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TECHNOLOGY FOR DEVELOPING MARGINAL OFFSHORE OILFIELDS
TECHNOLOGY FOR DEVELOPING MARGINAL OFFSHORE OILFIELDS
D.A.FEE Commission of the European Communities, Brussels, Belgium and J.O’DEA Institute for Industrial Research and Standards, Dublin, Eire
ELSEVIER APPLIED SCIENCE PUBLISHERS LONDON and NEW YORK
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This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005. “ To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to http://www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk/.” Sole Distributor in the USA and Canada ELSEVIER SCIENCE PUBLISHING CO., INC. 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017, USA WITH 42 TABLES AND 94 ILLUSTRATIONS © ELSEVIER APPLIED SCIENCE PUBLISHERS LTD 1986 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Fee, D.A. Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields. 1. Drilling platforms—Design and construction 2. Offshore structure—Design and construction I. Title II. O’Dea, J. 627′.98 TN871.3 Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Fee, D.A. Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields. Bibliography: p. Includes index. 1. Oil well drilling, Submarine. 2. Petroleum in submerged lands. I. O’Dea, J. II. Title. TN871.3.F44 1986 622′.3382 86–439 ISBN 0-203-97390-9 Master e-book ISBN
ISBN 0-85334-435-3 (Print Edition) The selection and presentation of material and the opinions expressed in this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors concerned. Special regulations for readers in the USA This publication has been registered with the Copyright Clearance Center Inc. (CCC), Salem, Massachusetts. Information can be obtained from the CCC about conditions under which photocopies of parts of this publication may be made in the USA. All other copyright questions, including photocopying outside of the USA, should be referred to the publisher. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Photoset in Malta by Interprint Ltd.
To our respective wives. Áine and Marita .
etc. We have sought the views of oil companies. queries answered.R. the Petroleum Affairs Division. However. we wish to emphasise that the opinions expressed herein are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Petroleum Affairs Division of the Department of Energy nor the Institute for Industrial Research and Standards. literature searches undertaken. with the possible exception of studies costing several thousands of dollars or confidential oil company inhouse reports.Preface The idea for this review of the technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields arose out of a report which we were commissioned to undertake for the Irish Department of Energy in October 1984. While compiling the report we discovered that. It is not possible to cover detailed design aspects of the various systems described here in a book of this size. and retyped. University College Dublin. contractors and researchers. the document and Heather Gibson. but certainly not least. Irish National Petroleum Corporation.B. We have obtained invaluable assistance from innumerable individuals and firms. while all the literature and industry spokesmen agreed on the importance of marginal field technology. We would especially like to express our appreciation to a number of individuals who reviewed and edited the draft versions of this book: —A. what new developments were likely in the next decade and the approximate cost of developing various sizes of reservoir using these systems. However. offshore consultants.(Fergus) Cahill. —F. Exploration & Production Manager. —Dr Pat Shannon. what systems were currently available. we wish to thank Anna Kennedy. design engineers. Department of Energy and the Institute for Industrial Research and Standards. We also thank our respective organisations. who patiently typed. far too many to list here. DEREK FEE JOHN O’DEA . who provided advice on technology and cost parameters. who executed the line drawings. This review aims to cover this very broad topic in a way which is intelligible to a general technical reader. we would like to express our appreciation for all the time and assistance given. Last.(Bert) Schultz. References and a bibliography covering the topics discussed in each chapter are provided for those interested in pursuing the various subjects in more detail. The Department were looking for information on the different options for developing small oil accumulations in the exposed Irish offshore area. Department of Petroleum Geology. there was no publication which addressed the topic in any comprehensive fashion. Vice-President of Intec Engineering Inc. articles provided. Dublin for their interest in this area and their permission to incorporate certain material from their report.
Contents Preface Chapter 1 The Challenge of Marginal Fields Chapter 2 Elements of a Marginal Field Development Scheme Chapter 3 Existing Marginal Field Technology Chapter 4 Current and Future Marginal Field Development Concepts Chapter 5 Construction and Operating History of North Sea Floating Production Systems Chapter 6 Marginal Field Economics and Costs Bibliography Appendix Conversion Factors 1: Appendix Glossary of Terms 2: Index vii 1 23 86 149 189 209 223 229 230 235 .
while at higher rates the project could be expected to proceed.Chapter 1 The Challenge of Marginal Fields Nearly half of the world’s proven reserves of oil lie offshore and it is estimated that over two-thirds of all future oil discoveries will also be located offshore. While there is no general rule constituting what is an acceptable return. The purpose of this book is to provide a fairly comprehensive look at the technology for developing these offshore oilfields which are now considered marginal but which must be developed in order to ensure the western world’s continued production of petroleum. Classification of a discovery as ‘commercial’. and is not necessarily indicative of the size of the field. it appears that most companies regard a 7% to 15% real rate of return as being ‘marginal’. The layout of this book and the order in which the topics are discussed are as follows: Remainder of this chapter. offshore exploration and oil production has now been underway in the harsh northern latitudes for more than a decade. It is quite natural that they should develop their more commercial discoveries first. . If the projected return is less than this level the development is usually postponed. During that period a considerable number of marginal fields have been discovered. However. We consider what is a marginal field. A useful definition of the three terms would be: Commercial — The prospect yields an economically attractive rate of return to the oil company when conventional technology is applied to its exploitation. Indeed many fields which were quite uncommercial when they were found are now considered marginal as a result of the dramatic oil price increases since 1973 and recent technological advances. ‘uncommerciar’ or ‘marginal’ depends on a combination of many factors. technical and/or financial options. But in any oil exploration area it is the larger fields which tend to be found first and even when small discoveries are made the oil tends to be left in the ground as the oil companies rush to develop the larger and more commercial fields. look at some figures for fields yet to be developed and attempt to put the subject in brief historical perspective. Oil companies share a characteristic which is common to most economic entities— they are not charities. economic. technical and political. Marginal — The prospect may be capable of yielding an economic return to the oil company but only by using some innovative. Uncommercial — The prospect is unlikely to yield an economic return to the oil company under any foreseeable technical or fiscal scenarios.
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 2 Chapter 2. Some of these are available ‘off the shelf’ now. in ever deeper water. An offshore field is considered marginal if it cannot be developed at a reasonable profit using tried and tested. They tend to include elements which have been proven in other locations or in different combinations. four years. Thus they involve major capital outlays for an extended period before any cash flow is generated. . The actual design of any offshore production system is defined by the characteristics of the particular reservoir and the specific site. The fixed platform solution works well for prolific offshore fields. Chapter 6. while some are more futuristic. Chapter 5. A complete listing of these fields and details of the developments are provided. the fixed steel or concrete platform has a number of major drawbacks: —They require an extended construction period. or conventional technology. Even though some of these fields were never in the marginal category. The parameters and constraints of the different concepts are tabulated to facilitate comparison between them. 1. the ‘marginal’ field as generally understood is primarily an economic concept rather than a technical one. Considerable work has been done on systems which have yet to be installed while many of the concepts which have been proposed will never be used. typically. Chapter 4. The time between the decision to develop and first oil production is. Indeed several of the elements are incorporated in fields which have been operating in various areas for many years. Unit costs are presented for the various elements of a development to enable the reader to estimate the cost of a particular development scheme. We look at the various elements that could be incorporated into an offshore development. The conventional technology for developing offshore oilfields in harsh environments is typically that of the steel template jacket supporting a combined drilling and production facility. Each component of the system has advantages and limitations. Many of the ideas proposed for developing marginal fields are not new. We review the various development concepts which are being proposed for marginal offshore developments. However.1 WHAT IS A MARGINAL FIELD? As noted above. they incorporate the reduced investment and accelerated production aspects usually associated with marginal field economics. No review would be complete without some consideration of the construction and operating costs associated with the various elements and systems described in the earlier chapters. even at project inception. when considering methods to develop smaller and smaller fields. Chapter 3. It is one thing knowing that a system is in place—but does it work? Has it performed as well as expected? This chapter looks at two existing developments.
i. but first let us consider how many of the offshore developments of the next two decades will be of the marginal field type. current and wind.The challenge of marginal fields 3 —They are extremely capital intensive because of their massive size. The cushion of steeply rising oil prices is most unlikely to offset TABLE 1. However. of the structure to any appreciable extent. —Suitability for short-term use—thus promoting mobility and reuse of the system on other fields. —Amenable to innovative financing.1 Likely Number of Future Offshore Developments in UK Continental Shelf Size of field (millions of bbls) Under 50 50–100 100–150 200–500 500–1000 Over 1000 Source: Offshore Business. —They are site specific—when a field is depleted a fixed structure becomes a major liability. Hoare Govett. The alternative approach to the use of fixed platforms is to consider the use of what we call ‘Marginal field technology’. The discovery of many further fields of the size of Brent or Forties is considered unlikely. decreasing the topside loads. 1983. will not decrease the size. Again. this is not a problem if the field is in production for the 15 or 20 years typical of large offshore developments. easier to find deposits. Number of future developments 50 20 10 5 1 — . technology which aims to have the following characteristics: —Low capital cost—this generally involves a trade-off with higher operating costs and decreased reliability. The different marginal field technology options are discussed in the following chapters. This is because up to 80% of the mass of the structure is acting to resist the environmental forces of waves. So far most of the development in the North Sea has been concentrated on the larger. Unfortunately. —Rapid development period—thus reducing the time from start of expenditure to first oil. and hence cost. the non-revisability of a fixed platform which cannot be redeployed has to be amortised over the brief life of the field. Vol. I. when one considers a marginal field which may only produce for three to seven years.e. for smaller fields.
