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SPECIAL REPORT

Innovations in Complete UPS and Secure Power Systems for Critical Oil and Gas Operations The Technical Effectiveness of Next Generation UPS and Secure Power Technology Everything Needs Demand It’s All About the Power Reliable and Continuous Delivery There When You Need Them

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Gutor AC & DC UPS Solutions

Specifically engineered for your Oil & Gas Application At Schneider ElectricTM, every step of your GutorTM UPS’s life cycle — from pre-sales and design, through to final testing and after-sales services — is custom-tailored to meet your specific needs. > Quality, Reliability, Security > Nearly 50 years of experience in UPS engineering > Our robust AC and DC UPS systems are withstanding the harshest environmental conditions > Thousands of satisfied customers around the world > Design life of 20 years

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SPECIAL REPORT

Innovations in Complete UPS and Secure Power Systems for Critical Oil and Gas Operations The Technical Effectiveness of Next Generation UPS and Secure Power Technology

SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COMPLETE UPS AND SECURE POWER SYSTEMS FOR CRITICAL OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Contents

Everything Needs Demand It’s All About the Power Reliable and Continuous Delivery There When You Need Them

Foreword 2 John Hancock, Editor

The Technical Effectiveness of Next Generation UPS and Secure Power Technology

3

Gert Andersen, Chief Technology Officer for Gutor Technology Thomas Krebs, Business Development Manager for Gutor Technology Miriam Schaller, MarCom Specialist

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Editor John Hancock Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

© 2015. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

Introduction Secure Electrical Power for Modern Oil and Gas Operations Basic UPS Concept: 3 Sources of Energy and 4 Operating Modes for Maximum Security Technical Effectiveness of the UPS by Using the Building Block Approach Major Building Blocks and Typically Used Technologies Conclusion

Everything Needs Demand

8

Peter Dunwell, Correspondent

Short- and Long-Term Market Outlooks Differ Different Views on Price… … And Investment Underlying Trends Are Up Still a Challenge

It’s All About the Power

10

John Hancock, Editor

The Need to Be Continual Power at the Heart of the Process Power for the People And Power For the Process Interruption Is Not Acceptable

Reliable and Continuous Delivery

12

Francis Slade, Staff Writer

Safety First Reliable Power Supports Optimum Production Getting Power Offshore The Case for an Uninterrupted Power Supply

There When You Need Them

14

John Hancock, Editor

Protecting the Protection An Offshore Environment Presents Multiple Hazards Not Glamorous but Very Important for Operating Integrity

References 16

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COMPLETE UPS AND SECURE POWER SYSTEMS FOR CRITICAL OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Foreword T

O AN increasing degree, the world operates

is still the preferred solution. As it is vital to ensure

on a continual cycle without breaks. There are

continuation of power supply to avoid the risk of loss of

reasons for this, mostly economic considerations.

production or even compromise safety, Uninterruptible

The equipment used in industrial processes is

Power Supply (UPS) systems are based mainly on

very expensive but less requiring of maintenance

a double conversion concept, which has been used

and inherently more reliable than the equipment

for many years. The UPS system is an important link

of earlier generations. Also, the arrival of digital

in the overall secure electrical power solution chain

systems to monitor and control processes and

in maintaining safe and reliable operation of oil and

equipment mean that it doesn’t always need to be

gas installations.

stopped in order for it to be checked. And continual

The world of offshore oil and gas is facing some

operation generates the maximum value from the

economically difficult times and that might well impact

significant investment in any equipment.

the types of investment that include UPS so, in our

For some equipment, stopping can be difficult with

second article, Peter Dunwell looks at the big picture,

pressures and momentum lost. While that is a costly

the economic climate in which all of the offshore supply

enough consideration for a scheduled stop, at least

chain, including suppliers of UPS, must operate. Our

itcan be planned for and the shut-down managed.

third article considers the importance of power and

When a stop is unscheduled and unmanaged, the

its provision in order to secure the best returns from

cost can be significant. Given the mechanical reliability

enormous investments and to maintain the operation

of most equipment used in safety critical sectors such

of the processes involved in producing oil and gas

as offshore oil and gas, a loss in power supply is

offshore. Francis Slade then considers the integrity

probably the most likely cause of an unscheduled stop

for any such power supply.

or unmanaged shut-down. Therefore, the provision

Finally we look more closely at the UPS systems

of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is vital to

themselves, how they work and what they

the sector.

should include.

The opening article in this Special Report looks at the importance of secure electrical power to all onshore and offshore oil and gas operations and why proven technology with a long term reliability record

John Hancock Editor

John Hancock joined as Editor of Offshore Reports in early 2012. A journalist for 25 years, John has written and edited articles and papers on a range of engineering, support services and technology topics as well as for key events in the sector. Subjects have included aeroengineering, auto-engineering and electronics, high value manufacturing, testing, aviation IT, materials engineering, weapons research, supply chain, logistics and naval engineering.

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COMPLETE UPS AND SECURE POWER SYSTEMS FOR CRITICAL OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

The Technical Effectiveness of Next Generation UPS and Secure Power Technology

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Gert Andersen, Chief Technology Officer for Gutor Technology Miriam Schaller, MarCom Specialist

Securing electrical power is crucial for a safe and reliable operation of all modern Onshore and Offshore O&G installations: problems relating to the quality and availability of electrical power can engender serious danger in process security and put human life at risk. Due to the importance of secure electrical power, proven technology with a long term reliability record is still the preferred solution. Major developments within O&G are focusing more on the main processes; how to get more oil or gas out of a field for lower cost as well as alternatives such as oil sands and deepwater exploration. A support infrastructure like secure electrical power is not the place to accept compromise in order to try to save a few k$ of Capex, whereas the risk of a loss of production or encountering unsafe conditions is increasing. Therefore, UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) systems are mainly

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Solutions specifically engineered for your Oil & Gas applications

Thomas Krebs, Business Development Manager for Gutor Technology

Introduction

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based on a double conversion concept which has been used for decades. The same concept is, for example, also the preferred solution in nuclear power. This article is focusing on how to secure continued development of the double conversion UPS system without compromising the track record of consistent reliability, as well as securing spare parts and support for more than 20 years.

