ITS students design environmentally friendly oil exploration platform

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ARINEE team during the Award event in the Oil Rig Design Competition in Malaysia. (photo: ITS Public Relations)

IO, Surabaya – Oil and gas exploration has continued to develop over the years, whether it be on land or sea. However, as exploration techniques have progressed the problems faced by the oil and gas exploration have also become more complex.

As a result, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) students have designed a drilling platform which helps make oil and gas exploration more efficient and environmentally-friendly. The team of students, consisting of Frankie Samuel, Rafly Rama, Ferrel Siahaan, and Novita Jayanti, created a drilling platform they called ARINEE which was designed for offshore oil rig exploration.

The idea came after studying the challenges faced in designing a drilling platform for oil exploration in a new facility in Gumusut-Kakap, Malaysia. The main challenge in the study case was an overabundance of carbon dioxide and the depth of the reservoir, which could potentially cause rusting. “High levels of carbon dioxide may cause accelerated rusting on equipment used for underwater oil extraction,” said Frankie, the team leader.

Frankie explained that there were five main systems on the platform, consisting of the power system, lifting system, turning system, circulation system and the uncontrolled burst prevention system. “This platform functions to identify whether the reservoir selected can be extracted economically or not,” he said.

For the power system, continued Frankie, the platform uses an environmentally-friendly natural gas engine which exploits the natural gas surrounding the reservoir. Besides being economical, the power system also decreases the level of carbon dioxide around the engine which can cause rusting. “This platform can reduce the level of carbon dioxide emissions by 159,127 pounds per day,” said the Department of Marine Engineering student.

Team member Ferrel Siahaan explained that the platform was equipped with coiled tubing drilling (CTD) for its lifting and turning system. CTD has been proven to be both time and cost-effective while also being more easily operated. “The use of CTD is one of the advantages of our platform as there are not many offshore platforms which use this technology,” said Ferrel.

In the drilling system, he continued, the fluid used is mud, which helps control the pressure and temperature of the platform when drilling. “In order to support the drilling, this platform uses mud which is then circulated as a temperature and pressure control,” said the Jakarta-born student.

Other than that, according to Ferrel, their platform is equipped with a blowout preventer (BOP) system, used to prevent accidents resulting from high fluid pressures. “This system will automatically close or cut the pipe if there is a sudden burst, lessening the chance of accidents,” he added.

The platform, which is also equipped with a dynamic positioning system won 1st Runner-up in the International Oil Rig Design Competition held by Universiti Teknologi Mara, Malaysia in November 2018. Frankie claimed that their design was in line with standards determined by the Malaysian government. “If all of the innovations we have put forward were implemented, they could save US$ 8.82 million,” said Frankie. (ITS Public Relations)