Subject matter expert on Multiphase Flow, Multiphase Flow Conditioning, Gas/Liquid and Liquid/Liquid separation and Compact separation (14+ years in Chevron). Experience in Flow Assurance from design to operations support. Multiphase Flow and Droplet size prediction expertise for Separation and Flow Assurance applications. Research & Development (R&D) program manager delivering results and accelerated technology deployments. Enthusiastic while mentoring on different topics including Multiphase Flow and Gas-Liquid Cylindrical Cyclone (GLCC) separator to engineers, interns and university students. Experience in GLCC separator from design to operation support. Growth interest in Computational fluid dynamics and Multiphase Flow Metering (which ties with well testing and multiphase flow expertise). Dr. Avila holds multiple patents and has authored and co-authored over 25 publications. In 2021, Dr. Avila created “Avila Multiphase Flow Consulting, LLC” to provide Training and Technical services in the Multiphase Flow Conditioning area for the Oil & Gas Industry.
AVILA MULTIPHASE FLOW CONSULTING, LLC. Katy, TX. (2021-present).
• Consultant and owner at “Avila Multiphase Flow Consulting, LLC”
Created an LLC to provide Training and Technical services in the Multiphase Flow Conditioning area for the Oil & Gas Industry (https://www.avilamultiphaseflowconsulting.com/). Services include:
Assessments on Multiphase Flow and Separation, Separators inlet piping review and recommendations, Flow Pattern prediction, Flow Characterization for Gas / Liquid and Liquid / Liquid applications
Training on: Multiphase Flow, Multiphase Flow Conditioning, Flow Assurance, Droplet/bubble size predictions, Compact/Cyclonic Separation, Oil/Water separation characterization
Specialized software development (Development of screening tools for Multiphase Flow issues)
CHEVRON ENERGY TECHNOLOGY COMPANY. Houston, TX. (2006-2020).
• Lead Engineer for Separation and Water Management team
Provide support on Multiphase Flow and Separation to improve the efficiency of Production Systems. Gas-Liquid Cylindrical Cyclone (GLCC) sizing expert (GLCC separator know-how is limited within the industry and vendors designs need to be checked in-house). Conduct research on Multiphase Flow and provide technical support for production operations and development within Chevron. Activities include:
Managed Chevron’s Multiphase Flow Conditioning (study of Multiphase Flow in short distance pipes to enhance separator inlet design and separator performance) strategic research program (2012-2020). Provided technical oversight and coordinated a team of contributors from multiple teams and disciplines. Impact of work ranges from operational improvement, cost saving solutions and technology development with fast deployment (managed an annual budget in the order of $1MM for internal/external activities)
Technical Skills and Activities:
Conducted research on Multiphase Flow and provide technical support for production operations and development within Chevron.
Expertise in multiphase flow, multiphase flow conditioning, multiphase flow splitting, gas/liquid and oil/water flow pattern map predictions.
o Example: Developed methodology to analyze oil-water entrainment in pipes and improved oil-water flow pattern map tools for a major onshore field. Study helped to save approx. $500MM in production equipment.
Skilled in Multiphase Flow software (OLGA, PipeSim, PipePhase), Matlab, and Separation design (MySep) programs. Experience applying models from Transient analysis, Slugging, Hydraulic debottlenecking (wells/separator/flowlines integrated model), Subsea separation developments (subsea flowline/subsea processing/topsides troubleshooting), and others.
o Flow Assurance Hydraulic debottlenecking study example: proved value of Single-phase vs Multiphase Flow approach to increase production in the order of 3,000 bopd
Field trial of Slug control strategy at offshore platform: tested control strategy developed by Cranfield University at offshore platform by connecting a computer to the platform DCS system to drive its boarding valve to reduce slugging.
Developed evaluation methodology to review inlet piping design to mitigate potential Flow Induced Vibration problems due to slugs
Delivered innovative solutions for Slug Management and Separation
Gas-Liquid Cylindrical Cyclone (GLCC) sizing expert for multiple projects in Chevron. Support during construction and commissioning. Witnessed start-up and tests in the field. Applications: well testing (onshore & offshore), hydraulic debottlenecking. Examples:
o Design of well testing separation units for West Texas and Gulf of Mexico fields
o Design of a compact separation solution to solve water debottlenecking issue in water tanks for a field in northwestern Colorado
Review of cyclonic devices proposals from vendors and separation performance review based on mechanistic models
Conducted and directed experiments at a Chevron experimental facility proposing different technologies to improve GLCC separators performance including vortex breakers, liquid outlet and inlet geometry modifications
Developed new guidelines for velocities required for water to be fully dispersed in oil to reduce corrosion effects.
Demonstrated capability developing new multiphase flow prediction tools – Example: prediction Oil/Water flow regimes in vertical flow to support corrosion assessment in wells
Multiphase flow splitting assessment for a Major Subsea development project (verify maldistribution of hydrate and corrosion inhibitors in two parallel gas lines)
Delivered options to mitigate multiphase flow splitting concerns into slug catchers
Expertise in Droplet size prediction - Examples:
o Droplet size predictions in pipes and valves and droplet coalescence maps to support a gas/liquid separator troubleshooting
o Influenced a project team to use droplet size predictions while planning oil/water lab experiments to ensure tests were representative of field conditions
TUSTP (Tulsa University Separation Technology Projects). Tulsa, OK. (2001- 2006).
• Research Assistant.
Conducted multiple experimental campaigns in a multiphase flow loop on separation and multiphase flow. Implemented instrumentation installation and modified data acquisition system (LabView) to fit different requirements.
Developed modeling tools to predict multiphase flow and separation design and performance.
Built a working relationship with multiple Oil & Gas engineers from graduate school
Awards and Certifications
• U.S. Patent No. 10,544,630. Systems and Methods for Slug Mitigation. Jan 28, 2020;
• U.S. Patent No 8,574,350. Water Separation Systems and Methods. Nov 5, 2013;
• SPE Outstanding Technical Editor. 2012
Technical services and Training on Multiphase Flow, Multiphase Flow Conditioning, Flow Assurance, Compact/Cyclonic Separation, Oil/Water separation characterization.
Assessments on Multiphase Flow and Separation, Separators inlet piping review and recommendations, Flow Characterization for Gas / Liquid and Liquid / Liquid applications.
Specialized software development (Development of screening tools for Multiphase Flow issues).
• Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering. (December, 2006). University of Tulsa. Tulsa, OK.
• M.Sc. in Petroleum Engineering. (May, 2003). University of Tulsa. Tulsa, OK.
• Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. (Nov., 1999). Universidad de Los Andes. Mérida, Venezuela.