Gutor UPS systems offer you the highest quality and availability. Over the years, we have used our proven expertise to hone our systems for optimal reliability. Our engineered-to-order (ETO) approach ensures every system is customized to fit your specific needs and requirements.

Secure Electrical Power for Modern Oil and Gas Operations The UPS system is an important link in the overall secure electrical power solution chain, which maintains the safe and reliable operation of O&G installations for many years. Topics such as the upstream supply, type of critical loads, maintenance, availability of spare parts, possibilities for midlife upgrades to keep up with ongoing developments (e.g. digitalization), as well as environmental aspects need to be taken into

Heavy Industrial UPS solutions ETO Up-stream Supply

Back -up (UPS) Distributions/ Cabling

G

Dual- corded loads

LV

> Design life of 20 years

Battery

Reliability / MTBF / MTTR

UPS configuration

> Our robust AC and DC UPS systems are withstanding the harshest environmental conditions > Thousands of satisfied customers around the world

Emergency generator

Environmental

> Nearly 50 years of experience in UPS engineering.

Single- corded loads

Select the best UPS configuration

HV/MV

Loads

Standards

Maintenance

IEC/UL

Loads AC/DC

Galvanic isolation

www.schneider-electric.com/gutor

FIGURE 1: SECURED ELECTRICAL POWER SOLUTION

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COMPLETE UPS AND SECURE POWER SYSTEMS FOR CRITICAL OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

The UPS system is an

Basic AC UPS configuration with 100% galvanic isolation

important link in the overall secure electrical

Bypass Input

Bypass section including 3 Pos. Manual Bypass Switch

power solution chain,

of O&G installations

Rectifier

Inverter

SSW. Inv.

Rectifier Input Battery Bank

Secured Load Bus

which maintains the safe and reliable operation

SSW. Byp.

Basic UPS

Basic UPS with 100% galvanic isolation ( ) and Bypass section. The basic UPS configuration will be used in all Gutor AC-UPS solutions.

for many years

FIGURE 2: BASIC DOUBLE CONVERSION UPS INCLUDING 100% GALVANIC ISOLATION

account, in order to secure a long term reliable operation of O&G installations (see Fig. 01). Due to the importance of the UPS system, all major O&G companies have their own UPS specification, which can be very detailed – in some cases even design issues are precisely specified. The majority of projects involving UPS systems are handled by EPC (Engineering Procurement Construction) companies, which may have additional requirements for the UPS solution (including documentation). In order to comply with all these requirements, many UPS manufactures are following an ETO approach (Engineered to Order) by sizing, designing, and building UPS systems and auxiliary equipment 100% according to a customer’s specification – including fully customer-specific documentation – giving the highest possible flexibility in terms of a customer’s requirements. UPS solutions following this ETO approach are realised by using a proven design concept based on pre-designed building blocks. In this way, the right size/rating of rectifier, inverter and static switch modules can be chosen depending on customer requirements. Galvanic isolation, as an integrated part of the UPS system, will also be available and customer specific distribution will be integrated according to the specification. The project specific documentation including all options and project information is a part of the complete UPS solution. The building block approach should not be confused with so called modular products, where complete UPS modules are only assembled in an industrial frame. Additional impact by environmental issues such as dust (blocking 4 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

air filters), high temperature (shortening lifetime of electronic components), and humidity and gases may lead to corrosion if the UPS system is not designed for harsh environmental conditions. Further, a special design is needed for withstanding seismic waves during earthquakes and vibrations under certain conditions. Alternative concepts also follow a CTO approach (Customized to Order), whereby a UPS system is realized by adapting a standard UPS. However, this is always a compromise since, for example, galvanic isolation is not included in the core UPS system.

Basic UPS Concept: 3 Sources of Energy and 4 Operating Modes for Maximum Security The main function of the UPS solution is to secure the supply of critical loads and, therefore, impacts on what happens upstream. In order to secure the supply of critical loads, a UPS system has typically three sources of energy: the rectifier mains, the bypass mains, and a battery as back-up power. The UPS system can be operated in different operating modes, depending on the availability of the rectifier mains, bypass mains, battery voltage and actual load. In the following modes, the load will be supplied either with regulated power or direct from bypass mains. Normal operation In normal operation, the rectifier converts the AC power from the rectifier mains into a constant DC voltage. The rectifier compensates for voltage fluctuations and transients on the rectifier mains. The rectifier supplies the inverter with energy and


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COMPLETE UPS AND SECURE POWER SYSTEMS FOR CRITICAL OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Gutor AC-UPS Product Line

UPS configurations depending on criticality and type of loads Configurations ●Single UPS ●Parallel Redundant UPS ●Dual UPS Independent ●Dual UPS Synchronised