Recoverable reserves 60–100 mn barrels Oil discovery. Recoverable reserves 80–120 mn barrels. declared commercial under new tax regime. Hope to get annex B approval for a subsea development tied back to Claymore in late 1985. Talk of single steel platform tied back to Ninian. hindered by lack of pipeline in area. Recoverable reserves 40–50 mn barrels Oil discovered ’75. unlikely before late ’80 s. Possible single steel platform. 2/15 & 3/11b Lyell 3/2 Columba 3/7 & 3/8 Operator Union Chevron/ Sovereign Conoco Notes Oil discovery separate from main Heather structure. Feasibility study by John Brown—possible floater Occidental ’74 oil discovery. May contain around 15 mn barrels recoverable Oil discovered ’74. but no decision expected until results of extended production test planned for 1985 are known. Further appraisal expected Engineering studies undertaken by John Brown Offshore and McDermott.4 Tcf of gas Feasibility study by John Brown Offshore is said to be concentrating on a floating production facility. Recoverable reserves 30 mn barrels Monsanto Oil discovery to south of Tartan. Requires further appraisal Chevron/ BP Marginal oil discovery south of Ninian.European Offshore Discoveries and Development Prospect UK: Fields with development possibilities Name/block number(s) West Heather 2/5 Emerald 2/10a. Development. Subsea development planned Bressay 3/28a & Chevron/ 3/27 Lasmo Bruce 9/8a & 9/9b Southwest Beryl 9/12a & 9/13 Crawford 9/28a & 9/29a Scapa 14/19 Hamilton/ BP Mobil Hamilton Occidental —14/20 Texaco Name/block number(s) South Piper 15/17 Ivanhoe and Rob Roy 15/21a Galley 15/23 Operator Notes Occidental Possible subsea development tied back to Piper which is now in decline. Recoverable reserves 50–70 mn barrels . Recoverable reserves 35 mn barrels Small oil field close to Tartan. Estimated 100–150 mn barrels of condensate plus 2. Feasibility study underway Gas/condensate field plus small oil reservoir.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 4 TABLE 1.2 Some W. Complex geology and further appraisal drilling required. Recoverable reserves 100 mn barrels Heavy oil discovery. Plans for an extended production test and for possible floating production facility.
but requires further appraisal. Gannet South. Conceptual design by Bechtel Department of Energy has ruled that this is an extension of Montrose. recoverable reserves estimated at 34 bn m3. but could contain 100–200 mn barrels. Any development will probably involve a simple platform installed over template already installed for appraisal drilling Gas condensate field. Further steel platform on sixth structure. Steel platform similar to North Brae likely for 16/3 if reserves are proved Oil and gas discovery. Amoco’s 30/12b find is close by. 10–30 mn barrels recoverable. feeding gas to Fulmar and oil via a pipeline to shore. May extend into 16/12a Two small discoveries close to Balmoral currently under development. Recent appraisal wells have been disappointing. possible. East & West Marathon Brae 16/3 & 16/7a Miller 16/8b ‘T’block 16/17 Conoco Phillips Several structures undergoing appraisal. 42/30. Development decision expected soon Four gas accumulations.5 mn m3/d Small gas find with reserves of around 8 bn m3. Approximately 110 mn barrels recoverable. 80–100 mn barrels of oil recoverable. likely to be developed through Balmoral facilities Marginal 80–90 mn barrel oil and gas prospect. Plans call for four steel platforms plus possible umc on Gannet North. Nine slot template awaiting installation for early production pending development study Drake 22/5b Arbroath 22/17 & 22/18 Superior Amoco Lomond 23/21 & 23/22 Joanne 30/7a Amoco Phillips Cleeton. Plans call for eight to ten platforms (three process and the remainder wellhead). Thelma and Southeast Thelma. Might extend into BP block 16/7b Comprises Tiffany. Interest in this field has been revived with building of Fulmar gas line. 48/6 & 48/7 Amethyst 47/14a Britoil . Possibly on stream by 1989 building up to a peak production of 11.The challenge of marginal fields 5 Central. Annex B application for single steel platform could be forthcoming ’85 Regarded as high priority by operator. BP Ravenspurn Hoton 42/29. Tiffany likely to be developed first from single steel platform. Toni. Annex B expected 1986 Oil and gas/condensate field. Hyde. Talk of single steel platform or floater depending on final reserves estimate (currently 50–75 mn barrels) into 20/3 Estimated recoverable reserves 60 mn barrels Glamis & Sterling 16/21 Andrew 16/27 & 16/28 Ettrick 20/2 Sun Oil BP Britoil Glenn 21/2 Zapex Name/block number(s) Gannet & Kittiwake 21/25 & 21/30 Operator Shell Notes Five separate structures containing an estimated 220 mn bbls oil and 17 mn m3 gas. Oil and gas discovery still under appraisal.
name. name. date discovered. Gas. Alwyn Gas. Design contracts to JBOs and Matthew Hall Oil discovery. Gas already sold to BGC. 1975—SWOPS candidate? Oil. Reserves put at 212 bn m3 1984 discovery close to Thames field. 1977 Oil and gas. 1979 Oil and condensates. recoverable reserves around 28 bn m3. Vulcan and Vanguard. On stream by ’87? Comprises North and South Valient. 1975—close to Brent reservoir Oil and condensates. datediscovered. etc.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 6 Sole Pit 48/13 & 48/14 —48/21a Shell Lasmo Several tight gas accumulations. etc. 1973. Estimated 75 mn barrels recoverable. 1977 Oil. Design contract to Brown & Root. 1976 Condensates. Could contain 28 bn m3 of recoverable gas Gas and condensates discovery in 15 m of water. Still under appraisal Possible subsea development from simplified umc producing to Dunlin—start up 1987. Conventional steel platform likely. Unitization talks underway with Mobil (49/29) Likely to follow Tern development. 1981—30–50 mn barrels recoverable Oil. 1984—Bruce extension? Oil. 1984 Occidental Oil. Development studies underway Name/block number(s) Audrey 49/11a Operator Phillips Notes Gas field. 1983 Block number Operator 12/27 13/29 14/18 15/13a 15/22 Burmah Ultramar BP Amoco Notes: hydrocarbons. Annex B for single platform development expected later this year. 1983—may be developed to provide power for Beatrice nearby Oil. 1978—later wells dry . Oil. Possible two stage development requiring up to nine platforms. extends in to 211/13. Recoverable reserves 35 mn barrels ‘V’ block 49/16 & 49/21 Welland 49/29 & 53/4 Eider 211/16 Conoco Arco Shell Don 211/18 North West Dunlin 211/3 Britoil Shell UK: Other discoveries and prospects Block number 3/4 3/14a 3/25 3/29 9/9a 9/18a 9/19 9/24b Operator Texaco Total Total BP Total Conoco Conoco BP Notes: hydrocarbons.
1972 Oil. 1976 Gas and condensates. 1975. 1984 Oil and gas condensates. Renee Gas condensate. 1971 Oil. 81 Oil. 1984 Oil. etc. 1984—close to Montrose Block number 30/13 30/17b 31/26 41/24a Operator Phillips Britoil Amerada Total Notes: hydrocarbons. 1977 Gas condensates. 1984—Tiffany extension? Occidental Gas condensate. name. 1985 Oil. Bosun Oil. 1984 Condensates. 1983 Oil.The challenge of marginal fields 7 15/26a 15/27 15/30 16/7b 16/8a 16/12a 16/13a 16/18 16/22 16/26 16/29 21/15a 21/19 21/24 21/29a 21/29b 22/2 22/5a 22/19 22/24a 23/26a 23/27 29/2a 29/5a. 1975. 1984 Oil. 1983—Acorn Gas condensate. date discovered. 1980 Gas and condensates. 1983 Oil. 1984 Gas and condensates. 1984 Occidental Oil. 1976 Oil. 1983 Gas. 1981 Oil. 1981 Oil. 1978—close to Gannet Oil. 1977 Oil. 29/10 29/8b 30/2 30/6 BP Phillips Conoco BP Shell Britoil Mobil Total Gulf Phillips Britoil Shell Texaco Texaco Britoil Burmah Amoco BP BP Ranger Conoco Arco Premier Britoil Shell Oil. 1984 Gas and condensates. SWOPS candidate? Oil. 1969 . 1979—Clyde satellites Oil. Mable Oil. Oil. 1976.
1969 Gas. 1975 Gas. 1966. 1971 Gas. 1984—West Sole extension Gas. 1984 Gas and condensates. 1984—tight reservoir Gas. 1968 Gas. 1985 Gas. 1977 Block number 211/22a 211/26 Operator Shell Notes: hydrocarbons. 1983 Gas. Oil. date discovered. Ann Gas. 1982—near to Morecambe Bay field Oil—460 m of water Oil. Wendy Condensate. etc.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 8 41/25a 42/1 5b 43/26 44/21 44/22 44/23 47/9b 47/13 47/15 48/6 48/11a 48/11b 48/12a 48/15a 48/18b 48/22 49/4 49/5 49/6 49/16 49/25a 53/4 98/11 113/26 205/10 206/8 210/15 211/13 211/19 Total Zapex Hamilton BP Conoco Texas BGC Conoco Amoco BP Arco Conoco Gulf Conoco Ranger Britoil BP Ultramar Phillips Conoco Shell Arco BGC HGB Britoil BP Phillips Shell Conoco Gas. 1984 Gas. 1967. 1983 Gas. Clair—heavy oil Oil. 1984 Gas. 1975 Tricentrol Oil. 1983 Gas Gas. 1984 Gas. name. 1974 Oil. 1985—close to Sole Pit Oil. 1985 Gas. Scram Gas. 1984 Gas. 1977. 1984—offshore Wytch Farm Gas. 1966 Gas. 1973 Gas. 1984 .
Single wellhead platform planned. Also separate 70 mn barrel oil prospect close by Gas sales agreement with BGC vetoed by UK Government. 30/3 Veselfrikk 30/3 Balder 25/10 & 25/11 Hild 29/9 & 30/7 —30/11 Brage 31/4 Troll 31/2. Combined recoverable reserves are put at 9 mn m3 —2/1 —2/2 Gudrun 15/3 BP Saga Elf Sleipner 15/6 & Statoil 15/9 Gamma 15/9 Bream & Brisling 17/12a Southeast & East Frigg 25/2 Statoil Phillips Elf Name/ block Operator number Huldra 30/2. Undergoing appraisal Oil find also close to Ekofisk 34 bn m3 gas prospect close to Sleipner and Brae in the UK sector. 1976. Development will probably be through two ‘Skuld’ subsea templates remotely controlled from the main Frigg platform. Reserves put at 51 bn m3 recoverable Oil and gas discovery close to Frigg Oil discovery close to Oseberg. Recoverable Statoil & Norsk reserves estimated at 1 2 trillion m3 of gas Development options .The challenge of marginal fields 9 211/27 214/30 Amoco BGC Oil. Could be revived in future. 24 bn m3 gas plus 37 mn barrels oil recoverable Oil and gas discovery close to Ekofisk. Development plans call for two platforms to deplete the estimated 180 bn m3 gas at a peak of 26 mn m3/day by ’97 Gas find close to Sleipner. Saga Largest oil or gas field yet discovered in North Sea. Southwest Hutton Gas 1984—557 m of water Norway: Future fields and prospects Name/ block number Flyndre 1/5a Operator Phillips Oil discovered 1973 Notes Tommeliten 1/9 Statoil Development delayed by haggling over fee for processing oil and gas on Ekofisk. 31/3 31/5 & Statoil Norsk Hydro Esso 40–50 bn m3 gas recoverable Notes 250 mn barrel Oseberg satellite Development licence granted but deferred after poor drilling results. Recoverable reserves estimated at 200 mn barrels plus 6 bn m3 gas Norsk Hydro Shell Norsk Hydro Shell. 55 bn m3 gas recoverable Oil discovery still under appraisal Declared commercial July ’84. Recoverable reserves 220 mn barrels Condensate discovery.
