In 2012 the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation announced its financial contribution to a research project conducted by Aalborg University and endorsed by Maersk Oil and Ramboll Oil & Gas. The project tackles the problem of oil recovery by looking into ways of ensuring a higher productivity and less oil in the produced water.
Essential contribution to the industry
Given the significant impact of the research study proposed by Aalborg University and its Ph.D. students, the Innovation Found (then Danish Advanced Technology Foundation) decided in 2012 to offer financial support.
The purpose of the project was to develop software-based control systems that are able to increase the amount of recovered oil. This would not only have a positive impact on the environment with less oil in the produced water, but also on the productivity of the platforms which could increase significantly.
Creating a small-sized test set-up for simulation
One of the challenges was to develop a software-based model for simulation due to the complexity of modelling the multiphase fluid mechanics of the process. Therefore, a small-sized test setup that could simulate the production process of a real platform at a small scale was constructed to help developing the model and gain insight into the complexity of the process. The test setup consisted of a pipeline/riser, separator, and hydro cyclones and allowed a mixture of oil, water and gas (air) to be injected.
Ramboll’s expertise was a great asset in developing the small test setup, offering advice on instrumentation and dimensioning. Ramboll was also part of the testing and the development of control philosophies on how to reduce slug formation for an ideal constant flow in the process.
A productive collaboration
Ramboll supported this project with a number of 5 man-hours per week offering assistance, help and know-how to the university team of students from 2012-2016. In return, the contribution to this project reinforced Ramboll’s skill development in the discipline of enhanced oil recovery and strengthened the partnership with the other project participants – Aalborg University, Maersk Oil and Centre for Oil and Gas at DTU.
On the 1st of April 2014 the Danish Advanced Technology Foundation merged with Innovation Found, but the goal of the organization remained the same, aiming both at strengthening Danish competitiveness in relation to the rest of the world and at creating new jobs.