a schematic view of an embodiment of the erosion management system 12 coupled to a wellhead system 18. As explained above, the erosion management system 12 may enable precise monitoring and/or targeted control of erosion throughout the mineral extraction system 10, which may reduce damage to components of the mineral extraction system 10, as well as the downtime and expense associated with repairing and/or replacing damaged components. Accordingly, FIG. 3 illustrates erosion monitoring of a specific wellhead system 18.
  • As illustrated, the wellhead system 18 includes the wellhead 20 and the production tree 22 to extract a production fluid including hydrocarbons (e.g., oil and/or natural gas) from the reservoir 26 via the well 24. The wellhead 20 may include a wellhead hub 100, which generally includes a large diameter hub disposed at the termination of the well 24. The wellhead hub 100 may connect the wellhead 20 to the well 24. Additionally, the wellhead 20 may include a casing spool 102, a tubing spool 104, and a hanger 106.
  • The production tree 22 may include a variety of flow paths (e.g., bores), valves, fittings, and controls for operating the well 24. For example, the production tree 22 may include a tree bore 108, which may provide fluid communication with the well 24. Additionally, the production fluid extracted from the well 24 may be regulated and routed via the production tree 22. For example, as noted above, the production tree 22 may couple to the jumper 30 that is coupled to the manifold 28. The tree bore 108 may provide for completion and workover procedures, such as the insertion of tools (e.g., the hanger 106). Further, as illustrated, the tree bore 108 may include multiple flow paths in some embodiments. Additionally, the production tree 22 may include the choke 76 and the choke actuator 78 to control the flow rate of the production fluid. In some embodiments, the choke 76 and/or the choke actuator 78 may be disposed in the production tree 22 (e.g., in the tree bore 108). Further, in some embodiments, the production tree 22 may include one or more CIMVs 36 to inject one or more chemical additives into the production fluid flow.
  • The tubing spool 104 may provide a base for the production tree 22. The tubing spool 104 includes a tubing spool bore 110, and the casing spool 102 includes a casing spool bore 112. The tubing spool bore 110 and the casing spool bore 112 connect (e.g., enables fluid communication between) the tree bore 108 and the well 24. Further, the hanger 106 may include a hanger bore 114 that is in fluid communication with the casing spool bore 112 and the well 24.
  • As noted above, the production fluid may include solids, which may erode components of the mineral extraction system 10. For example, the production fluid may erode inner walls 116 (e.g., inner surfaces) of the mineral extraction system 10, such as the inner walls 116 defining the tree bore 108, the tubing spool bore 110, the casing spool bore 112, and/or the hanger bore 114, which may reduce the thickness of the inner walls 116. In some embodiments, one or more components of the mineral extraction system 10 may include one or more protective layers 118 disposed on the inner walls 116 to provide protection against erosion. For example, the wellhead system, 18 may include protective layers 118 disposed on the inner walls 116 defining the tree bore 108, the tubing spool bore 110, the casing spool bore 112, and/or the hanger bore 114.
  • To monitor and/or reduce erosion, the wellhead system 18 may include one or more sensors 38 (e.g., the erosion detectors 68, the pressure sensors 70, the temperature sensors 72, the fluid density meters 74, etc.) and one or more flow meters 40 to generate feedback that may be used by the controller 42 to determine the erosion parameters and/or the predictive erosion parameters. The sensors 38 and the flow meters 40 may be disposed in any suitable location of the wellhead system 18 (e.g., disposed in the production fluid flow). For example, in some embodiments, the sensors 38 and/or and flow meters 40 may be disposed in along pipes in areas that are prone to erosion, such as near (e.g., upstream, downstream, or centered about) a bend or corner, near a change (e.g., reduction) in cross-sectional area, and so forth. As illustrated, in some embodiments, a flow meter 40 may be disposed in the tree bore 108 and upstream from the choke 76. In certain embodiments, the flow meter 40 may be disposed in the tubing spool bore 110, the casing spool bore 112, and/or the hanger bore 114. Further, it should be noted that the wellhead system 18 may include multiple flow meters 40, which may be disposed in different locations about the wellhead system 18.