but faced with the same disposal problems as Askeladden Shallow gas discovery Gas discovery with thin oil column.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 10 31/6 Munin & Hugin 33/9 Hydro Mobil for this deepwater field are still being considered. status Oil. but at present is only commercially viable if sold as Ing. Feasibility study in hand Recoverable reserves estimated at 57 bn m3. Recoverable reserves 250 mn barrels oil and 5 bn m3 gas Large oil discovery still undergoing appraisal—recoverable reserves estimated at 725 mn barrels. Onstream 1993? Oil discovery close to coast. but firm plans are unlikely before ’86. 21 bn m3 of condensates and 876 mn barrels of oil Snorre 34/4 & Saga 34/7 Agat 35/3 Tyrihans 6407/1 Midgard 6407/2 & 6507/11 Saga Statoil Saga Name/ block number Smoerbukk 6506/12 —6507/7 —7119/12 —7120/7 Askeladden 7120/8 Albatross 7120/9 Alke 7120/12 Snow White 7121/4 Operator Substantial light oil discovery Gas/condensate find 1985 oil discovery 1983 gas discovery 1982 gas discovery Notes Draugen 6407/9 Shell Statoil Conoco Statoil Statoil Statoil Statoil Norsk Hydro Statoil Recoverable reserves estimated at 170 bn m3. Reserves put at 130 bn m3 but geology is complex Netherlands: Future fields and prospects Block number B18 E13 F18 K4 K6 K9 Operator NAM Pennzoil BP BP Petroland Placid Gas Oil Gas Gas Notes: hydrocarbons. plans for single platform . production application submitted Gas. but in deepwater Oil discovery on Halten Bank Halten Bank discovery with recoverable reserves put at 104 bn m3 of gas. Gas sales talks begun Statfjord satellites likely to be developed using a subsea system tied back to the main platforms or Murchison.
status . Adda. one platform planned Oil. water depth 16 m Denmark: Future fields and prospects There are a number of fields currently undergoing appraisal all operated by DUC. Nils. Igor Bo. production application submitted Gas Block number L11b L12a L13 L15 L2 & F17a L14 L16a P1 P2a P2b P8a P9 Q8 Operator Union NAM NAM NAM NAM Placid Conoco NAM BP Mobil Mobil Amoco BP Notes: hydrocarbons. under review Gas. status Gas. Anne Qwenn. Boje-1. production application submitted Gas. still under appraisal Oil. DM 100 mn pilot scheme under consideration by government. two concrete platforms being considered. 75 mn barrels recoverable Ireland: Future fields and prospects Block number 26/28 Porcupine Operator BP Oil Notes: hydrocarbons. status Gas. plans for unmanned wellhead controlled from shore. design work by Heerema and Global Engineering Gas. production application submitted Gas. production application submitted Gas. production application submitted Gas Gas. Lola. Gert. Elly. West Lulu. production application submitted. production application submitted Oil and gas Gas. plans for unmanned wellhead tied in to P6 Gas. Nord-Arne. Nora. production application submitted Oil Oil.The challenge of marginal fields 11 K10a K17 L8a Pennzoil NAM Pennzoil Gas. Arne Olaf. Elwerath Texaco Notes: hydrocarbons. Germany: Future fields and prospects Block number A6 Mittleplate Operator Gew. Liva and number of fields Jens. Otto-1. Lulu. They include: East Rosa.
This is clearly evidenced by the boost given to marginal field developments by recent favourable changes in the tax code. However. and availability of.2 OFFSHORE OIL TECHNOLOGY—A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE It is sometimes difficult to appreciate just how recent a phenomenon is the petroleum industry. 1985 Reproduced by permission of Offshore Engineer.2 shows some Western European Fields which are future prospects. The world’s first oil well was only drilled in 1859. from its initial beginnings on a timber platform standing in 18 ft of water off the coast of Louisiana to today’s awe-inspiring structures and space age technology. the oil price. Drilling and production of offshore oil began in the shallow waters of the US Gulf of Mexico in 1946 and production of offshore oil from deep exposed offshore fields commenced only a little more than a decade ago. or directly by reason of state participation agreements. according to the controller at Esso Exploration and Production a 25% reduction in the current cost of developing North Sea fields of 50 million barrels recoverable reserves is necessary in order to make them economic. is a fascinating story in itself. technology which is applicable to developing marginal fields in harsh offshore environments. interest rates etc. Table 1.Drake. The trend towards smaller developments in the future is clearly shown in the estimate in Table 1. According to a study by analysts Smith Rea/Hoare Govett. Most of these fields are in the marginal category. Any change in the fiscal environment can affect the economics of an offshore prospect much more rapidly and effectively than developments in technology. However. in Titusville. Thus the outlook is extremely promising for the development of increasing numbers of marginal offshore fields. appraisal continuing Gas. Pennsylvania by a certain Colonel E. The story of the development of the offshore industry.L. These changes will merely shift the margin to put even less attractive accumulations into the ‘marginal’ category. Similarly. Offshore petroleum activities can be usefully divided into: . this brief overview of the history of offshore oil is principally concerned with charting the offshore developments which have led to the current demand for.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 12 49/9 48/18 Gulf BP Oil. the higher costs of developing the smaller fields that remain. a drop in interest rates or increase in oil prices can dramatically improve marginal field economics. tax rates. either indirectly through the various combinations of taxes and royalties. with 75–80% of this expenditure in the UK sector. It must also be borne in mind that every offshore development involves the State as a partner. Finally. will not eliminate marginal offshore oilfields. A similar distribution of field sizes would be typical of other offshore regions. marginal field projects in the North Sea through 1990 are expected to cost $18 billion. capital costs. 1.1 of future developments in the UK continental shelf. it is worth remembering that changes in technology.
Continued development of these units has produced a current generation which can drill in harsh North Sea environments in water depths up to 100 m. Operators soon realised that drilling wells from a structure which could be moved from one location to the next would be much more efficient than installing a permanent structure for a well which could easily be a dry hole. in water depths of 1000 m. The two basic floating drilling vessels which have evolved are the ship shaped drilling unit and the semi-submersible.e. These submersible units were obviously very limited as to the depths of water in which they could operate. it was equipped with a jacking mechanism which enabled the barge.1 shows current and future active exploration areas. since jack-ups are founded on the sea bottom they are inherently limited in the water depths in which they can operate. vertical and lateral) must be compensated for to enable the drill bit to stay on the bottom of the hole with the proper weight and rotation. The mobile offshore drilling unit was the result. 400 km offshore and in areas of icebergs and icefloes. However. The ship shaped drilling unit: these are self-propelled and have the appearance of conventional sea-going ships with a drill rig on top. Figure 1. to be raised above the sea surface and so provide a stable drilling table. This consisted. essentially. Later the jack-up drilling unit was developed.The challenge of marginal fields 13 —Exploration drilling: discovering where the oilfield is and what the characteristics of the oil reservoir are. pitch and roll motions (i. The dry upper deck supported a drill rig arrangement almost identical to that used on land. The first offshore exploration well was drilled from a fixed wooden structure. of a bargeshaped structure with legs which could be lowered to the sea bed. exploration drilling has advanced rapidly. This was accomplished by developing vessels which had reduced motions in waves and by mechanisms to compensate for the vessel’s heave and so allow drilling to take place in open waters. Nevertheless. Let us consider the technology involved in each: Exploration Drilling Since that first offshore well in 1946. . Today drilling is conducted all around the world in all types of environment and in very deep waters. with drill rig and wellhead on top. 120 knot winds. the current generation of drill ships have difficulty in operating in rough seas. However. —Oil and gas production: recovering the petroleum from the reservoir and getting it to market. 6 knot currents. The advantage of these units relates to their deep water capability. when drilling from a vessel floating on the surface it is apparent that the heave. their capacity to transport huge supplies of drilling equipment and their comparatively low cost. Early jack-ups were confined to shallow water depths and the sheltered environments of the Gulf of Mexico and Venezuela. Wells have been drilled in areas which experience 35 m waves. By moving the wellhead to the sea floor and by drilling from a floating vessel operators realised that the depth limitations of the jackup could be overcome. This consisted initially of a barge which could be deballasted to rest on the sea floor and piled in position.
The rig is usually self-propelled and can be moored over the drilling position with the pontoons flooded so that the lower portion of the rig is partly submerged to a depth of 50–80 ft for improved stability. Roll. pitch and heave are greatly reduced and the natural period of a semi-submersible is normally about 20 seconds. 1.1. which is far above the everyday wave period experienced during drilling.3. A comparison of the typical motion characteristics of semi-submersibles and ship shaped units is shown in Fig. The deck is supported by flotation pontoons. 1. Over the years much has been done to optimise size. shape etc. Water depth records for offshore drilling operations since 1960 are illustrated in Fig.2. Jan. Shaded areas represent continental shelf to 200 m. shaded well drilling areas. Areas of major offshore activity.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 14 The semi-submersible: these are typically flat platform decks on which the drilling equipment is mounted. Reduced motions allow the operator to keep the operation going efficiently in severe wave conditions. The different kinds of offshore drilling unit are illustrated in Fig. The semi-submersible’s major advantage when compared to a ship shaped unit is in reduced motions when subjected to waves.4. FIG. Source: Offshore Magazine and Industry Reports. 1. 1. 1979–April 1980. to further enhance the inherent stability of the semi-submersible. The platform is supported clear of the sea. .
The different types of offshore drilling unit. As water FIG.2. 1. .The challenge of marginal fields 15 Oil and Gas Production When oil production moved offshore some kind of platform had to be provided to support the wellheads and the process systems that separated and disposed of the water and associated gas from the oil.
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 16 FIG. Comparison of typical motion characteristics of semisubmersible (SSM) and ship shaped units. 1.3. .
The cost of drilling in 100 or 300 m of water is not strongly dependent on water depth whereas for fixed platforms it is. A similar line can be drawn for exploration wells drilled with mobile drilling units. depths increased these structures became ever larger and it became increasingly expensive to fabricate a platform for each individual well. Plotting the water depths in which platforms have been installed on a log scale against the year that the offshore installation started the result obtained is that of a linear trend (see Fig.4.5). 1985. namely cost and lead time. 1.The challenge of marginal fields 17 FIG. Two factors cause the gap to widen. The lines are found to deviate. (Sea extensions of the Huntingdon Beach field in Southern California were tapped by directional wells drilled from beach locations as early as the 1920 s. 1. 1. Water depth records for offshore drilling operations 1960–Sept. The logical solution was to put all the wells on a single platform and to drill deviated wells.6). The explanation is that with floating drilling techniques the capacity to drill in deeper waters advanced faster than the capacity to install fixed offshore structures.) With modern techniques it is possible to reach deviations up to 60° so that the reservoir is drilled in the optimum way (see Fig. .
