The Petroleum Production System - Introduction

The Petroleum Production System

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Welcome to the beginning of this series on the Petroleum Production System. You may ask, why a series on the Production System? Well, I consider the Production System as a fundamental body of knowledge in the study and practise of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering which should be thoroughly understood and easily described.

I consider therefore that this series will be beneficial to existing engineers in the Oil & Gas sector, engineers-in-training, and the individual who is interested in understanding the system through which we interact with subsurface reservoirs of petroleum.

In my study of learning, I understand that to successfully learn and retain knowledge, it is necessary to understand the big picture and know the chunks or parts that make up the subject that we desire to understand. Therefore, in this first part, I will discuss the big picture of the petroleum production system, alongside the parts that it consists of.

What is a Petroleum Production System

PetroWiki defines the production system as “the system that transports reservoir fluids from the subsurface reservoir to the surface, processes and treats the fluids, and prepares the fluids for storage and transfer to a purchaser”. As you may have noticed, this is a very comprehensive definition. I understand that the production system comprises of a reservoir and the artificial structures which we use to interact with the reservoir and its fluids for well defined purposes.

The components of the Production System

Now that we have an idea of what the production system is, as we discussed earlier, let us define its parts. It is important we do this, so that we have a structure upon which we can hang or build our knowledge upon.

The production system is composed of the following:

  1. Reservoir
  2. Artificial Structures
    • Subsurface structures/equipments
      • Wellbore
      • Tubing
      • Packers
      • Casing
      • Completion
      • Regulator, Choke and Tubing Nipple
      • Safety Valve
    • Surface facilities
      • Wellhead
      • Flowlines
      • Treatment Equipment
      • Storage Vessels
      • Metering devices
      • Valves
      • Chokes
      • Manifolds
      • Separators/Treatment equipments
    • Artificial Lift facilities

The Purpose of the production system

On a general note, the production system enables us

At this point, we have described the big picture, the components, and the purpose of the petroleum production system. In subsequent parts, we will examine each component; describing its contribution/effect, problem areas, and the solution to these problems commonly faced.

Stay Blessed!

On giants shoulder’s (References):