  • In some embodiments, the wellhead system 18 may include one or more pressure sensors 70, one or more temperature sensors 72, and/or one or more fluid density meters 74 disposed in the tree bore 108, tubing spool bore 110, the casing spool bore 112, and/or the hanger bore 114. As illustrated, in some embodiments, a pressure sensor 70, a temperature sensor 72, and a fluid density meter 74 may be disposed in the tree bore 108 proximate to the flow meter 40 (e.g., upstream from the choke 76). In certain embodiments, the wellhead system 18 may additionally or alternatively include a pressure sensor 70; a temperature sensor 72, and a fluid density meter 40 in the tree bore 108 downstream from the choke 76.
  • Further, the wellhead system 18 may include one or more erosion detectors 68. In some embodiments, one or more erosion detectors 68 may be located in the tree bore 108, tubing spool bore 110, the casing spool bore 112, and/or the hanger bore 114. For example, in some embodiments, one or more electrical resistance detectors 82 may be disposed in the tree bore 108 upstream and/or downstream from the choke 76. In certain embodiments, one or more acoustic detectors 80 may be disposed in the tree bore 108 upstream and/or downstream from the choke 76. In certain embodiments, acoustic detectors 80 may be disposed in (e.g., in the frame of) the production tree 22, the tubing spool 104, the hanger 106, the casing spool 102, and/or the wellhead hub 100. Further, in some embodiments, acoustic detectors may be external and adjacent to the production tree 22, the tubing spool 104, the hanger 106, the casing spool 102, and/or the wellhead hub 100.
  • FIG. 4 is an embodiment of a method 130 for managing erosion of the mineral extraction system 10 based on determined erosion parameters. The method 130 may be a computer-implemented method. For example, one or more steps of the method 130 may be executed using a controller, such as the controller 42 (e.g., the processor 60). The method 130 may include receiving (block 132) feedback from one or more sensors 38 and/or one or more flow meters 40 disposed in the mineral extraction system 10. For example, the controller 42 may receive the feedback from the sensors 38 and the flow meters 40. The one or more sensors 38 may include one or more erosion detectors 68 (e.g., acoustic detectors 80, electrical resistance detectors 82, pressure sensors 84, and/or optical sensors 86), pressure sensors 80, temperature sensors 72, fluid density meters 74, or any other suitable sensor. Additionally, as noted above, the sensors 38 and the flow meters 40 may be disposed in any suitable location of the mineral extraction system 10, such as the wellhead system 18, the wellhead 20 (e.g., the wellhead hub 100, the casing spool 102, the tubing spool 104, and/or the hanger 106), the production tree 22, the manifold 28, the jumpers 30, and/or the risers 32.
  • Additionally, the method 130 may include determining (block 134) one or more erosion parameters based on the feedback. For example, the controller 42 may determine the erosion parameters based on the feedback. In embodiments in which the mineral extraction system 10 includes sensors 38 and flow meters 40 disposed in multiple locations of the mineral extraction system 10, the controller 42 may determine the erosion rate for each monitored location. As noted above, the controller 42 may be configured to determine erosion parameters such as erosion rate, accumulated erosion, a wall thickness, and/or a thickness of protective layers. In some embodiments, the controller 42 may cause the user interface 66 to display one or more indications relating to the erosion parameters (e.g., graphical indications, numerical values, etc.).
  • Further, the method 130 may include determining (query 136) whether the one or more erosion parameters are greater than respective thresholds (e.g., maximum thresholds). For example, the controller 42 may compare each erosion parameter to a respective threshold, which may be stored in the memory 62 and/or inputted by a user via the user interface 66. For example, a user may wish to keep the erosion rate under a particular rate, and the user may input the desired erosion threshold rate using the user interface 66. In some embodiments, the memory 62 may be configured to store default thresholds for the erosion parameters, which may be adjusted by a user. If the one or more erosion parameters are less than the respective thresholds, the controller 42 may continue receiving (block 132) feedback from the sensors 38 and the flow meters 40 and determining (block 134) the erosion parameters based on the feedback.