Single UPS

Parallel Redundant UPS

Bypass * Transformer*

Bypass Transformer*

UPS incl SSW

UPS A incl SSW

UPS B incl SSW

FIGURE 3: TYPICAL UPS CONFIGURATIONS

charges the battery, which is directly connected to the DC-bus, or keeps the battery charged. Depending on the charge stage of the battery, the rectifier may be operating in float charge or boost charge mode. The downstream inverter converts the DC voltage by means of a sine-wave PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) technology into AC voltage and supplies the load. With this technology, the power is converted twice: from AC to DC and from DC to AC therefore the term “double conversion” (see Fig 02). This system secures a complete isolation between upstream supply and the downstream supply of the critical loads. The output voltage is completely independent from upstream voltage and frequency specified as VFI-111-SS according to UPS standard IEC 62040-3. Battery operation If the rectifier cannot deliver enough power to the inverter, the battery which is connected to the DC-bus will immediately supply the inverter with energy and the PWM controlled inverter will automatically compensate for the battery voltage drop and supply the load with a stabilised sinewave. As soon as the rectifier is available again, the inverter will be automatically supplied and the battery will be recharged. Static bypass operation If the inverter cannot secure the supply of the critical load, the UPS will automatically change to static bypass operation without interruption. In this mode, the critical load will be directly supplied from bypass mains. The bypass path may be equipped with a stabiliser function which regulates the static level of the bypass voltage. As soon as the inverter can secure the

Dual UPS Independent

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Dual UPS Synchronsied

Bypass * Transformer*

Bypass * Transformer*

UPS incl SSW

UPS incl SSW

Bypass * Transformer*

Bypass * Transformer*

UPS incl SSW

UPS incl SSW

With Gutor UPS systems, you’re not just buying a product — you’re buying a solution that ensures safety and peace of mind for your business.

* Option

load supply again, the UPS will automatically change back to inverter operation (normal or battery) without interruption. Manual bypass UPS systems installed in O&G applications will always be equipped with the means to isolate the UPS system for maintenance. The manual bypass switch is a ‘make before break’ manual switch. As such, it is possible to change the load to be supplied directly from the bypass. This change will always be without interruption, as is the change back to UPS supply. The double conversion concept is a very flexible solution, where customer specific requirements can be implemented without compromising on reliability. Some O&G platforms only accept 110VDC or 220VDC batteries for staff safety reasons. With the Gutor technology double conversion concept, it is possible to design a UPS system using the same proven “building-blocks” by different battery voltage levels.

Gutor PxW AC UPS system

> 5 – 200 kVA single phase > 10 – 220 kVA three phase > higher ratings upon request

Technical Effectiveness of the UPS by Using the Building Block Approach As mentioned in the first part of this article, the O&G market is rather conservative regarding the supply of secure and reliable power. However, even for UPS solutions there is a certain level of development. Components become obsolete and new components are developed; requirements for remote monitoring by implementation in the digitized world evolve; or special solutions for unmanned O&G platforms or remote locations are required. All these factors need to be taken into account when developing new features of UPS systems for O&G. It is of the upmost importance that the

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Gutor Technology will always stay focused on what it knows perfectly well – providing high quality and reliable UPS solutions.

reliability of new developments is proven before the UPS system is installed in a critical O&G application. Therefore, Gutor Technology UPS solutions are based on a double conversion technology achieved by building blocks – the development and implementation of new technology is carried out step by step and in a backwards compatible approach. This means that individual blocks are updated and new blocks are added to the portfolio of building blocks. In this way it is possible to ensure that a UPS system still fits into its evolved environment, as well as accounting for future requirements. As a result, an upgrade of an existing installation is more favourable than a full replacement. By taking a close look at the building blocks used in the Gutor UPS solutions, the implementation of new technology and the security of backwards compatibility can be seen; building blocks for which no major developments are expected (e.g. static switch modules and transformers for galvanic isolation) won’t be concentrated on.

Major Building Blocks and Typically Used Technologies Rectifiers The majority of rectifiers installed in O&G installations are still based on thyristor technology (6-pulse or 12-pulse configuration). The thyristor based solution is very reliable. Driver and protection circuits are simple with long track record. The drawback of the thyristor solution is the generated harmonic input current in the range of 10% to 28% depending on the configuration. The amount of UPS power in an O&G plant is low - the harmonic generated by the UPS system has no real impact on the overall harmonics on the plant grid. Mainly on platforms with limited power or during operation of emergency generators, a reduction of harmonics might be required. There are two ways to reduce the level of harmonics: 1) Adding harmonic filters on the input of the thyristor rectifier, which can reduce the input harmonics current down to 5% 2) Implementing the rectifier with PFC (Power Factor Corrected) technology Rectifiers with PFC technology will typically be based on IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) technology and the input harmonic current for a PFC based rectifier will typically be less than 5%. A drawback of this technology is the requirement for more complex drivers and more protection against upstream transients, which reduces the reliability compared to thyristor based rectifiers. Inverters Inverters are based on PWM technology using IGBT power components. This technology secures a very tight regulation of the UPS 6 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

system output voltage, independent of the type of loads and variation of DC/battery voltage. This technology has been used for decades with a good track record. Controlling, system controlling and individual dedicated controllers in each building block Many UPS controllers are still built on THT (Through-Hole Technology). However, today, the majority of components are based on SMT (Surface-Mount Technology). The building block approach offers the possibility to upgrade individual functional blocks without compromising the overall reliability of the secured power solution. The space needed for SMT components is considerably less compared to THT-based components. On the other hand, mechanical dimensions and fixing points still need to be compatible with the old THT board and the space gained can then be used for implementing new communication features and protocols. In summary, this means that not only the availability of spare-parts for old systems can be secured, but also the connection to the newly installed plant network can be achieved by installing a new board in an old UPS system. This will typically be done as a midlife upgrade of the UPS system, without the need to change the complete UPS system. It secures the reliable operation of the UPS system for many additional years including implementation of modern communications. Bypass section including bypass stabilizer and manual bypass The bypass section is the lifeboat of a UPS system. If a bypass stabilizer is implemented, it is preferable to use a reliable servo mechanical version, which can still supply voltage even if the controller part is faulty. The bypass part is also used if a high current >1000% is required for the interruption of downstream protection elements which cannot be cleared by the inverter in a short time. The bypass section is a typical element where new technology will be applied to control and monitoring. Human machine interface, including remote monitoring/communication In an emergency, it is important to establish the immediate status of the UPS system and there should be no need for the operation staff to go through several levels of digitised information. Also, for maintenance purposes and operating staff, detailed event logs should be available both locally and remotely for trouble-shooting in order to check whether something unusual has occurred in the UPS chain: temporary overloads due to a failure in downstream loads; upstream mains failure, which often force the UPS system to run on battery; over heating in the battery room


