New software anticipates hydrate formation

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, Scotland -- A student at Robert Gordon University’s School of Computing has published research exploring new software systems which could help deal with hydrate formation..

Nuka Nwiabu, who is in the third-year of his PhD in Software Engineering, recently compiled a paper exploring the problem of hydrate formation in deepwater operations and addressing the use of new computing technology to predict such formations.

As well as providing a theoretical discussion on the complex issue, Nwiabu’s paper also features a practical design of a situation-aware decision support system.

He comments: “The current practice in the energy industry is to inject chemicals into the reservoirs to increase the temperature. This method is costly and not completely effective in deepwater operations.

“The information systems outlined in my paper provide an alternative approach, using computational method to predict the formation of hydrate in gas pipelines by integrating data gained from sensors in subsea pipelines and the sea floor.

The emphasis of the research is to anticipate the formation of the compound in advance so operators can apply a solution before it becomes a more costly problem.

Nwiabu continues: “My research investigates how information systems can be modeled and designed to be ‘situation aware’ through the perception and understanding of upcoming issues, and then providing problem-solving support to operators in dynamic environments, including the North Sea.”


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