  • However, if one or more erosion parameters are greater than their respective erosion parameter thresholds, the method 130 may include providing warnings, providing recommendations, and/or controlling various components of the mineral extraction system 10 to reduce the values of one or more erosion parameters. For example, in some embodiments, the controller 42 may cause the user interface 66 to provide a warning (e.g., an audible and/or displayed warning) in response to a determination that one or more erosion parameters are greater than their respective parameter thresholds. In some embodiments, the method 130 may include providing (block 138) a recommendation to a user to adjust (e.g., decrease) a flow rate of the production fluid. For example, the controller 42 may cause the user interface 66 to display a recommendation to decrease the flow rate of the production fluid to reduce the values of the erosion parameters and to reduce, block, or minimize erosion. As noted above, decreasing the flow rate of the production fluid may decrease the erosion rate. In some embodiments, the recommendation to adjust the flow rate may include a recommendation to stop or shut off the production fluid flow.
  • Additionally or alternatively, the method 130 may include providing (block 140) a recommendation to inject one or more chemical additives into the production fluid that may reduce the erosion parameters. For example, the controller 42 may cause the user interface 66 to display a recommendation to inject one or more chemical additives in the production fluid. In some embodiments, the controller 42 may cause the user interface 66 to display recommended chemical additives to inject, such as additives that bind and/or stabilize solids in the production fluid, additives that increase the viscosity or density of the production fluid (e.g., cross-linkers, borate salts, surfactants, isopropanol, etc.), friction reducers (e.g., petroleum distillate), gelling agents (e.g., guar gum, hydroxyethyl cellulose, etc.), or any combination thereof. In embodiments in which the mineral extraction system 10 includes sensors 38 and flow meters 40 disposed in multiple locations of the mineral extraction system 10, the controller 42 may provide recommendations (e.g., to adjust the flow rate of the production fluid and/or to inject chemical additives in the production fluid) for each monitored location (e.g., for each wellhead system 18).
  • Additionally or alternatively, the method 130 may include controlling (block 142) the flow rate of the production fluid. For example, the controller 42 may control the choke 76 to control (e.g., decrease or halt) the flow rate of the production fluid. In particular, the controller 42 may send control signals to the choke actuator 78, which may control the choke 76 based on the control signals. Additionally or alternatively, the method 130 may include controlling (block 144) injection of chemical additives into the production fluid. For example, the controller 42 may control one or more CIMVs 36 to inject one or more chemical additive, such as those listed above, into the production fluid. In embodiments in which the mineral extraction system 10 includes sensors 38 and flow meters 40 disposed in multiple locations of the mineral extraction system 10, the controller 42 may control the flow rate of the production fluid and/or control injection of chemical additive in the production fluid for each monitored location (e.g., for each wellhead system 18).
  • FIG. 5 is an embodiment of a method 160 for managing erosion of the mineral extraction system 10 based on erosion rate. The method 160 may be a computer-implemented method. For example, one or more steps of the method 160 may be executed using a controller, such as the controller 42 (e.g., the processor 60). The method 160 may include receiving (block 132) feedback from one or more sensors 38 and/or one or more flow meters 40 disposed in the mineral extraction system 10. Additionally, the method 160 may include determining (block 162) erosion rate based on the feedback. For example, the controller 42 may determine the erosion rate based on the feedback using the equation described above and/or one or more models. In embodiments in which the mineral extraction system 10 includes sensors 38 and flow meters 40 disposed in multiple locations of the mineral extraction system 10, the controller 42 may determine the erosion rate for each monitored location.