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COMPLETE UPS AND SECURE POWER SYSTEMS FOR CRITICAL OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

(resulting in reduced lifetime of the battery); or temperature alarms within the UPS due to blocked air filters. New technology will mainly be implemented to expand the possibilities of monitoring critical parameters of power components within the UPS system, as well as for early prediction of wearout, e.g. the requirement to replace power capacitors or fans. This information can help to optimise the maintenance work and ensure that components will be changed at the right time. It is especially important for installations with long periods between regular shut downs for maintenance.

Conclusion Installing a UPS system with the latest available technology but without proven reliability is not the preferred solution for modern Onshore and Offshore O&G installations. This is not the same as saying that the UPS cannot be integrated in the modern digitized world, but it is important to distinguish between the core parts of the UPS system – securing the power supply of critical loads and the HMI (Human Machine Interface) including remote communication. Securing remote monitoring of the status of the UPS system is a cost saving factor especially for unmanned platforms. However, remote communication should only be used for monitoring as there is no reason for having remote access to settings, which can change the behaviour of the UPS system. No parameters need immediate change in a UPS system. In order to comply with a customer’s specifications, the UPS system should be based on a building block concept, where it is possible to combine different ratings, e.g. rectifier, inverter and static switch. Adding monitoring devices and communication modules (depending on customer specification) and still having the same proven basic system design, will ensure proven reliability for many years. The Schneider Electric’s Gutor Technology UPS solution is designed precisely in this way, ensuring acceptability by all major O&G companies around the world. Gutor Technology will always stay focused on what it knows perfectly well – providing high quality and reliable UPS solutions.

Choosing the Right Battery A UPS system needs an alternative energy source in the event of losing the upstream supply. Even though other

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energy storage technologies are available today, Lead-Acid or NiCd batteries are still the preferred back-up solution. Batteries are often the weak point in a secured power solution. During normal operation, the battery is not in use but is

With Gutor UPS systems, you’re not just buying a product — you’re buying a solution that ensures safety and peace of mind for your business.

just kept charged. The battery may not have been used for a period of time, but it is expected to take over the supply of energy for a predefined time in the case of an upstream power failure. Lead-Acid batteries are mainly used in VRLA or flooded/ open cell versions.

Gutor SDC rectifier/ battery charger

VRLA (Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid) batteries require no specific battery room, but they are more sensitive to temperature. When they fail, typically with an open cell, the complete battery is lost (not just one faulty cell) and the inverter stops operating immediately. Flooded/ open cells are less sensitive to temperature. In the case of failure, only the faulty cell will have an impact on the total available capacity and the inverter will still continue to operate. Flooded/ open cells require more maintenance compared with VRLA batteries. NiCd batteries are used in arrays with higher temperature, and where a long lifetime of the battery is required. The

> 24 – 220 V > 25 – 1200 A > higher ratings upon request

majority of NiCd (Nickel Cadmium) batteries are flooded/ open cell types. They could fail in the same way as LeadAcid flooded batteries. NiCd batteries require also maintenance, but mainly just to the check the water level.

Engineering at its perfection. Gutor technology. www.schneider-electric.com/gutor

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COMPLETE UPS AND SECURE POWER SYSTEMS FOR CRITICAL OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Everything Needs Demand Peter Dunwell, Correspondent Uninterruptible Power Supplies, like all parts of the supply chain, need a growing market to support investment in their technology

If they remain low, the prices of oil, natural gas and commodities could deter foreign investment into more expensive offshore and enhanced oil recovery projects in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia

Short- and Long-Term Market Outlooks Differ As with any component in a process, the market for power supply systems depends on the underlying demand for the product being produced; in the case of this paper, oil and gas from offshore fields. Despite the falling price of oil, at the time of writing, current economic conditions suggest that, in the medium to long term, Global demand for energy will continue its historic upward path. And while sustainable or renewable resources are progressing, there is little indication that they will be sufficiently developed to satisfy the world’s energy hunger in the near- or medium-term future. Even today, there remains an incentive to find further oil and gas reserves. But there is no doubt that current conditions are a challenge. “… since June [2014] prices have more than halved. Brent crude oil has now dipped below $50 a barrel for the first time since May 2009 and US crude is down to below $48 a barrel.”1 That’s how the BBC summed up the situation. Gary Shilling, writing for Bloomberg2, suggests that the price might fall as low as $10 a barrel with two of the world’s largest producers, USA and Saudi Arabia, actually increasing their production at the moment. But these seemingly doom-laden predictions are not the whole story. In The Herald Scotland 28th December 2014, Mark Latham3, writing about the North Sea, suggested that, “…the future for one of Scotland’s most ¬important industries is far from as bleak as has been painted [and] the prospects for 2015 are looking decidedly better. The stark warning [has been] that the sector… could lose almost half of its 65,000-strong workforce…. [However] Sir Ian Wood… [said]… likely jobs losses over the next year to 18 months would be closer to 15,000. Although he concedes North Sea ¬production could fall by 10% if prices continue to slide, Wood also predicted that conditions would begin to recover next year [2015]. A look at the price of benchmark Brent crude over the last three decades shows that prices have, from a historical perspective, been unusually high and stable in

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the last four years. So talks of a crash in prices are only relative. It could equally well be said that the oil price has corrected to somewhere closer to its historic average.”