For the big structures in increasing water depths one faces an increasing lead time. 1.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 18 FIG. a short installation time since no piling is required. These gravity platforms are huge structures and are only suited to large field developments. 1. . From initial beginnings in the shallow Gulf of Mexico steel platforms have been developed to the stage where they now include the giant structures for the oilfields of the North Sea and deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and offshore California. and the possibility of installing most of the topside facilities at sheltered inshore locations. One of the most familiar types of fixed offshore platform is the piled steel structure.5. They offer the attraction of integrated oil storage. It has certainly been one of the most successful types.7 have been developed. mainly for the North Sea. Deviated drilling for fixed production platform. Concrete (and steel) gravity structures of the type shown in Fig.
Since then many more such systems have been developed and refined. 1. They are costly and difficult to fabricate and install and lead times become excessively long. 1983). water depth record. production: production wells. Deviation between exploration and production depth. The progress of fixed structures is shown graphically in Fig. These are the Guyed Tower (installed on the LENA field.8. . water depth record.6. One possible solution consisted of utilising the experience with drilling units—semi-submersibles and ship shapes—to arrive at a floating production solution. In view of the increasingly massive size of fixed structures as water depths increased it is not surprising that companies have looked for alternatives. The first floating production unit was installed in 1975 on the Argyll field in the North Sea.—— .—·—. It appears that the limits may soon be reached for these fixed structures. The various floating production systems will be examined closely in later chapters.The challenge of marginal fields 19 FIG. exploration: exploration wells. Accordingly various hybrid type structures have been proposed. Three such hybrid types have already been developed and installed. 1. Another school of thought believes that the solution lies somewhere between the completely fixed structure and the floating production unit.
. The third alternative is to eliminate the need for any topside facility and to transfer all operations to the sea bed. 1. Concrete gravity platform.9 for an illustration of water depth records for subsea production since 1960.Frigg field in 1983 and also used for various flare structures and offshore loading points). 1. These various hybrid options will also be examined later. 1. and rapid development of the depth capabilities of underwater completions. 1984) and the Articulated Column (installed on the N. Subsea wellheads were installed in the early 1960 s and since then there have been considerable developments in subsea technology. A plot of platform water depth records since 1960 for fixed and compliant structures is shown in Fig. the Tension Leg Platform (installed on the Hutton field.8.7.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 20 FIG.E. underwater control systems etc. See Fig.
With the development of compliant. The development of flexible flowlines and the various developments in riser . compliant structures. 1.The challenge of marginal fields 21 FIG. FIG. fixed structures. Water depth records for subsea completions. – – – –. In onshore oilfields the flowlines are simple flanged steel pipes.——. structures the connections between the wellheads and the production facilities—the flowlines—assume a new importance. or moving.8. Platform water depth records since 1960 for fixed and compliant structures. When the wellheads are now transferred to the sea bed the problems of underwater flowlines and the flowlines between the sea bed and the surface facilities (the flowline risers) assume major importance.9. 1.
While pipelines have low operating costs they can involve a large capital investment. The major milestones in the developments of offshore loading systems are discussed in Chapter 2. Pipelines have now been successful in over 500 m of water in the Mediterranean. Offshore loading systems have also developed over the years. Two methods are commonly used—pipelines to shore and offshore loading into tankers. they are now operating in some of the harshest offshore environments. The technology of offshore pipelines has kept pace with other offshore developments.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 22 design and technology had a major part to play in the history of offshore production. Once oil is produced there is still the problem of bringing it ashore. especially for remote offshore fields. Originally confined to sheltered coastal waters and estuaries. . the major milestones in their development are discussed in Chapter 2.
1. The development system may be broadly divided into the following items: —production support. Nilde. etc.Chapter 2 Elements of a Marginal Field Development Scheme In this chapter we shall examine the various components which.g. Handil) (5) articulated columns (North East Frigg) (6) tension leg platforms* (Hutton) (7) guyed towers* (Lena) *(6) and (7) may be applicable to deep water marginal finds. On site. and several truss or tubular telescopic legs. Dorado. Enchova. —riser.1 PRODUCTION SUPPORTS Production supports can be classified as follows: (1) jack-ups (e. Ekofisk.) (3) tankers (Castellon. It is normally towed to the location with the legs raised. Badejo. Cadlao. It must be emphasised at this point that the division made above is only to facilitate analysis of the various components and that production systems for individual fields are integrated performing an overall function rather than a series of separate operations. One prerequisite for the use of . somewhat like a barge. —crude oil storage. —export system. connected together. Tazerka. The jack-up consists of a deck section. go to make up a marginal field development system. the legs are lowered to the sea bed and the platform is then jacked up to safe level above the sea.) (4) barges (Bekapi. 2. Saltpond.) (2) semi-submersibles (Argyll. —subsea equipment. 2.1 Jack-ups Jack-ups are normally used in drilling operations but may be used as a production support where topside weight and water depth are not limitations. etc. etc.
—They have a low abandonment cost and can be returned to drilling. however.1). The normal water depth operational range of the jack-up is from the seashore to 75 m. The advantages of using a jack-up as a production support are as follows: —Jack-ups are leaseable and with a worldwide utilisation rate of 76% day rates are very competitive. Typical jack-up system.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 24 this type of support is the suitability of the sea bed soil conditions and the likely penetrations of the legs (Fig.1. —Wells and riser can be of conventional type. the Gorilla class. new jack-up designs could be used in the central North Sea. A jack-up has been used in only one North Sea development scheme. Ekofisk. The disadvantages of the jack-up are: —Limitations on topside weight and water depth operating range. However. . are able to operate in water depths of up to 110 m and sea states of up to 30 m wave heights. 2. Existing jack-ups could only operate as production supports in the southern North Sea. 2. —Limited to areas where soil conditions permit satisfactory support of the legs. where the Gulf Tide was used as a production support in an early production system for three years in a water depth of 70 m. FIG. the latest generation of jack-ups. —They have all the advantages of a fixed platform in shallow water—no moorings required.
The development system incorporates the following features: —the use of the Dan Duke as production support. —shuttle tanker off-loading.1. 2. There are many configurations of semi-submersible but they all consist of a vessel with a majority of its displacement some distance under water and with small crosssectional area members piercing the water surface. widely spaced subsea wellheads for production in 120–150 m of water. which was leased in Japan after a 600 ton production module was installed in 1982. The semi-submersible type of production support is a buoyant structure which is catenary (conventionally) moored to the sea bed. and can be returned to drilling. —CALRAM field storage tanker. —saturation diving for subsea wellhead hook-up from a dynamically positioned diving support vessel. The advantages of the semi-submersible are as follows: —The motions of the semi-submersible are small. suspended from the platform.e. export line to a Catenary Anchor Leg Rigid Arm Mooring (CALRAM). the Dan Duke. The development was carried out by Phillips Petroleum and utilised a converted jack-up drilling rig. —No storage capability. —There are many semi-submersibles available for conversion. —deepwater. diameter flowlines and one 12 in. . A detailed field development sketch can be found in Chapter 3. twelve 8 in. a 230000 dwt.8 m diameter riser caisson. In high sea states the riser is disconnected from the subsea system and recovered on the platform or ‘hung-off’. i. essentially a tethered buoy to which is pin connected the Phillips Enterprise. These moorings allow large heave motions in extreme environments and impose severe problems on the riser configuration often resulting in poor production efficiency. VLCC. The Dan Duke stands in 130 m of water and is designed to receive through a 1. —Low abandonment cost.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 25 —Fatigue problems could limit the utilisation to several years unless costly alterations are made to the structure.2 Semi-submersibles Until now this has been the most popular form of floating production support. The project was begun in 1980 with the conversion of the Dan Duke. —deepwater pipelines laid by the reel method from a dynamically positioned reel ship. —Mooring is normally of the conventional catenary type. —a special driven caisson riser housing. and therefore it can be used in severe environments. with 19 fields (see Chapter 3) having been developed using semi-submersibles. A typical example of a field development using a jack-up as a production support is the Espoir field offshore Ivory Coast. An estimated 300000 bbls of processed crude can be stored aboard the Phillips Enterprise. the addition of the production module was commenced in 1981 and was completed in early 1982.
flowlines and associated hydraulic control umbilicals connecting each satellite well to the template. —A production/export riser system consisting of one 12 in. Disadvantages associated with semi-submersibles as production supports are: —Operational water depth limited to 70–1000 m. —A 12 in. This development highlighted one of the problems associated with semi-submersiblebased production systems. Because of its complex geology. especially modified for bow loading and dedicated solely to offloading from the field. some caused through the accident with the Alexander Keilland. —Number of wells 4–40. and two satellite wells 1. led to more extensive rebuilding than anticipated. —A 15 m diameter CALM (catenary anchor leg mooring) buoy anchored by six 4 in. —Eight producing subsea wells. export riser surrounded by eight 4 in. —Requires long distance pipeline or SPM tanker loading system for produced crude. an eight-well 2. five drilled through a steel 9 slot template measuring 8×15 m. production risers. The Buchan Field was discovered in August 1974. —Limited storage.5 km to the west was completed in 1980. Changes in regulatory requirements. Oil is loaded through a 12 in. diameter hawser. Buchan was considered as a marginal field with estimated recoverable reserves of 58 million barrels. —Some difficulty with respect to conversion. Oil .Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 26 —Can easily accommodate conventional rigid or flexible risers. service lines. Drillmaster. One of the flowlines carries oil and associated gas and the second carries ‘lift gas’.5 km from the template. renamed Buchan Alpha. The whole bundle is supported from the platform by an adjustable tensioning system to prevent buckling. The PLEM is connected to the buoy by a flexible hose. The drilling of the template wells was completed in November 1978 and the CALM buoy was placed on site in July 1979. Tankers are moored to the CALM buoy by a 21 in. These changes led to increased cost and a delay of approximately one year. —A subsea manifold on the template linking the flowlines to the riser system. —Payload limited due to displacement and stability sensitivity. British Petroleum’s Buchan Field is the latest development in the North Sea incorporating a semi-submersible as a production support. Conversion work began on the Drillmaster in October 1978 and tow out began in September 1980. —Can provide simultaneous drilling and/or workover capability.e. submarine pipeline 1. The project took four years (1977–1981) from submission of the development plan to completion. difficulty with conversion. The development system chosen incorporates the following elements: —A floating oil production platform converted from the Pentagone design semisubmersible exploration rig.×400 m chains and associated anchors in 110 m of water. —Two 4 in. i. gas lift lines and two 4 in. floating hose. —Two 100000 ton tankers.7 km long from the manifold on the template to the pipeline end manifold (PLEM) under the CALM buoy. if any. in a deep reservoir 154 km east-north-east of Aberdeen. eight 2 in.