  • Further, the method 160 may include determining (query 164) whether the erosion rate is greater than an erosion rate threshold (e.g., a maximum threshold). As described above, the erosion rate threshold may be stored in the memory 62 (e.g., a default threshold) and/or inputted by a user using the user interface 66. If the erosion rate is less than the erosion rate threshold, the controller 42 may continue receiving (block 132) feedback from the sensors 38 and the flow meters 40 and determining (block 162) the erosion rate based on the feedback.
  • However, if the erosion rate is greater than the erosion rate threshold, the method 160 may include determining (block 168) a flow rate of the production fluid and/or an amount of chemical additives to inject in the production fluid based on the comparison of the erosion rate to the erosion rate threshold. In particular, the controller 42 may determine a flow rate of the production fluid and/or an amount of chemical additives to inject in the production fluid that may reduce the erosion rate to a value below the erosion rate threshold or that may minimize the difference between the erosion rate and the erosion rate threshold. For example, the controller 42 may input a desired erosion rate in one or more models and/or the algorithm for determining erosion rate and may determine (e.g., solve for) a flow rate of the production fluid that may achieve the desired erosion rate. In some embodiments, the controller 42 may also may cause the user interface 66 to provide a warning (e.g., an audible and/or displayed warning) in response to a determination that the erosion rate is greater than the erosion rate threshold.
  • In some embodiments, the controller 42 may input various amounts of injected chemical additives in one or more models to determine possible changes in characteristics of the production fluid flow, such as density, viscosity, a proportion of bound/stable verses unbound/unstable solids in the production fluid, and so forth. The controller 42 may then input these potential values for characteristics or parameters of the production fluid flow into models or equations for determining erosion rate. The controller 42 may adjust the amounts of injected chemical additives and thus, the potential values of the parameters of the production fluid flow to determine an amount of injected chemicals additives that may reduce the erosion rate to a value below the erosion rate threshold or that may minimize the difference between the erosion rate and the erosion rate threshold.
  • Further, the method 160 may include providing various recommendations and/or controlling various components of the mineral extraction system 10 based on the determined flow rate of the production fluid and/or the determined amount of chemical additives to inject in the production fluid. For example, in some embodiments, the method 160 may include providing (block 170) a recommendation to a user to adjust (e.g., decrease) the flow rate of the production fluid to the determined flow rate. For example, the controller 42 may cause the user interface 66 to display the recommendation and the recommended flow rate for the production fluid. Additionally or alternatively, the method 160 may include providing (block 172) a recommendation to inject the determined amount of the one or more chemical additives into the production fluid. For example, the controller 42 may cause the user interface 66 to display the recommendation and the recommended amount of each chemical additive to inject. In embodiments in which the mineral extraction system 10 includes sensors 38 and flow meters 40 disposed in multiple locations of the mineral extraction system 10, the controller 42 may provide recommended flow rates and/or recommended amounts of chemical additives to inject for each monitored location (e.g., for each wellhead system 18).
  • Additionally or alternatively, the method 160 may include controlling (block 174) the flow rate of the production fluid based on the determined flow rate. For example, the controller 42 may send control signals to the choke actuator 78 to adjust the flow rate of the production fluid to the determined flow rate. Additionally or alternatively, the method 160 may include controlling (block 176) injection of chemical additives into the production fluid based on the determined amount of the chemical additives. For example, the controller 42 may control one or more CIMVs 36 to inject the determined amount of each chemical additive, such as those listed above, into the production fluid. In embodiments in which the mineral extraction system 10 includes sensors 38 and flow meters 40 disposed in multiple locations of the mineral extraction system 10, the controller 42 may control the flow rate of the production fluid based on the determined flow rate and/or control injection of chemical additive in the production fluid based on the determined amounts for each monitored location (e.g., for each wellhead system 18).