Different Views on Price… And a falling oil price is particularly a problem if production costs cannot be managed. In that context, Jake Huneycutt, writing in Seeking Alpha ‘How Low can Oil Fall?’4 concluded; “… there’s little evidence to suggest that break-even costs for the vast majority of producers are anywhere near the $90 - $100 per barrel prices that have been common over the past several years. Meanwhile, continued advances in technology could further reduce extraction costs… From a quick glance at break-even prices, it would appear that $50 per barrel might not be sustainable in the long-run and it’s at least reasonably likely we could see a push back up to $60 - $70 in the next 2-3 years.” It seems that prices will rise but there will still be an imperative for producers to be as efficient as possible. The introduction notes to 2014 PILOT Share Fair, Oil & Gas UK5 stated that, “The UK oil and gas industry’s urgent need to improve its efficiency and reduce costs will provide a key focus…”

… And Investment That said, there is no room for complacency. It is increasingly likely that some energy businesses, unable to foresee levels of revenues that will support the kind of massive investments that accompany offshore production, will simply stop investing or re-tune their businesses to cope with the leaner $ Dollar price now available. As recently as January 2015, Shell announced a reduction in investment of $15 billion over the next three years. Low prices are a two-edged sword. Writing about the other side of the world from Scotland, Stratfor Global Intelligence ‘How Low Oil Prices Will Impact Southeast Asia’ (readers can register and request the article) reports that; “… falling oil prices… will have mixed effects on the region. If they remain low, the prices of oil, natural gas and commodities could deter foreign investment


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COMPLETE UPS AND SECURE POWER SYSTEMS FOR CRITICAL OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

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With Gutor UPS systems, you’re not just buying a product — you’re buying a solution that ensures safety and peace of mind for your business.

Gutor WxW AC inverter system

into more expensive offshore and enhanced oil recovery projects in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. At the same time, cheap energy will provide a boost to consumers and manufacturers that could improve trade throughout the region.” And that improving trade could itself generate the increased demand for energy that puts upward pressure on prices.

Underlying Trends Are Up It is confusing, but there are some underlying factors which probably tell us more about the drivers of demand and, therefore, price. While there might be some reduced demand in developed economies, in developing and emerging economies, the factors are likely to be economic growth and burgeoning populations. In the paper ‘Global Trends in Oil & Gas Markets to 2025’6 LUKOIL predicted; “…a number of trends will support oil prices in the medium term.” continuing to list some of those growth factors as… • Population growth, urbanization; • Motorization in Asia; • Growing costs of exploration and production; • OPEC policy; • Dollar depreciation. For balance, the LUKOIL paper also lists a number of challenges faced by the oil market. But it would be an especially gloomy analyst who foresaw oil prices remaining low in the long term. Current demographic predictions are that the global population will grow by more than 1.1 billion people between 2010 and 2025

of which 1 billion will be added to the urban consumer class as growing populations also migrate from rural, low energy consumption areas to cities where their expectations and energy consumption will rise exponentially. Burgeoning populations with rising expectations combined with the finite nature of hydrocarbon resources should be the recipe for a sustainable price increase in the long-term. That view seems to be supported by the Oxford Economics forecast (reported in The Herald Scotland – see above) for “prices to rise to $111 per barrel by 2020 and $200 per barrel by 2040.” And, of course, as falling fuel prices generate economic growth, so that growth will generate the demand needed to lift those same fuel prices.

Still a Challenge Much of the world’s hydrocarbon fuel reserves have been located but not all are yet exploited. There are several reasons for this but the most frequently cited is that, as yet, unexploited reserves tend to be in inaccessible or inhospitable environments… or both. There are few environments more inaccessible or hostile than the oceans but there are significant reserves of oil and gas to be found at ever increasing distances from land, far beneath sea-beds that are themselves deep below the ocean’s surface. It adds up to a significant challenge. And, to return to the main topic of this paper, it also adds up to a continuing demand for reliable power supplies for installations working in incredibly challenging conditions.

> 5 – 200 kVA single phase > 10 – 220 kVA three phase > Higher ratings upon request

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COMPLETE UPS AND SECURE POWER SYSTEMS FOR CRITICAL OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

It’s All About the Power John Hancock, Editor Nothing can happen on an offshore platform unless there is the power to make it happen and that must be continuous

There are many components that go towards a safe and productive offshore installation but high up the list of those components must be the power supply, without which none of the other functions of a platform (exploration, drilling or production) would be possible

W

HEN, IN December 2014, Repsol bought Talisman Energy for £8.3 billion and when, just a couple of weeks earlier, BP announced plans to further develop the Clair field off Shetland, expectations of catastrophe in offshore energy investment seemed wide of the mark. Of course, a falling oil price cannot be ignored. To ensure that peak production matches price, some scheduled wind-down programmes might be accelerated and some start-up projects slowed, but, in a sector where operating lives are measured in decades it would not be reasonable to change everything for what most commentators believe will be a two or three year run of low prices.

expand in a contracting market because they are willing to work more innovatively.” Good quality suppliers will prosper in times when every cent or penny counts. There are many components that go towards a safe and productive offshore installation but high up the list of those components must be the power supply, without which none of the other functions of a platform (exploration, drilling or production) would be possible. So important is power supply that, were it to be interrupted, the consequences on several levels would range from serious to unacceptable.