The Tazerka field development incorporates the latest in technology relating to tanker based production systems. This storage capacity is a major factor in the operation of this type of system as it increases production efficiency by providing buffer storage when the weather prohibits offloading by shuttle tanker. —Maximum number of wells is currently 8. —Ability to withstand 100yr storm conditions while continuing production. —Easily converted to a production support. 2. production risers and eight 4 in. —Large area for process equipment installation. —Operational water depth is 50–150 m. The advantages of a tanker based system can be summarised as follows: —Large capacity in terms of weight carrying. the two types used to date are the single buoy storage (SBS) and the single anchor leg storage (SALS). tanker Murex as a production support.1. 1981.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 27 production from Buchan began in May 1981 with design production being achieved in July. service lines. The production riser extends from the sea floor to the fluid swivel. —Oversupply on the market. It is situated some 56 km offshore Tunisia in water depths of 140–300 m in the Hammemet Grand Fonds permit. The production system includes the following elements: —A converted 210000 dwt. —Large capacity for storage of products. There are various types of SPM that have evolved from the basic catenary anchor leg mooring (CALM) and single anchor leg mooring (SALM). therefore cheap to buy. The disadvantages of a tanker based production system are: —No possibility of work-over operations (exception: Castellon). The tanker is allowed to weathervane around the SPM by means of a fluid swivel arrangement at the yoke/SPM interface. A converted tanker is used because it provides the cheapest form of floating platform and already has existing oil storage capacity. therefore the mooring system must incorporate the concept of weathervaning. —Easy loading of shuttle tanker from production tanker.3 Tankers This type of production support consists of a tanker converted for production operations with a permanent yoke attachment to a single point mooring (SPM). These systems will be examined in detail in the section on export systems. The field was discovered in July 1979 by Shell Tunirex operating for a joint venture with Agip (40%) and Entreprise Tunisienne d’Activites Petrolieres (ETAP 20%). —Moored tankers are subject to large motions. —The mooring must be combined with the riser system. —A production riser system consisting of eight 4 in. —Includes adequate accommodation. .
—Requires relatively benign environmental conditions. —A series of subsea wells (4) connected to the base by flexible flowlines. —Maximum number of wells is 8.1. —Cheap and available for quick conversion. 2. —No drilling or work-over capability.4 Barge Based Systems A barge is the simplest form of monohull structure. —A 6×4 in. —Mooring may combine riser system. being usually box-shaped or semiship shaped. The disadvantages of a barge are: —Physical characteristics similar to a tanker.2 m diameter which contains all the conduits and control lines for the wells. Barge mounted production systems are relatively rare and although some concepts have been proposed for the North Sea (particularly with reference to offshore LNG) the only systems so far installed have been in the Far East. —Operational water depth is 30–150 m. having recoverable reserves of 10 m barrels. gas-lift and water injection while permitting the production tanker to weathervane. The Bekapi field in Indonesia developed by Total is typical of this type of production system.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 28 —A single anchor leg storage (SALS) system including a 25 m across. testing. 7 m high gravity base through which the flowlines from the wells pass into rigid steel piping. The advantages of a barge as a production support are as follows: —Large deck area and weight capacity for installation of process equipment. 5 m in outer diameter with an inner well of 2. The fluid-path coupling across the unijoint at the base is by a jumper hose arrangement from steel pipe on a frame on the base to steel pipe extending from the bottom of the riser. . —If an existing barge is being used it will not normally incorporate accommodation. A barge mounted system was utilised for twelve months from July 1974 to July 1975 as an early production system. —Capacity for storage of products. Tazerka. began producing in 1982 and reached its designed production capacity of 10000 bbls/day in 1983. The SALS consists of a structural member 140 m long. have been proposed. Barges have not been utilised as production supports in the North Sea although several concepts. multi-path high pressure swivel specifically designed to accommodate facilities for production. The Tazerka field was the first to utilise a multi-well concept necessitating a high pressure multiple path swivel. —Cheap to build in any shipyard. including a concrete barge. —A 250 ton manifold chamber installed above the yoke used for tanker mooring. Barges do not generally incorporate a means of propulsion and must be towed to the final location. therefore requires a mooring system which permits the barge to weathervane.
—The super-structure can be built in a shipyard. —It is not possible to convert a semi-submersible to a TLP. —A barge mounted production system connected to the wellhead by a 4 in. —A shuttle tanker capable of round tripping to Balikpapan in 48 hours. 2. —A storage system consisting of two 1500 ton barges capable of holding two days production each.e. —Can provide workover capability. the hull. The disadvantages: —Limited to water depths over 150 m. the mooring system and the well template. The recoverable reserves are estimated at 200 m barrels. such a system would be substantially cheaper than a conventional platform in deeper water. —Most of the assembly can be carried out in sheltered. 2. —The tethers offer a more efficient length-to-cost ratio than conventional platforms. This maintains vertical stability while allowing some horizontal movement (Fig.1.2). —Good payload capacity. i. The TLP consists of four basic elements—the deck. .5 Tension Leg Platforms A tension leg platform (TLP) is a semi-submersible shaped steel structure which is connected to the sea bed by tubular steel mooring lines or ‘legs’. near shore waters before tow out to the production site. The natural buoyancy of the platform creates an upward force keeping the legs under constant tension. but weight control is critical.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 29 The system consisted of the following elements: —A single wellhead platform. The first oilfield to be developed using a TLP is the Hutton field which is located about 150 km north east of the Shetland Islands in about 160 m of water. The advantages of the TLP are as follows: —Minimal horizontal motions and no vertical motions. flexible riser.
2.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 30 FIG. External modules for the drilling rig. power generation. It consists of three integrated deck levels containing the main process and support systems: the main deck. the mezzanine level and the weather deck on top. The deck measures 78 m by 74 m. . Typical tension leg platform. 2.
The template is designed to permit pre-drilling of 10 wells which allowed Hutton to come on stream quickly. —Wells can be pre-drilled. The tethers consist of 260 mm steel tubes with a 75 mm hollow core. —Depth insensitive. which weighs some 20000 tons. all of which are compartmented. splash zone element transparent to wave action and the head of the column. helideck and flare tower were contracted to yards in a number of locations in the UK and elsewhere. they are manufactured in stands of 9. The column may be fabricated from steel (in tubular or trellis fashion). The tension leg system is so designed that individual tethers can be removed for maintenance or inspection without affecting the integrity of the platform.5 m.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 31 accommodation. The mooring system consists of tethers connecting the four corners of the hull to a piled foundation on the sea bed. The hull. Starting at the sea bed the various elements of the column are as follows: base.4 m in diameter and the two inner columns 14. i. Because of its articulated connection. Although the Hutton field was discovered in 1973 a detailed development plan was not submitted to the Department of Energy until January 1980 and was approved in August of that year. —Mooring uses proved components. The four corner columns are 17.1. 2. The well template is a tubular steel structure which is piled to the sea bed and through which production wells are drilled and the sales line delivers crude oil to the export system. In normal operating conditions only half of the hull is above sea level. Each column is 65 m high. the total structure was installed on the Hutton field in August and the TLP came on stream in October 1984. floating column. —Satisfactory motion response. The main structural contracts were awarded in mid-1981 and development drilling began in that year after installation of the well template.e. articulated columns have been designed for 1000 m water depth. —Can incorporate offloading boom for SPM operations. —Storage possibilities in the base structure. articulated joint. keeping the platform stable in the most severe weather conditions.5 m in diameter. is a semi-submersible structure of six columns interconnected by pontoons. Deballasting holds the legs in tension. The deck was loaded out in February 1984 and mated with the hull in May 1984. The structure is maintained in a floating condition by means of a flotation collar located just below the surface of the water. The advantages of articulated columns for producing marginal fields are: —Because the columns are light in steel they are inexpensive relative to fixed structures. cardan joint. The disadvantages are: . or a combination of steel and concrete.6 Articulated Column An articulated column is a structure which is connected to a base (gravity or piled) on the sea bed by means of an articulated joint. providing buoyancy and containing a ballasting system. or concrete. normally a cardan type joint. the column follows the movement of the waves and is capable of inclining itself in any particular direction. buoyancy or flotation tank just below the surface.
the reserves of which were not sufficient to justify a traditional development. —No gas lift or water injection capability. —inject continuously hydrate inhibitor into wells during gas flow. North East Frigg is a marginal field 18 km from the Frigg field. —control closely the wells through individual 2 in.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 32 —Low payload capability.1. 2. The tower is supported by a piled foundation and its stability is maintained by a series of guy wires radiating from the steel tower and termination on piled or gravity anchors on the sea bed. link each christmas tree to the deck of the FCS. it is unlikely that an articulated column could be used alone as a production support. —No work-over capability.7 The Guyed Tower The guyed tower is another form of compliant structure which has been installed by Exxon. The North East Frigg production support is designed for unattended operation. The function of the FCS is to house the equipment required to —convert electrical signals from the Frigg field into hydraulic pressures for operating the subsea gas production valves. each consisting of one 2 in. (2) The field control station (FCS) consists of an 8 m diameter articulated steel tubular column installed in 100 m of water and located 150 m from the subsea station. (4) The North East Frigg facilities are linked to TCP2 Frigg field platform via a 16 in. —periodically leak test the production tubing safety valves in each well. The total system was commissioned in 1984 and production began in that year. assembly and installation of the FCS took place in 1983. Weights located three-fifths of the way down the guy . a manifold. The equipment is protected by a heavy subsea template (20 m×30 m×8 m. The only development utilising an articulated column as a production support is the North East Frigg field developed by Elf. Routine maintenance is carried out by personnel from the Frigg platform as required. (3) Six specially designed umbilicals. gas line. 350 tonnes) piled to the sea bed. export line to the Frigg field. tube and twenty tubes. The field development was begun in 1981 with the construction and installation of the subsea template and manifold. the control umbilicals and the 16 in. This structure is designed particularly for deep water fields in the Gulf of Mexico. The wells were drilled in 1982 and completed in 1985. The development incorporates the following elements: (1) A subsea station which includes the wellheads for six clustered gas producing wells. kill lines.