  • FIG. 6 is an embodiment of a method 190 for managing erosion of the mineral extraction system 10 based on predictive erosion parameters. The method 190 may be a computer-implemented method. For example, one or more steps of the method 190 may be executed using a controller, such as the controller 42 (e.g., the processor 60). The method 190 may include receiving (block 132) feedback from one or more sensors 38 and/or one or more flow meters 40 disposed in the mineral extraction system 10. Additionally, the method 160 may include determining (block 134) one or more erosion parameters, such as erosion rate, accumulated erosion, wall thickness, thickness of protective layers, and so forth, based on the feedback.
  • Further, the method 190 may include determining (block 192) one or more predictive erosion parameters based on the erosion parameters. For example, as noted above, the controller 42 may use the one or more erosion parameters (e.g., erosion rate) and one or more assumed and/or known characteristics of the component (e.g., initial or current wall thickness, initial or current protective layer thickness, etc.) in one or more models, algorithms, look-up tables, and/or databases, to determine the one or more predictive erosion parameters. As noted above, in some embodiments, the predictive erosion parameters may include a predicted remaining useable life of the component. In certain embodiments, the predictive erosion parameters may include predicted values of the erosion rate, accumulated erosion, wall thickness, and/or protective layer thickness at a predetermined time in the future.
  • Additionally, the method 190 may include determining (query 194) whether the one or more predictive erosion parameters are less than a respective predictive erosion parameter threshold (e.g., a minimum threshold). In some embodiments, the predictive erosion parameter thresholds may be stored in the memory 62 (e.g., a default threshold). In certain embodiments, the predictive erosion parameter thresholds may be inputted by a user using the user interface 66. For example, a user may input a desired remaining useable life of a component of the mineral extraction system 10. If the one or more predictive erosion parameters are greater than the respective predictive erosion rate thresholds, the controller 42 may continue receiving (block 132) feedback from the sensors 38 and the flow meters 40, determining (block 134) the erosion parameters based on the feedback, and determining (block 192) the predictive erosion parameters based on the erosion parameters.
  • However, if one or more predictive erosion parameters are less than a respective predictive erosion parameter threshold, the method 190 may include determining (block 196) a flow rate of the production fluid and/or an amount of chemical additives to inject in the production fluid based on the comparison of the predictive erosion parameters to their respective thresholds. In particular, the controller 42 may determine a flow rate of the production fluid and/or an amount of chemical additives to inject in the production fluid that may increase the predictive erosion parameters (e.g., the remaining useable life) to a value above the respective threshold or that may minimize the difference between the predictive erosion parameter and the respective threshold. For example, in some embodiments, the controller 42 may input a desired remaining usable life in one or more models and/or algorithms for determining remaining useable life and may determine (e.g., solve for) a flow rate of the production fluid that may achieve the desired remaining useable life.
  • In some embodiments, as described above, the controller 42 may input various amounts of injected chemical additives in one or more models to determine possible changes in characteristics of the production fluid flow, such as density, viscosity, a proportion of bound/stable verses unbound/unstable solids in the production fluid, and so forth. The controller 42 may then input these potential values for characteristics or parameters of the production fluid flow into models or equations for determining remaining useable life. Further, the controller 42 may adjust the amounts of injected chemical additives and thus, the potential values of the parameters of the production fluid flow to determine an amount of injected chemicals additives that may increase the predicted remaining useable life to a value above the desired remaining useable life or that may minimize the difference between predicted remaining useable life and the desired remaining useable life.
  • Further, the method 190 may include providing warnings, providing various recommendations, and/or controlling various components of the mineral extraction system 10 based on the determined flow rate of the production fluid and/or the determined amount of chemical additives to inject in the production fluid. For example, in some embodiments, the controller 42 may also may cause the user interface 66 to provide a warning (e.g., an audible and/or displayed warning) in response to a determining that a predictive erosion parameter is less than its respective threshold. Further, in some embodiments, the method 190 may include providing (block 170) a recommendation to a user to adjust (e.g., decrease) the flow rate of the production fluid to the determined flow rate. Additionally or alternatively, the method 190 may include providing (block 172) a recommendation to inject the determined amount of the one or more chemical additives into the production fluid. In some embodiments, the method 190 may include controlling (block 174) the flow rate of the production fluid based on the determined flow rate. Further, in certain embodiments, the method 190 may include controlling (block 176) injection of chemical additives into the production fluid based on the determined amount of the chemical additives.