The Need to Be Continual

“The challenges of offshore production and processing require solutions that are not only robust enough to ensure the day-to-day reliability and availability of equipment in hostile environments, but are also safe, effective, costefficient and have minimal environmental impact – over the entire life cycle. In particular, there is a strong demand for power generation and distribution solutions, auxiliary and emergency power units, automation, safety and monitoring systems, switchgear and instrumentation, as well as for broadband telecommunications capabilities, navigation systems and water treatment technologies.”10 In that paragraph, Siemens neatly sums up the critical contribution of power systems.

The business of producing oil and gas from any offshore field, leave alone the more challenging ones that are now being considered, is massively expensive with the consequence that production processes are pretty much continual. As the Energy Institute7 explains, “Working hours are normally 12 hours on and 12 hours off …” With two crews on each platform, that amounts to 24 hours each day, 7 days each week working or, as the UK HSE8 put it, “A substantial proportion of offshore personnel are employed in roundthe-clock production and drilling activities which require day/night shift work.” Anything that interrupts this perpetual cycle of production will result in a costly loss. Some would suggest that high prices in recent times have made producers less than diligent on cost control. According to Francis Kierman9, reported by Mark Latham in The Herald Scotland, the oil price drop, combined with high production costs – up 62% since 2011 – will force companies into more innovative ways of working, which will deliver costefficiencies and greater value. Kierman feels that, “The industry has lost sight of achieving optimal value for minimal cost,” and that, “In the months to come, oil companies will have to focus on being smarter and look at creative opportunities to work with suppliers which have the flexibility to

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Power at the Heart of the Process

Power for the People Right from the first consideration of every offshore operator – the health, safety and welfare of the workforce – a secure power supply is a fundamental requirement. Looking at that aspect, the people on the installation, and remembering those shift cycles (see above), platform operators go to extraordinary lengths to make the accommodation and support arrangements for workers as close as possible to conditions on land. That means high quality leisure, catering, entertainment and communications systems, all of which require power.


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COMPLETE UPS AND SECURE POWER SYSTEMS FOR CRITICAL OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

GUTOR Rot

SE Dark Gray

SE Light Gray

Pantone 485

Pantone Cool Gray 11

Pantone Cool Gray 7

With Gutor UPS systems, you’re not just buying a product — you’re buying a solution that ensures safety and peace of mind for your business.

Gutor PXP AC UPS system And Power For the Process As well as workforce needs, systems need to incorporate a communication unit linked up to pre-installed wiring for telephone, PA and IT use and decent air-conditioning systems which, in some environments, will be combined with positive pressure ventilation systems as well as, in the kind of application we are covering here, a secure fire extinguishing system to protect the modular structure in addition to any platform based sprinkler or alarm system. Similarly, workspaces can vary from workshops to equipment housing to laboratories, again with a range of ancillary services required. And, of course there is the production process and all the safety systems to consider.

Interruption Is Not Acceptable It all further points to the importance that power supplies cannot be interrupted. Stahl11 takes a similar view that there have to be, “uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems for oil and gas rigs and similar applications with hazardous areas where 100% availability is imperative. On unmanned platforms in particular, these systems ensure that crucial equipment (e.g. valves,

pumps, navigation and signal technology such as GPS and flashing beacons) continues to be operational for a defined period of time in case of an overall power failure.” And, not wishing to labour the point, but it is very important, AEG Power Solutions12 ramps up the criticality; “The safety implications of power failure on board a rig can be severe, which is why back up power solutions are so important.” If that all reads as a little too apocalyptic – from the same AEG article, “Continuous power outages were a problem for BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig in the months and weeks before the explosion which contaminated vast stretches of coastline. According to testimony from an engineer during the investigation, there is a high possibility that alarms and other safety equipment, which could have avoided the disaster, were not functioning” The problem is that, even where there is a generator to back up, should the main power supply fail, the brief break between failure and the auxiliary supply ‘kicking in’ can play havoc with systems that require continuous (uninterrupted) power. Hence the importance of uninterruptible power systems (UPS) in offshore oil and gas.

> 5 – 160 kVA single phase > 5 – 160 kVA three phase

Engineering at its perfection. Gutor technology. www.schneider-electric.com/gutor

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COMPLETE UPS AND SECURE POWER SYSTEMS FOR CRITICAL OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

Reliable and Continuous Delivery Francis Slade, Staff Writer When the fall-out from a power failure could be costly at best, catastrophic at worst, continuity of supply is a very important consideration

For safety reasons an Uninterruptible Power Supply is mandatory on oil rigs to ensure that signal lighting is operational at all times. And, the UPS must be able to operate properly in a difficult, hazardous environment

Safety First The requirement for a secure and reliable power supply is not only driven by the operators’ determination to ensure the optimum working time for their assets but also to ensure safe operation, for the well-being of workers, for their own interest in maintaining production with as little disruption as possible and to support high levels of corporate integrity. The securing of a reliable power system can contribute to the demonstration of a proactive approach to the regulators. As Power Electronics13 explains, “For safety reasons an Uninterruptible Power Supply is mandatory on oil rigs to ensure that signal lighting is operational at all times. And, the UPS must be able to operate properly in a difficult, hazardous environment… Complete blackouts or malfunctions in the mains power supply, such as frequency fluctuations or over voltages caused by lightning strikes, must be safely bridged on oil rigs. Above all, functioning signal lights are not only essential for smooth operation on the rig, but also for the safety of all nearby ships and airplanes. Therefore, the position lights must not fail under any circumstances.”