—Guy wires may snarl fishing trawls. that is Mississippi Canyon Block 280in the Gulf of Mexico which has been developed by Exxon. 2. 30000 b/d of oil and condensate and 10000 b/d of water. The guyed tower has the following advantages: —In similar water depths it is much cheaper than conventional platforms. wires will allow the structure to tilt without seriously affecting the tension of the wires (Fig. —It is easy to build because of repetition of design joints.3. —Limited payload. The production equipment provides separation. 2. Twenty guy lines secure the tower to the sea bed and allow it to comply with wind and wave forces.3). The site is in 300 m of water and lies approximately 183 km southeast of New Orleans. —Installation and maintenance costs of guy wires unknown. Guyed tower. Eight . Anchor lines 400 m long extend from each clump to an anchor pile. Each of the guys is 520 m long and is terminated on the sea bed by 200 ton weights. The weights are joined together on the sea bed somewhat like bicycle chain links.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 33 FIG. gas dehydration and compression for 50MMcfd of natural gas. The disadvantages are: —Unproven technology. oil treatment. —No storage. There has been only one development incorporating a guyed tower as a production support.
Semi-sub 3. —Acceptable product transport or sales system (pipe line or SPM) to ensure continuous production with minimal weather down time. The tower was loaded out and installed in July 1983 and production began in early 1984. —Construction or conversion time scales. —Certification. —Acceptable system behaviour in very extreme sea states with or without remedial actions such as pulling risers or slackening moorings. Tanker 4. Also. Technical Assessments of Floating Production Systems): —A sufficiently high payload to allow all necessary processing and to encompass the required marine systems and possible oil storage.8 Design Criteria for Marginal Field Production Supports Each oilfield development presents its own unique mix of problems to those entrusted with the task of selecting an appropriate production scheme. the highly interactive nature of these elements—be they production support. M. also installation time. —Sufficiently low wave-produced support motions to permit process plant. —Capital and operating costs.1. 2. Barge 5. Jack-up 2.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 34 main piles have been driven through the centre of the tower into the sea bed to support the weight of the structure and an additional six 1828 mm diameter piles were driven around the outside of the tower to keep it from twisting.H. TABLE 2. —Acceptable mooring system loads in extreme sea states but with sufficiently low mooring offsets to allow a riser system to function with low down time. marine equipment and the crew to function with an economically viable minimum down time.Storage possible of depth over wells (m) Yes Yes Yes Yes No Limited Limited Large Limited Good 2–10 4–40 2–10 2–10 20– 40 110 70– 1000 50– 750 50– 150 150– 1000 Yes Yes No No Yes None Small Large Large None None Small Small Small None Conventional SPM/conventional Conventional Minimal Tension leg . TLP Motions Mooring Conversion Payload No. inspection and maintenance considerations. The design criteria for a floating production support are briefly listed in order of importance (Patel. Water Work.1 Summary of Characteristics of Production Supports Production support 1.. riser system. subsea system or offloading—can lead to some incompatability if the system as a whole is not well designed. while each system may consist of individually suitable components.
(max..) 60000 80000 127 000 210000 Mooring Water type depth (m) SALS SALS SBS SALS 117 90 90 140 Wave ht. m) 15 18 17 18 Production capacity (b/d) 20000 20000 30 000 20000 Number of wells (max) Excess gas disposal Castellon field (Spain) Nilde field (Italy) Cadlao field (Philippines) Tazerka field (Tunisia) 1 Incinerators 1 Vent Stack 2 Ground Flare 8 Vent System Source: Carter.3 Factors Affecting Choice of a Marginal Field Production Support Drilling/ workover No. Texas. and Foolen.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 35 6. OTC 4273. 1982.. TABLE 2. of wells Environmental conditions Mild/moderate One Yes Mild/moderate Several No One Severe Mild/moderate Severe Water depth (m) Type of support 300 DP tanker with workover rig 700 Conventionally anchored semi-sub 100–500 Jack-up/semi-sub 100–500 Jack-up/semi-sub 50 Barge . Offshore Technology Conference. Articulated Minimal Articulated joint column 7.2 Comparison of Four Tanker Based Marginal Production Systems Installation site Vessel size (dwt. storage and offloading concept. J. Guyed tower Minimal Pile plus guy wire system No No Limited Limited 6–10 40– 60 100– 600 100– 400 No Yes Minimal Minimal TABLE 2. H. Evolutionary developments advancing the floating production.T. Houston.
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 36 700 Conventionally anchored tanker Severe 300/500 SWOPS/semi-sub Mild/moderate Several Severe 750 Tanker weather vane 150–1000 Semi-sub −250 Semi-sub −1 000 TLP There are a large range of design tools available for the selection and testing of the various elements of a marginal production system.1 and 2. These programs can examine several mooring configurations and check riser configurations.2 RISERS The riser is one of the most important and complex items in any offshore development. (c) workover riser. Definition—‘riser’ is a generic term describing a single tubular or a series of tubulars connecting a sea bed termination to a facility at.2 compares four tanker based production systems. (b) drilling riser. including: (a) at the lower end a riser connection package (RCP). The term applies whether fluids are moving upwards or downwards. In general there are five possible riser systems: (a) production riser system. 2.3 summarise the characteristics of the various production supports and give an indication of the conditions under which each support can be used. Table 2. Before proceeding to an examination of the various riser systems currently being used it is perhaps useful to examine some of the terms used in connection with risers. or above. Table 2. (d) wireline riser. Production Riser System This embraces all those elements associated with fluid movement from the sea bed to the production facility. floating or fixed. . the sea surface. Computer programs have been developed which can accurately predict the motion characteristics of various production supports under the influence of forces generated by specific environmental conditions. (e) product sales/export riser.
Lines within the Production Riser System: These may include the following: (a) Production riser—the tubular which conducts upwards the ‘produced fluids’ from the well (or wells if comingled flows are achieved subsea) to the process plant. draw-works and outfitted cranage. any structural members. It is usually the type of riser system used in offshore floating production systems. Non-Integral Riser Bundle This is an arrangement whereby a single riser line may be pulled without disturbing other riser lines within the bundle and without interruption of the function of the other lines. (e) Gas export riser—a single or multiple line carrying produced gas to the sea bed for onward transmission. Also included in the production riser system are such items as the RCP test stump. Integral Riser Bundle This is an arrangement whereby the pulling (retrieval) of a single riser line requires the pulling of the bundle. (b) Gas lift riser—the line which conducts downwards the gas which is to be introduced into the production string down-hole for well ‘kick-off’ (inert or associated hydrocarbon gases) or for production flow enhancement (associated hydrocarbon gases). Riser Bundle This includes all the tubulars. riser test equipment and all riser handling. running and pulling equipment which supplements the derrick. (d) Export riser—usually a large single bore tubular carrying the processed crude downwards to the sea bed for onward transmission to a pipeline or tanker loading facility (sometimes called a sales riser). articulated joints. individual line tensioners.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 37 (b) at the upper end. (c) Annulus monitoring line—this line permits periodic monitoring of the well annulus. buoyancy collars. This line may serve a single well or a series of injection wells. telescopic joints etc. the fluid off-takes and the tensioners including compressors and controls. guide funnels. but excluding the main tensioning system and the fluid off-take flexibles. which make up the completed production riser system in its operational form. Composite Riser Systems This is a system which incorporates both integral and non-integral features. .
The handling of stands obviously reduces riser running/pulling times. riser hydraulic connectors. bolted or may have ‘dogs’ or latches. —the extent to which novel components may be incorporated. (g) Hydraulic control lines to control well functions.2. —riser 100 year storm capability. e. these connections may be screwed.g. —drilling/workover capacity of the production support. This operation is similar to drill pipe handling during drilling. —level of subsea manifolding. Riser Joint This is one finite length of fluid conductor between connections. water injection and gas lift. air can monitoring and control. Stand This consists of two or three joints made up to 100 ft in length. The design of the riser is very much dependent on the field characteristics and the other elements of the production system.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 38 (f) Service riser—one or more lines which have several duties. the stand being stowed in the derrick rack. operationally flexible. the more important of which are the hydraulic testing of the connected riser lines and flushing out of riser lines prior to pulling. .1 Riser Design Criteria In general the riser system should be designed to be simple. 2. use well proven components and be capable of being handled in 100 year storm conditions. Among the factors to be considered in riser design are the following: —volume and number of production streams. —export and sales requirements. —field secondary recovery requirements. Riser Test Stump This is a replica of the sea bed riser connection array used for pressure testing of the riser connection package (RCP) and the checking of dimensional compatability before running the riser.
FIG. . Risers.5. 2.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 39 FIG.4. 2. Flexible risers.
The second manifold did not include the four water injection lines. hydraulic connector. service and purge lines (4 in. The riser is composed of sections joined by a standard threaded connection and is retrievable to the semi-sub on disconnection from the subsea manifold by a remotely actuated. A flexible universal joint sits above the hydraulic connector in order to permit relative angular motions between the riser and the subsea manifold. Only when all these elements have been considered in detail can the riser be designed and evaluated. The top of each riser is connected to an individual tensioner and motion compensator similar in configuration to a normal drilling riser.4 shows various arrangements of tensioned rigid risers while Fig. The initial production system. six riser systems will be examined in detail: —Argyll/North Sea —Dorado/Spain —Buchan/North Sea —Campos Basin/Brazil —Casablanca/Spain —Balmoral/North Sea The first three installations listed above are permanent tensioned rigid riser systems of various types. . nominal diameter acting as a structural strength member with ten non-integral production. In 1979 a crack appeared in the export line of the manifold and a replacement manifold was designed and fabricated. In order to bring out the various elements of riser design and operation. 2.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 40 —installation. one service line and one purge line. one export line. Argyll Riser System The main function of the Argyll riser is to transport crude oil production from a subsea manifold to the semi-submersible production support and then to transport processed crude from the support back to the subsea manifold for offloading by tanker at an SBM. maintenance and repair requirements. comprised four satellite oil wells produced to a subsea manifold and individually routed up the riser. The second three installations have flexible riser systems. dia. nom. four water injection lines. The subsea manifold was designed to accommodate up to six production lines. Two further production wells were brought on stream in 1979 and these were accommodated on the new manifold. installed in 1975.2 Operational Riser Systems Since riser systems are highly individual and are designed for specific operational requirements it is difficult to establish general operational systems. 2. The Argyll riser is a rigid non-integral riser consisting of the central export oil line of 10 in. Figure 2. The non-integral concept was chosen for the Argyll field because this allowed the operator to retrieve single lines for maintenance without halting production.) and one hydraulic line spaced around the periphery in guide funnels.2.5 shows the options available when flexible risers are used.