  • As discussed in detail above, the present embodiments relate to an erosion management system 12 configured to monitor erosion of one or more components of a mineral extraction system 10. In particular, the erosion management system 12 may determine one or more erosion parameters, such as a rate of erosion, an amount of accumulated erosion, a wall thickness of the respective component, and/or a thickness of protective layers on the respective coating based at least in part on feedback from one or more flow meters 40 and one or more sensors 38 of the mineral extraction system. Additionally, in some embodiments, the erosion management system 12 may determine one or more predictive erosion parameters based on the one or more erosion parameters. For example, the erosion management system 12 may determine a remaining usable life of the respective component based on the one or more erosion parameters, such as the erosion rate.
  • Further, in certain embodiments, the erosion management system 12 may be configured to provide warnings and/or recommendations to a user based on the one or more erosion parameters and/or the one or more predictive erosion parameters. For example, the erosion management system may provide warnings to a user via the user interface 66 if one or more erosion parameters and/or predictive erosion parameters violate a respective threshold (e.g., minimum and/or maximum threshold). In some embodiments, the erosion management system 12 may provide recommendations via the user interface 66 to adjust a flow rate of the production fluid based on the one or more erosion parameters and/or the one or more predictive erosion parameters. By monitoring the erosion parameters and providing the warnings and/or recommendations to a user related to the erosion parameters, the erosion management system 12 may enable a user to make adjustments to various parameters of the mineral extraction system 10, which may reduce the erosion of various components of the mineral extraction system 10 and may reduce the downtime and expense associated with repairing or replacing eroded components of the mineral extraction system 10. In certain embodiments, the erosion management system 12 may automatically adjust one or more parameters of the mineral extraction system 10, such as a flow rate of the production fluid, based on the one or more erosion parameters and/or the one or more predictive erosion parameters. By automatically adjusting various parameters of the mineral extraction system 10, the erosion management system 12 may reduce the erosion of various components of the mineral extraction system 10 and may reduce the downtime and expense associated with repairing or replacing eroded components of the mineral extraction system 10.
  • Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” “embodiments,” “some embodiments,” “certain embodiments,” or similar language means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment may be included in at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. Thus, these phrases or similar language throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily all refer to the same embodiment.
  • Although the present disclosure has been described with respect to specific details, it is not intended that such details should be regarded as limitations on the scope of the invention, except to the extent that they are included in the accompanying claims.
  • The techniques presented and claimed herein are referenced and applied to material objects and concrete examples of a practical nature that demonstrably improve the present technical field and, as such, are not abstract, intangible or purely theoretical. Further, if any claims appended to the end of this specification contain one or more elements designated as “means for [perform]ing [a function] . . . ” or “step for [perform]ing [a function] . . . ”, it is intended that such elements are to be interpreted under 35 U.S.C. 112(f). However, for any claims containing elements designated in any other manner, it is intended that such elements are not to be interpreted under 35 U.S.C. 112(f).

Claims (20)

1. A system, comprising:
an erosion management system configured to monitor erosion of a component of a mineral extraction system, wherein the erosion management system comprises:
a flow meter configured to generate feedback relating to a flow rate of a production fluid flowing through the component;
an erosion detector configured to generate feedback relating to an amount of solids in the production fluid flowing through the component; and
a controller configured to:
receive feedback from the flow meter and feedback from the erosion detector; and
determine an erosion rate of the component based on the feedback from the flow meter and feedback from the erosion detector.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein the erosion detector comprises an acoustic detector, an electrical resistance detector, or both.
3. The system of claim 1, wherein the controller is configured to:
determine the flow rate of the production fluid based on feedback from the flow meter;
determine a mass flow rate of the solids in the production fluid based on the flow rate of the production fluid and the feedback from the erosion detector; and
determine the erosion rate based on the mass flow rate of the solids in the production fluid.