Reliable Power Supports Optimum Production These days, in any industry, safety has to be a principal concern; in a sector like offshore energy, with significant potential to harm both the people who work in it, the immediate environment in which it operates and the wider locale, safety has to be the first operational concern. But, of course, there would be no offshore oil and gas sector without production. Much of the working equipment on an offshore platform works best when it works continuously. It isn’t just the reality that every minute that product does not flow is money lost, although that is true, but it’s also that some of the equipment, once it has halted, even for a few minutes, will not be able to simply restart. There will need to be a time filling and 12 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

costly start-up process to get things moving again. And, without power to maintain pressure in the system, the risk of pollution increases. Like all processes today, oil and gas production relies heavily on digital technologies and systems to ensure its optimum effectiveness and to record and analyse data that will not only improve the production process but also ensure well supported reports to the regulatory authorities. But, to be at its most effective, “With industries that involve harsh conditions such as oil & gas and mining increasingly using digitized equipment that needs reliable power, the need for industrial UPS is stronger than ever.”14

Getting Power Offshore But, before considering the provision of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) it might be worth looking at how power is supplied to offshore production processes. For installations near an onshore supply system, it might be viable to lay a cable from the shore to the offshore complex. However, to an increasing degree, installations are either offshore in an area without reliable power supplies onshore or too far offshore for that to be viable. Science Direct15 sums up the usual situation; “Electricity consumption of offshore oil and gas rigs are commonly supplied by gas turbines located on the platforms. [However,] These are expensive to operate and emit significant amounts of CO2 and NOx. Offshore wind farms may thus be an economic and environmentally sound option.” It’s an interesting thought that sustainable energy might be the best source of base power for installations producing hydrocarbon fuels. The Offshore Technology Conference in a ‘Study of Offshore Wind as Power Supply to Oil and Gas Platforms’16 considered the broad subject. “The potential for reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 and NOx emissions through electrification of offshore platforms is large. There are two main alternatives for electrification. One is to connect the platforms to the onshore power system via


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COMPLETE UPS AND SECURE POWER SYSTEMS FOR CRITICAL OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

GUTOR Rot

SE Dark Gray

SE Light Gray

Pantone 485

Pantone Cool Gray 11

Pantone Cool Gray 7

With Gutor UPS systems, you’re not just buying a product — you’re buying a solution that ensures safety and peace of mind for your business.

cables. The other alternative… is to connect the platforms to alternative offshore power production in isolated power systems.”

The Case for an Uninterrupted Power Supply The problem with any power supply to an offshore platform is security. By their nature, the places where platforms are sited are not comparable with sheltered, stable onshore conditions. Therefore, whatever power source is used, there will be a risk of interruption in supply from a number of factors. Any industrial process like offshore energy production will, of course, have a back-up system, usually, on an offshore platform, a generator. But the problem is that there might be a brief delay between the base supply failing and the back-up taking on the load. It is during this brief delay that things can go wrong as pressures in the process fall and if data used to run the process or to inform the operator is lost. This is where a UPS scores. There are different UPS for different jobs and levels of criticality. The general categories of

modern UPS systems are standby, line-interactive or on-line.17 • A standby (off-line) UPS system - the load is powered directly by the input power and the backup power circuitry is only invoked when the utility power fails. Most UPS below 1 kVA are of the line-interactive or standby variety, which are usually less expensive. • A line-interactive UPS maintains the inverter in line and redirects the battery’s DC current path from the normal charging mode to supplying current when power is lost. • An on-line UPS uses a ‘double conversion’ method of accepting AC input, rectifying to DC for passing through the rechargeable battery (or battery strings), then inverting back to 120V/240V AC for powering the protected equipment. But any UPS used offshore has to be robust. An offshore oil platform might have equipment that needs a UPS for power reliability, but is exposed to the elements and other hazards which John Hancock will cover in the final article.

Engineering at its perfection. Gutor technology. www.schneider-electric.com/gutor

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There When You Need Them John Hancock, Editor UPS systems are ubiquitous but being everywhere doesn’t mean that they’re not important; nor that their specification can be skimped

One thing is certain, offshore oil and gas platforms offer most types of weather from extreme cold with ice and snow to extreme heat with soup-like humidity, and everything in between. It has always been a feature of the offshore environment

U

NLIKE AN auxiliary or emergency power system or standby generator a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) is designed to deliver near-instantaneous protection from input power interruptions, by supplying energy stored in batteries or flywheels. It requires no discernible start-up time, although the on-battery runtime of most uninterruptible power sources is only a few minutes. However, that is usually sufficient to start a standby power source or properly shut down protected equipment.

Protecting the Protection One thing though, “When a UPS system is placed outdoors, it should have some specific features that guarantee that it can tolerate weather with no effect on performance. Factors such as temperature, humidity, rain, and snow among others should be considered when designing an outdoor UPS system. Operating temperature ranges for outdoor UPS systems could be around −40 °C to +55 °C.”18 In the case of extreme cold, the outdoor UPS system should include a battery heater mat or, for extreme heat, the system should include a fan system or an air conditioning system.