casing with the dual purpose of riser protection and the provision of an annulus. i. 2. The riser system chosen is a rigid non-integral system similar to Argyll with the addition of a considerable number of lines to accommodate future gas lift for the seven subsea wells (five template and two satellite). dia.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 41 Since the Argyll production system utilises a tanker offloading system and because there is no storage capacity in the production support. the limiting factor for riser disconnection is the sea state at which the tanker would have to disconnect from the mooring buoy. The Dorado riser system for the three wells was individual rigid tensioned lines transporting produced fluids to the semi-sub production support. However. The Buchan riser is shown in Fig. Since its installation in 1982 the Buchan riser has been made up of one central export oil line (12 in. At the top end.6. production was via a subsea test tree and string to a surface tree.). the transport of produced fluids from a subsea manifold to the semi-submersible production support and from there to transport the crude oil back to the manifold for eventual export via a tanker based export system. the high bending movements at the subsea tree connection anticipated for the 100 year storm design condition rendered the initial concept unacceptable. A flex joint is used at the bottom of each riser string to accommodate riser deflections caused by vessel production movements. nom. dia. Eventually after a detailed study the 7 in. dia. Phase 1 began in 1978 and comprised a long-term tubing production test from a single well. The field was developed in two phases. Because of the individual nature of the risers the Dorado field was the first to use its riser system for both production and wireline workover operations from a semi-sub without affecting production from the other wells. The second phase comprised the drilling of two additional subsea wells and their connection to the semi-sub via a rigid riser system. nom. the export . nom. casing was dispensed with.) and two service lines (4 in. Crude oil was exported by a tanker loaded directly from the semisub by a floating hose. nom.0 m leads to riser disconnection. dia.) with eight production oil lines (4 in. The initial concept for the individual risers was to run the line inside a 7 in. Dorado Riser System The Dorado field consists of three closely positioned subsea production wells. A maximum semi-sub heave of 2. each integral with its associated production line. operational experience has shown that tanker disconnection is not the limiting factor but the heave of the semi-submersible is in fact the over-riding design parameter. However. The export line is made up of 50 ft lengths. The production lines were run to surface trees. Buchan Riser System The function of the Buchan riser system is similar to that of the Argyll system. this heave occurs at wave heights well below the design case for tanker disconnection.e. eight gas lift lines (2 in.).
line is supported by a tension collar to which eight riser tensioners are connected. The design wave height for riser disconnection is 7 m whereas the design wave for disconnection of the loading tanker is 5 m (see Chapter 5). The Buchan riser is designed to permit production in sea states of up to 5 m significant wave height and to remain connected in sea states of up to 6. Four tensioners provide the tension for the peripheral risers by distribution through a system of bridles. . A gooseneck mounted on top of the riser carries the 12 in. The peripheral lines are also built in 50 ft lengths. Buchan riser system. hose which connects to the semisub.6.5 m significant wave. 2. the export line is flanged to a universal joint which is fixed to the subsea manifold by a connector. At the bottom.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 42 FIG.
7. This combination constitutes the patented pipe structure. —bend restrictor.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 43 FIG. Enchova flexible riser systems.2. A flexible line is basically composed of steel and plastic. 2. —quick connect/disconnect coupling. —anchoring device. Steel components ensure the mechanical performance and plastic components render the flexible pipe leakproof. The typical riser structure includes five principal layers: . 2.3 Flexible Risers The various elements of the flexible riser system can be seen by reference to Fig. they include the following main items: —flexible riser. —riser stainless steel outerwrap. 2.7.
. anchoring chain rupture etc.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 44 —An interlocking spiralled steel carcass (layer 1) provides resistance to crushing and prevents deformation of the pipe. 2. without risks of pollution. —An inner thermoplastic sheath (layer 2) and an outside thermoplastic sheath (layer 5) composed of polyamide II render the riser leakproof. —An interlocking zeta spiral (layer 3). ensures the inner Rilsan sheath’s binding and the integrity of the structure’s internal pressure. —Two cross-armoured steel wire layers (layer 4) provides resistance to pulling and longitudinal stresses induced by internal pressure. The quick connect/disconnect coupling is used to disconnect the riser quite rapidly (less than 10 seconds) in the event of an emergency. such as fire. Balmoral riser layout. FIG.8. called the pressure armour.
The Enchova field production riser is typical of the risers used by Petrobras in other field areas. —easy extension to system capacity. a 1 in. and and electrical cable connected between a subsea satellite well and the semi-sub. . Campos Basin Riser System The geographical area which has seen the greatest use of flexible risers has been the Campos Basin. hydraulic umbilical. Subsequently a subsea satellite well was completed and a flexible riser bundle installed. The Enchova field began producing in 1979 from a single well via a tubing string inside a drilling riser and blow out preventer (BOP). The Penrod 72 was used as production support. Computer calculations and model basin tests led to the selection of the free hanging riser configuration primarily because of its ease of installation and retrieval. —no requirement for riser retrieval in difficult weather conditions. The risers have been installed on different fields and in a variety of water depths. —more easily and rapidly installed. 2.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 45 The plastic bending restrictor is fitted behind the end fitting in order to limit the cyclical bending movements of the riser caused by the relative motions of the semi-sub.7. —excellent corrosion resistance. which means less down time and higher production. Preliminary studies were carried out to investigate the feasibility of three separate riser system designs. —the free hanging riser. Each design consisted of a bundle of four flexible lines to enable the connection of the subsea wellhead to the semi-submersible platform. Installation of the flexible lines was carried out by the laying vessel Flexservice I. The three different riser systems studied were: —the double catenary riser. —no sea bottom connection or re-entry which means less maintenance cost. lines. The riser is anchored so that its position will not be disturbed by the movements of the semi-submersible platform during its operational life. The flexible riser bundle consisted of 4 in. —the tensioned riser. offshore Brazil. The advantages of flexible risers over rigid risers for some applications may be summarised as follows: —less investment cost. All of the installations have used ‘Coflexip’ flexible pipes as risers and have generally utilised the free hanging configuration. —marginal impact on floating vessel design. A schematic of the riser system is shown in Fig.
among these are: —ribbon riser. water injection In each bundle all lines are independent and free to move relative to each other. Phase 4 involved the removal of the semi-sub and its replacement by a fixed platform.2. export line 2×6 in. simple catenary type linking the bow of the vessel through an intermediate buoy to four riser bases. Phase 3 involved the replacement of the drilling riser production method with a subsea tree and the installation of flexible riser bundles composed of four 6 in. 2. annulus control Bundle No. Balmoral Riser System The Balmoral riser system will be the first flexible riser system to be used under North Sea conditions. and 1 in. The system chosen has been developed from earlier experience with flexible risers. i. direct floating hose link between the semi-sub and export tanker. lines. Phase 2 involved the replacement of the initial export system. and two 4 in. The intermediate buoys are situated some 50 m above the sea bed with 15 m spacing between them. —catenary flexible riser with subsea tower. with a 12 in.8 shows the riser system chosen. Development of the field took place in four phases with the first three phases utilising the semi-sub Alfortunada as a production support. production 10 in. .4 Alternative Riser Designs There are several alternative riser designs being proposed for various applications. 2 Bundle No. gas lift 4 in. —articulated column riser. kill line 3 in. The distance between the riser bases and the template is 100 m. lines. flexible export pipe from the semi-sub to a subsea export pipeline. The general arrangement consists of four independent bundles. 3 Bundle No. 4 2×8 in.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 46 Casablanca Riser System Casablanca is a small field in the Mediterranean consisting of two wells.e. The lines consist of: Bundle No. 1 4 in. Figure 2. Phase 1 involved one well producing via the drilling riser and BOP while the second well produced via a free hanging flexible riser composed of 4 in.
the mooring device may also be considered as a rigid self-standing riser linked to subsea wells (see Chapter 4). 2. Articulated Column Riser Articulated columns have generally been used as mooring devices for tanker based floating production systems.9). articulated boom (see Fig.9.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 47 Ribbon Riser This type of riser system has been developed by Shell for deep water applications and consists of a flat array of risers in the form of a subsea FIG. However. Ribbon riser system. The risers are rigidly fixed to the production support vessel with relative motions being accommodated in the articulated boom by elastomeric joints. . 2.
10. The choke manifold may be located on top of the tower within easy diver access and the use of flexibles eliminates any need for tensioning equipment on the support. Foster wheeler risers concept. . Figure 2.10 shows a typical layout. FIG. This system is particularly useful in extreme environments and in water depths up to 400 m. Catenary Flexible Riser with Subsea Tower This concept utilises a submerged articulated tower connected to the surface support by flexible pipes. 2. The tower extends to within 45–50 m of the water surface from which flexible lines can easily be extended to a floating production vessel.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 48 Systems have been designed which have emphasised the compatability of the fluid transferring equipment with the column and head rotations.
Water depth sensitivity 3. A riser associated with a single anchor leg mooring (SALM). The ten systems assessed were as follows: A. Technical downtime 12. Repair and maintenance 13. and serv. B. Operational versatility of the support vessel 6. Emergency connect/ disconnect 9. Riser handling in the moonpool area 8. A rigid integral riser.4 shows a comparative assessment of ten riser systems under seventeen different headings. A rigid non-integral riser.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 49 2. of choke manifold 10. Number and spacing of wells in the well cluster 5. Weather sensitivity 2. Wireline and major workover 11. C. Location op. Rig/riser interface tensioning 7. TABLE 2. Number of flowlines in the riser 4.2. Risk of damage from dropped objects Rigid risers A B C D E F Flexible risers G H I J .5 Comparative Assessment of Risers Table 2.4 Comparative Assessment of Risers Riser system SALM Technical and financial aspects 1.
where satellite wells will be a feature of the production system. A rigid ribbon riser. 6–14 technical aspects and 15–17 economic aspects. H. J. are a testament to the enduring nature of the ‘all in the dry’ design philosophy. Catenary flexible riser with subsea tower. Catenary flexible riser with comingled flow. safety. However. Rigid riser systems have been used exclusively in the North Sea because of their cost and the fact that the location of all the chokes on the surface vessels gives easy access for all operational requirements. 3–5 technical suitability. Certainly in relation to marginal fields. the use of flexible risers may become standard. I. Balmoral field design riser. Removal at end of field life 15. This philosophy is well founded in good design practice with such factors as access. 2. The Balmoral field will be the first deviation from the use of rigid risers in the North Sea and should yield significant operational data about flexible risers in severe environments. A single string rigid riser. One of the cornerstones of oilfield production system design philosophy has been the requirement to put as much production equipment as possible ‘in the dry’. Operation and maintenance costs Note: The larger the circle. The headings 1–17 have been chosen to represent the attributes normally associated with riser systems. Headings 1 and 2 relate to the sensitivity to the environment.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 50 14. taken overall. Since then major . The giant North Sea platforms. whose function is to house all the equipment associated with production operations. E. Mobil flexible design riser.3 SUBSEA EQUIPMENT Introduction The oil industry has always believed in the use of tried and true technology when designing field developments. environmental protection and easy operational maintenance being cited as reasons for this dry equipment requirement. Capital investment 16. Catenary flexible single well risers. The industry took its first step into subsea production equipment in the 1950 s when an ordinary land production tree was installed a few feet underwater. the more attractive the feature D. The assessment shows that. Installation and removal costs 17. flexible risers would seem to be preferable to rigid solutions. G. the disadvantages of having control equipment located subsea have so far restricted the use of flexibles. F.
