News | April 3, 2019

KBC To Address Mercury-Related Risk In Upstream Oil And Gas Processing Via Partnership With INPEX Corporation And Heriot-Watt University

Research project will enhance understanding of mercury distribution through hydrocarbon processing systems to improve project economics and reduce exposure to personnel and the environment

Houston, TX /PRNewswire/ - To combat mercury-related risk in the processing of oil and gas reservoir fluids, KBC (A Yokogawa Company) today announced an agreement with INPEX Corporation and Heriot-Watt University to launch a new research project to help mitigate this industry-wide issue.

With co-funding from the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC), KBC will collaborate with INPEX Corporation and Heriot-Watt University to generate new data for enhanced prediction of mercury solubility in oil and gas processing. The parties will utilize their industry-leading test and measurement facilities and techniques, rigorous thermodynamic modelling and process simulation software and deep industry know-how.

Mercury is naturally present in most reservoir fluids. It is highly corrosive and its accumulation in pipelines or operating units, such as heat exchangers or separators, can compromise their structural integrity. Consequently, overly conservative approaches in process facility design and construction are often taken, with excessive design margins that may lead to elevated project capital costs and operating expenditures.

Approximately five per cent[1] of the total cost of oil and gas production facilities are attributable to mercury removal. Enhanced prediction of mercury accumulation across facilities would enable more effective selection and right-sizing of equipment within safety margins, as well as more efficient operation and maintenance without compromising the wellbeing of personnel and the environment.

"Mercury is a well-recognized yet under-researched challenge facing design, operations and maintenance teams across the upstream oil and gas sector," comments Andy Howell, CEO of KBC. "I'm confident that the breadth and depth of resources and capabilities of KBC, Heriot-Watt University and INPEX Corporation will yield valuable insights for addressing mercury-related issues across the industry."

The research project is expected to be completed by March 2020.

About KBC
KBC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yokogawa Electric Corporation, is all about excellence in the Energy and Chemical industry. We make excellence real for our customers through the actions of our people fused with our technology and best practices. We provide leading software and expert services, powered by the cloud, to assure process operations achieve their full potential. Our customers achieve operating performance that surpasses ordinary standards, now and into the future. For more information, visit www.kbc.global.

About Heriot-Watt University
Heriot-Watt University is based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Originally established in 1821 as the Edinburgh School of Arts, the world's first Mechanics Institute, it was granted university status by Royal Charter granted in 1966. Heriot-Watt has been named International University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. The university is ranked among the World's Top 500 by all three major rankings – QS World University Rankings, Times Higher Education World University Rankings and Academic Ranking of World Universities. In the latest Research Excellence Framework, it was ranked overall in the Top 25% of UK universities and 1st in Scotland for research impact.

Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC)
The Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) connects oil and gas companies with world-class expertise in Scotland'suniversities, to address innovation challenges and opportunities to improve productivity and recovery in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). Established in 2014 as one of eight innovation centres launched by the Scottish Funding Council, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Island Enterprise, OGIC has been accelerating new technology development by responding to industry-led demand for innovation support.

INPEX Corporation
INPEX CORPORATION is Japan's largest exploration and production (E&P) company, and a mid-tier E&P player just behind the world's oil majors. INPEX is currently involved in approximately 70 projects across more than 20 countries, including the Ichthys LNG Project in Australia as Operator. INPEX aims to become a leading energy company and continue providing a stable and efficient supply of energy to its customers. For more information, visit www.inpex.co.jp/english/index.html.

SOURCE: KBC (A Yokogawa Company)

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