Presenting at SLB's User Group Meeting
Recapping this year's OLGA and PIPESIM user group meeting
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend and present at SLB’s OLGA and PIPESIM user group meeting in Houston and I wanted to share a quick review of it.
OLGA / PIPESIM updates
The conference kicked off with a keynote from SLB diving into all the recently released and to be released features across OLGA and PIPESIM.
The latest versions of softwares are set to be released in January from the sounds of it and the versioning scheme will now be shifting to be representative of the years they are released (e.g. 2024.XX) as opposed to trailing behind the current year.
Other technical highlights of the upcoming releases included the following:
“Office 365” for OLGA - SLB will be expanding on some of the cloud offerings that currently exist for running OLGA simulations on virtual servers. From the demo, this will give the ability to easily migrate your simulation files to the cloud where model building can continue as well as running simulations.
New Reynolds Numbers - any multiphase experts out there will be sure to appreciate this as there will now be Reynolds number variable outputs available within OLGA broken down by phase (6 in total - water, gas, hydrocarbon, and interactions of each).
OLGA S correlation accessibility - the OLGA S correlation that runs key multiphase fluid dynamic calculations on OLGA and PIPESIM will become more accessible to third party users and in a more vendor agnostic manner.
New GIS backgrounds - Something very relevant to the talk I gave (discussed below), is there will be new backgrounds available for PIPESIM when viewing the results gradients (or heat maps as I prefer to refer to them).
Greatly expanded single component modeling capabilities - this is key for modeling things like CO2 and H2 transport, which are obviously hot topics today.
There were quite a few other updates, but perhaps the one that piqued my interest the most was the introduction of the fluid symmetry engine (FSE).
From the sounds of it, SLB in future versions will be including (unclear whether it is included by default or through an additional module) the fluid symmetry engine which will allow for fluid characterization and the creation of PVT lookup tables. Going beyond that, it also sounds like it will be an option for any comp-tracking simulations as well with direct integration in OLGA.
As a long time user of Multiflash (MF), I think this will be interesting to see unfold. In my opinion a big factor in whether this gains traction will come down to how SLB price it. As I alluded to above, if it’s included with OLGA, I think it will see rather quick adoption, however, as a separate module, I think many people will stick with tools they already know.
Of course, the ultimate determinant will probably be what performs the best technically (MF vs. FSE). SLB’s comments here were interesting, as they encouraged users to run their own comparisons between FSE and MF and conclude for themselves.
I had the opportunity to present at the conference where I focused primary on PIPESIM and the high-level specifics of how you can create heat maps (‘results gradients’) from your simulations without relying on the PIPESIM GUI. The talk was a more detailed and PIPESIM specific version of the recent Substack piece we put out on heat maps, which we at Pontem use everywhere.
But why would you want to create your own heat maps when it’s built directly into PIPESIM? This was a central point of my presentation, which focused around the following advantages of this capability:
The ability to arbitrarily set you own min/max - this is important so that the default min/max from the simulation does not dictate your coloring. As an example, imagine wanting to set the max pressure in a simulation not equal to the max value seen, but to the maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP).
Better control over aesthetics - this is something that is slightly improved in the upcoming release of PIPESIM with better background options, but what if you want even more control of things like the color scheme, line thicknesses, etc. You won’t easily get this when working inside the UI
The ability to automate - PIPESIM’s results gradient are a great visualization tool, but as the main goal of PIPESIM is to run steady state simulations, it’s rare that you aren’t running some kind of parametric of life of field study. This is when the ability to automate saves you hours (if not days) over doing things through a UI.
The ability to export - Probably the most important of all, by creating your own heat maps external to PIPESIM, you are forced to create them in a manner that allows them to be shared. The power of that opens up all kinds of opportunities for emailing out your heat maps to clients or sharing with the web. There are also numerous platforms that can open up GIS files (ArcGIS, GoogleEarth, GlobalMapper etc.) and you’re opened to entire array of them when creating your own heat maps.
While my talk focused on PIPESIM, it concluded with the realization that the technology we’ve build at Pontem to create these heat maps extends well beyond just PIPESIM and can naturally progress to use in OLGA with only minor adjustments. And once you’re in OLGA, you are now in a transient world, so why not embrace that with your heat maps??
Other’s gave fascinating talks as well looking at things ranging from modeling of pigging in onshore networks (another area where transient heat maps are incredibly valuable) to leak detection. Just as the core technical updates to OLGA were focusing on single component systems, the external speakers also had some interesting presentations on CO2 transport lines and some of the technical challenges with modeling CO2.
SLB’s OLGA and PIPESIM user group meetings are a regular this time of year and there are numerous versions of them across the globe. Some are virtual while others are strictly in-person. Staying up to date on various industry critical softwares is crucial for Pontem and why we participate in this events.