An Offshore Environment Presents Multiple Hazards One thing is certain, offshore oil and gas platforms offer most types of weather from extreme cold with ice and snow to extreme heat with soup-like humidity, and everything in between. It has always been a feature of the offshore environment. When development of the North Sea fields began in the mid-60s, the industry had never before faced such a hostile environment. Production facilities had to be designed to withstand wind gusts of 180 km/hour and waves 30 metres high. Ahead of even severe weather conditions, the main source of hazard is the ocean itself, first in the considerable pressure of constant movement by millions of tonnes of water: usually gentle but still 14 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

considerable; and sometimes violent, capable of inflicting enormous damage. The ocean also comprises a corrosive blend of water and salt into which one would not normally put a metallic structure like an oil and gas platform… let alone unprotected electrical equipment. Not only are any of the above hazards likely to interrupt any standard power supply but a UPS system needs to be even further protected against the hazards because its failure cannot be contemplated. And the possibility of finding useful reserves in easily accessible places or clement environments is diminishing fast. Sarah Blackman writing in Offshore Technology June 2012 issue (no longer available) said, “The days of cheap and easyto-drill oil are over. Now comes the hard work of finding and producing oil from more challenging environments… oil and gas firms are looking to squeeze every last drop of reserves from the nooks and crannies of the ocean on hard-toreach, ultra-deep places.” It isn’t only the environment or weather that can be hazardous. The very nature of offshore production and the products that it handles are all likely to challenge any systems that rely on mechanical integrity for their continuing function. The mechanics of UPS are not necessarily complex but the systems are required to be of a high quality with a good reputation and unimpeachable levels of reliability.

Not Glamorous but Very Important for Operating Integrity In light of all the foregoing, it might come as no surprise to learn that, according to DataCentres, the global market for UPS systems is likely to reach US$7.8 million in 2015. In fact, “The need for UPS Systems is one of the major market drivers for the global stationary lead-acid (SLA) battery market.”19 They won’t all be offshore oil and gas but it shows how important this type of security is today. While these might not be glamorous items of kit, most pundits would advise against ever cutting


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COMPLETE UPS AND SECURE POWER SYSTEMS FOR CRITICAL OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

corners for any UPS application and that advice would be even more apposite in the case of an offshore oil and gas installation. Also, there will be a number of factors to consider when choosing a system for use offshore. The American Petroleum Institute (API) offers an extensive list of features to consider when specifying a UPS system20. The list is lengthy so readers should check for themselves but the essence is that any system to be useful must be of high quality build, robust, technically up to date and include an array of safety ‘backup’ features of its own. Any system should offer AC and DC power supply elements and should meet any specifications for the main supply that it would need to replace in the event of a failure. It also should offer a full array of ancillary solutions such as rectifiers, inverters, chargers, etc… all built to the highest standards. Some of the features and requirements common to a true industrial UPS (which would include an offshore oil and gas installation) include: • The ability to withstand dust and water splash: rugged enclosures with special filtration

GUTOR Rot

SE Dark Gray

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Pantone 485

Pantone Cool Gray 11

Pantone Cool Gray 7

and sealing features, certified to meet the relevant standards. • Minimum cabinet wall thickness. Customers in sectors like oil and gas often have specific enclosure requirements. • UPS that are rated for use in high activity seismic zones. Such products are thoroughly tested to withstand vibrations. • Ruggedness also comes from the inside of the unit. Industrial UPS solutions typically have components such as power modules selected to perform well at higher ambient temperature. • Appropriate use of materials such as copper to prevent corrosion, coated printed circuit boards, also for corrosion prevention, or use of bar codes or other identification on components. There is, of course, no way in which an operator could economically create a 100% guarantee that nothing would ever fail but, in the case of power supply, there are a number of processes and procedures that can make it possible to manage any failure. Not least among these is the ability to deliver an uninterrupted power supply.

Engineering at its perfection. Gutor technology.

www.schneider-electric.com/gutor

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN COMPLETE UPS AND SECURE POWER SYSTEMS FOR CRITICAL OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS

References: BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29643612

1

2

The Week UK http://www.theweek.co.uk/business/oil-price/60838/oil-price-could-fall-to-10-per-barrel

3

Herald Scotland

http://www.heraldscotland.com/business/markets-economy/how-downturn-in-oil-price-could-benefit-scotlands-offshore-sector.26155579 4

Seeking Alpha, ’How Low Can Oil Fall?’ (free register to read the whole article) http://seekingalpha.com/article/2835936-how-low-can-oil-fall

5

Oil & Gas UK http://www.oilandgasuk.co.uk/news/news.cfm/newsid/1088

6

LUKOIL ‘Global Trends in Oil & Gas Markets to 2025’ http://www.lukoil.com/materials/doc/documents/Global_trends_to_2025.pdf

7

Energy Institute https://www.energyinst.org/education/workingoffshore

8

UK HSE http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr772.pdf

9

Herald Scotland

http://www.heraldscotland.com/business/markets-economy/how-downturn-in-oil-price-could-benefit-scotlands-offshore-sector.26155579 10

Siemens, Solutions for Offshore Production & Processing

http://www.energy.siemens.com/co/en/industries-utilities/oil-gas/applications/offshore-production.htm 11

Stahl http://www.r-stahl.com/news/news/2014/06/customised-ups-systems-for-offshore-rig-hazardous-areas.html

12

AEG http://tiny.cc/dydkux

13

Power Electronics http://powerelectronics.com/power-electronics-systems/ups-system-offshore-platform-requires-more-safeguards

14

Schneider Electric http://tiny.cc/fzdkux

15

Science Direct http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876610212011228

16

One Petro https://www.onepetro.org/conference-paper/OTC-23245-MS

17

Critical Power Supplies http://www.criticalpowersupplies.co.uk/How-ups-systems-work

18

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uninterruptible_power_supply

19

PR Rocket http://tiny.cc/x0dkux

20

Law Resource https://law.resource.org/pub/us/cfr/ibr/002/api.14f.2008.pdf

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