2005 course description

Overview of Course

This course, run for 3rd year petroleum engineering students at the University of New South Wales, increases the student’s insight into conceptual and process design of oil & gas production facilities.

Common offshore and onshore field development modes are first reviewed. The students will study conventional oil & gas processing systems throughout the course.  Selected Australian and some regional existing and prospective oil & gas developments will be described in order to illustrate different development modes based on a generic classification system.

Initially we will review global and Australian petroleum reserves and production.  The aim here is to develop an appreciation of the quantities of oil and gas involved, and relate this to their units of measurement.   These global and national quantities are compared to typical production rates for world class, medium sized and small scale oil and gas developments.

The course will enhance the student’s familiarity with common units of measurement that are used to quantify reserves and production rates of hydrocarbons and energy.   Design tasks studied include basic process simulation, preparation of preliminary process flow diagrams, heat & material balances and preliminary equipment and pipeline sizing.

A commercial process simulation software package (Design II for Windows) is used as a teaching & learning tool.  We prefer Design II due to its strength in interoperability with Microsoft Word.   This computer-approach gives the students the experience of practical process systems design and analysis, besides being challenging and fun.  For this reason the classes will be conducted in the computer laboratory where each student will have access to a networked PC.

The students will develop computer-generated pressure-temperature phase diagrams as a means of gaining insight into the thermodynamics of alternative gas processing schemes.   Quality specifications for sales gas, LPG and stabilised crude oil will be examined in order understand the need for gas/liquid separation, gas hydrocarbon dew point control, condensate handling and dewatering, gas dehydration, acid gas removal, NGL  extraction and fractionation, and crude oil stabilisation.

Quality specifications for sales gas, LPG and stabilised crude oil will be examined in order understand the need for the following processing steps.

  • Gas/liquid separation
  • Gas hydrocarbon dew point control
  • Condensate handling and dewatering
  • Gas dehydration
  • Acid gas (CO2 and H2S) removal
  • NGL extraction and fractionation
  • Crude oil stabilisation


Design II® for Windows

DESIGN II for Windows® is a rigorous process simulation software package licensed from Winsim Inc., Houston, Texas.   Design II is equivalent in processing power to its main rivals, these being HYSYS®, Pro II®, and ChemCAD® (of course this will be debated at length by the respective salesmen).

Course objectives

Learning objective 1: to acquire a specified level of knowledge in the following areas.

  • General
  • World and Australian oil & gas reserves & production (level 1)
  • Classification of oil & gas processing systems (level 1)
  • TechnologyGas/liquid separation (level 2)
  • Gas HC dewpoint control (level 1)
  • Gas dehydration (level 1)
  • Gas CO2 removal (level 1)
  • Gas (NGL) liquids recovery (level 1)
  • Liquids fractionation (level 1)
  • Crude oil stabilisation (level 1)

Learning objective 2: to acquire specific skills in the following areas:

  • Preliminary Design Process simulation using Design II (level 2)
  • Process flow diagram development (level 2)
  • Report writing (level 2)
  • Verbal presentation (level 2)
  • Problem solving (level 3)

Definition of skill levels

  • Level 1: aware of theoretical principles and some real applications
  • Level 2: sufficient working knowledge or skill to satisfactorily carry out design tasks under supervision
  • Level 3: good working knowledge and skill, able to reliably carry out design tasks and to support self and others, with little supervision
  • Level 4:  mastery of knowledge and skills to a level sufficient to coach and mentor others
  • Level 5:  recognised expert contribution to the body of knowledge in the discipline

Design report

The design report is an example of “learning by doing”.  Each student shall prepare an individual design report for a separate section of a proposed offshore/onshore rich gas field development plan.  The design report will be assessed as an individual effort, yet it will be produced through teamwork.

Assessment shall be in accordance with the following criteria and weighting.

  • General presentation/appearance of report (5 marks)
  • Assessment of effort/application/attention to detail (10 marks)
  • General analytical content (as opposed to mere reporting or opinion) (10 marks)
  • Discussion/sticking to guidelines and staying on topic (10 marks)
  • Initiative in seeking information from companies/outside sources (5 marks)
  • Design II/process understanding/application of process skills (15 marks)
  • Clarity of conclusions (15 marks)
  • Effectiveness of summary (10 marks)
  • Adequate acknowledgement of sources/bibliography (10 marks)
  • Usefulness of recommendations for further work  (10 marks)
  • Total marks 100

Course reference materials

  • Our CD containing course reference material and supporting background articles.  When requested at various times during lectures, these can be previewed on the computer screens and referenced during tutorials
  • Winsim Design II® reference manuals
  • “Gas Conditioning and Processing” 8th Edition (2004), published by John M Campbell & Company. Volume 1: The Basic Principles, and Volume 2: The Equipment Modules.
  • Gas Processors Suppliers Association (GPSA) Engineering Data Book and CD

Course composite marks

The final mark for the course shall be determined as follows.

  • Homework 15%
  • Mid term test 15%
  • Design report progress presentation 10%
  • Final examination: 30%
  • Design Report: 30%

View video of course presentation material