4. The system of claim 3, wherein the erosion management system comprises a fluid density meter configured to generate feedback relating to a density of the production fluid, wherein the controller is configured to:
receive feedback from the fluid density meter; and
determine the erosion rate based on the feedback from the fluid density meter.
5. The system of claim 1, wherein the controller is configured to monitor the erosion rate over a period of time and to determine an amount of accumulated erosion for the component by determining an integral of the erosion rate over the period of time.
6. The system of claim 1, wherein the erosion management system comprises a user interface operatively coupled to the controller, wherein the controller is configured to cause the user interface to provide a recommendation to adjust the flow rate of the production fluid based on the erosion rate.
7. The system of claim 1, wherein the controller is configured to determine a recommended flow rate of the production fluid based at least in part on a comparison of the erosion rate to an erosion rate threshold.
8. The system of claim 7, wherein the erosion management system comprises a user interface operatively coupled to the controller, wherein the controller is configured to cause the user interface to display the recommended flow rate.
9. The system of claim 7, wherein the controller is configured to control a choke to adjust the flow rate of the production fluid to the recommended flow rate.
10. The system of claim 1, wherein the controller is configured to determine a predicted remaining life of the component based at least in part on the erosion rate.
11. The system of claim 10, wherein the controller is configured to determine the predicted remaining life of the component by determining when a wall thickness of the component will be less than a predetermined minimum wall thickness.
12. The system of claim 11, wherein the controller is configured to determine when the wall thickness of the component will be less than the predetermined minimum wall thickness based at least in part on predicted future values of the erosion rate and an initial value of the wall thickness of the component.
13. The system of claim 1, wherein the component comprises a wellhead, a production tree, or a manifold.
14. A system, comprising:
a mineral extraction system configured to extract a production fluid from a wall, wherein the mineral extraction system comprises:
a flow meter configured to generate feedback relating to a flow rate of the production fluid flowing through a component of the mineral extraction system;
an erosion detector configured to generate feedback relating to an amount of solids in the production fluid flowing through the component;
a controller configured to:
determine an erosion rate of the component based at least in part on the feedback from the flow meter and the feedback from the erosion detector;
compare the erosion rate to an erosion rate threshold; and
determine a recommended flow rate of the production fluid based at least in part on the comparison.
15. The system of claim 14, wherein the mineral extraction system comprises a user interface, and wherein the controller is configured to cause the user interface to display the recommended flow rate.
16. The system of claim 14, wherein the mineral extraction system comprises a production tree, and wherein the production tree comprises the component.
17. The system of claim 16, wherein the production tree comprises a choke configured to adjust the flow rate of the production fluid and a choke actuator configured to control the choke, and wherein the controller is configured to send a control signal to the choke actuator to cause the choke to adjust the flow rate of the production fluid to the recommended flow rate.
18. The system of claim 16, wherein the production tree comprises a choke configured to adjust the flow rate of the production fluid, and wherein the flow meter is disposed in a bore of the production tree upstream of the choke, and wherein the erosion detector is disposed in the bore downstream of the choke.
19. A method for monitoring erosion of a component of a mineral extraction system, comprising:
determining a flow rate of a production fluid flowing through the component of the mineral extraction system based on feedback from a flow meter;
determining an amount of solids in the production fluid flowing through the component based on feedback from an erosion detector; and
determining an erosion rate of the component based at least in part on the flow rate of the production fluid and the amount of solids in the production fluid.
20. The method of claim 19, comprising:
determining a predicted remaining life of the component based at least in part on the erosion rate;
comparing the predicted remaining life of the component to a threshold;
determining a recommended flow rate of the production fluid based on the comparison; and
providing a user-perceivable recommendation to adjust the flow rate of the production fluid to the recommended flow rate.
US15/556,674 2015-03-11 2016-03-11 Erosion management system Pending US20180051549A1 (en)

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