The unitised template is normally used where the number of wells FIG. 2. A unitised template is generally used when six or more wells have to be drilled. As with offshore loading systems. Drilling equipment guidance is achieved through the use of integral guide posts or retrievable guide structures.11). Templates are usually fabricated at a dockside facility and are normally of ‘passive’ or non-buoyant construction (Fig.1 Subsea Template A subsea template is simply a large tubular steel structure designed to accommodate a number of wellhead assemblies and christmas trees for wells which may be either production wells or injection wells. wells. template. required has been fixed and/or several slots can be left empty for future use. which are examined in detail in Section 2. subsea production equipment has become a feature of marginal field development schemes. . 2. 2.11).5. manifold and control system.e. 2. i.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 51 advances have taken place in subsea equipment development and several subsea production systems are in existence or under test which will greatly extend the range of application of this technology. The purpose of the template is to provide a base through which the subsea wells are drilled. the template is fabricated from large tubular members and incorporates a receptacle for each well and a three or four point levelling system. it also spaces and aligns wellhead equipment (Fig.11.3. 21 Well subsea template. The specific configurations of these elements are defined by the reservoir characteristics and the other components of the development scheme. Templates may be either of unitised or modular construction. particularly the riser. There are four basic elements in a subsea production system.
This requirement limits the distance a satellite well may be situated from the production support. or by through-flow-line (TFL) methods. If the field cannot be drained by a cluster system then a wholly satellite or cluster/satellite combination must be used. Wells which are drilled through a template are called cluster wells.3.e. direct intervention from the production support or a service vessel. (TFL methods will be examined in detail in a later section. It is unlikely that a cluster system would be capable of efficiently draining a shallow reservoir.) The wellhead assembly and christmas tree consist of a structure housing the valves and controls necessary to monitor and control well fluid flow. Cluster wells are normally deviated wells drilled through a subsea template which may.2 The Wells The first general classification of wells.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 52 The modular template system consists of a template structure made up of several interlocking modules. i. The second general classification is more or less self explanatory: subsea wells can be clustered or satellite. . The choice between cluster or satellite wells or indeed a combination of the two is usually dictated by the reservoir characteristics. Once the template has been levelled and piled the well drilling programme may proceed. The first requirement of any development plan is that it ensures the most efficient depletion of the reservoir. and is used where greater flexibility in the drilling programme is required. 2. various tools are pumped into the well via the production support and the riser system to carry out maintenance operations. Clustered wells are generally drilled through a template while satellite wells can be offset by anything up to 8 km from the point at which the crude is processed. The third general classification is between wet and dry subsea wells. A limitation with satellite wells is the requirement that the reservoir should be sufficiently pressured in order to ensure flow between the tree and the production support. Wet wells are those in which the christmas tree and associated equipment is open to the marine environment while dry subsea wells are normally encased in a habitat which is at atmospheric pressure. i. For the purpose of this section we will consider only subsea configurations.e. wellhead equipment and christmas trees is whether they are subsea or surface. or may not. The template is normally piled to the sea bed. Wells may be worked over (or maintained) by wireline. The fourth and final classification refers to the method of intervention in the well in order to carry out various maintenance operations. be located directly below the production support. Before piling begins the template must be levelled.
The tree incorporates TFL as its maintenance system.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 53 FIG. The tree currently stands at 4. The wet/nonTFL tree which was used on the Castellon field is suitable for use in shallow water and requires diver assistance for installation and maintenance.3 The Subsea Manifold The subsea manifold is the interface between the subsea production equipment and the production riser system. it is designed for a specific application and cannot easily be adapted to other development configurations. Four different types of subsea completion trees are shown in Fig. The manifold is a tubular steel structure which is rigidly fixed by piles to the sea bed.3. 2. The normal subsea tree can stand as much as 10 m above the sea bed which makes it vulnerable to external damage from trawler boards etc. The insert tree concept is an attempt to lower substantially the profile of the tree by putting as much of the tree equipment as is possible downhole. Both the dry and wet/TFL trees are suitable for use in an environment where weather vulnerability makes wireline operations uncertain. The latest development in subsea wellheads is the ‘insert tree’ concept developed by Shell International Petroleum in cooperation with Cameron Iron Works. The manifold or riser base may be a part of the well template. 2. 2. .12. A test tree has already been installed in Brunei and is operating satisfactorily.12. Subsea wellheads.3 m above the sea bed and is covered by a hemispherical cap which further reduces the likelihood of damage. The manifold acts as the subsea point at which production/injection flowlines and transport/export pipelines are gathered.
Conversely if the riser system is designed to incorporate individual well risers this substantially reduces the complexity of the manifold. The wells were completed in such a way as to leave them live. The design of the riser system and the manifold are thus inextricably linked. using the same profile as the BOP stack. The WHC was made fast by actuating the hydraulic connector. The riser base is usually located on the manifold and is surmounted by an assembly which permits the remote disconnection or connection of a number of lines.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 54 Because they are integrally linked there is a trade-off between riser and manifold design. After setting the downhole safety valve and locking the tubing plugs the BOP stack was removed and the wellhead cellar was keelhauled to place it in position beneath the drilling slot of the semisub.3. The more complex the manifold design the more controls will be required. .4 The Garoupa Subsea Production System Garoupa. The manifold incorporates a further function which is of great importance. The WHC was then picked up by the drillpipe and lowered to the ocean floor where it was mated with the conductor pipe. This element of the manifold is extremely important for marginal field systems employing floating production supports and has been the subject of considerable study in the past five years. the maintenance system employed (TFL or non-TFL) and the need for pipeline pigging/scraping from the floating unit. and a dry 1-atmosphere manifold centre. the maximum flowrate required. 2. a dry 1atmosphere pressure chamber which houses the production tree and control equipment. which is located 260 km east north-east of Rio de Janeiro. the wellhead cellar (WHC). The Garoupa wells were drilled and completed by a conventional semi-submersible. In the wet configuration the manifold is open to the marine environment while in the dry configuration the manifold is located in a chamber.13). atmospheric chambers located on the sea bed at water depths ranging from 118 to 165 m. The system consists of two major components. like christmas trees. If the riser is required to be simple the manifold must be designed to comingle the flows of the various production wells or disperse the flow of the various production wells and/or disperse the flow to a series of injection wells. Manifolds. 2. can be either wet or dry. the maximum allowable pressure drop. the interior of which is maintained at atmospheric pressure. the number and location of the wells. The system is currently producing some 23200 b/d of oil (Fig. is the world’s largest subsea production system using equipment installed in dry. Other factors which influence manifold design are the nature of the product (oil/gas/condensate).
called a teacup. The manifold centre sits on a 400 ton base which is equipped with a variable ballasting system to control buoyancy during tow out and installation. The manifold centre is cylindrical in cross-section: 5 m diameter and 24 m long. and a pigging system. Garoupa. The upper part of the WHC is fitted with a vertical cylinder. Once the WHC installation is complete the semi-submersible may move to another location and continue its drilling programme. 2. a 4 in.13. The upper rim of the teacup serves as a mating flange. header for testing individual wells. which contains a recall buoy and cable spool to permit later access through the service capsule. It contains a 12 in. valves. Provision has been made for future gas lift operations. The WHC is also fitted with two bullnose ports for flowline pull in and connection. The technological step taken in this . Access to the manifold centre is by means of the same teacup arrangement as used in the WHCs. crossovers etc. Commissioning of the WHCs was completed by crews who accessed the WHC by means of the service capsule. chokes for individual well control. The various disassembled parts of the production tree. are stowed within the WHC awaiting installation and commissioning. header for comingling flows from all wells.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 55 FIG. The Garoupa field subsea production system has been in operation since 1979 and has helped establish the concept of subsea production.
3. the hydraulic power unit. electrical and hydraulic connectors. was logical and correct. an important technological step in proving subsea technology. the Grondin subsea production project marked an important technological step in establishing the subsea production concept and in demonstrating the suitability of the various elements for subsea operation. The SPS was constructed by Exxon and installed in 52 m of water in the West Delta Block 73 field off the Louisana coast. 2. i. guidelines and safety valves. particularly with the initial remote manipulator system.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 56 project.e. The station was designed and installed in order to test techniques which would be required in a deep water subsea production system. These figures would seem to indicate that the subsea production system was not a limiting factor in field down time.3. The manipulator is mounted on rails which surround the template structure and can be located to carry out maintenance tasks on any well. Operations were conducted from the barge Anguille.6 The Exxon Submerged Production System (SPS) The Exxon submerged production system (SPS) was. to distribute pumpdown tools. The most interesting aspect of this development was the robot manipulator which was developed by the Matra Company specifically for this project. The subsea station included three subsea wells situated on a template with the necessary manifolding and flowlines. umbilicals. along with the Grondin test station described above. lift gas and injected fluids. and to permit maintenance and pigging of the manifold . The operation of the system has been carefully monitored by Petrobras and figures presented show that the manifold centre has been available for production 98% of the time. Although designed to be diverless and operated and maintained remotely the station was located well within diving range and its operation could be carefully monitored. Although some problems were encountered in the test programme. The subsea station was used to test the overall diverless subsea production concept as well as carrying out an extensive test programme on individual components such as the manipulator system. removing production equipment from a dry surface environment to a dry subsea environment. 2. In common with the Grondin system the SPS was designed to operate in deep water but is just as applicable to marginal field situations. Down time for the WHCs has varied from unit to unit with an average time on production of 96%. The remotely controlled manifold is designed to gather production. to control secondary recovery operations by distributing gas.5 The Grondin Experimental Station The Grondin subsea experimental station was installed by Elf Aquitaine during 1976/77 in 61 m of water 1500 m north-east of the fixed platform complex on the Grondin field operated by Elf Gabon. After installation of the structure directional wells were drilled through slots in the template and the christmas trees were connected to the preinstalled manifold. The Exxon concept consists of a large buoyant template which is used to accommodate a preassembled and tested production manifold and a pump/separator unit.
2.3. A series of tests were carried out to establish the operating qualities of the various components and the system as a whole. and therefore novel gas detection devices.E. using underwater sonar to detect changes in water density. —a fluid collection and delivery system. The heart of the Frigg N. weighs 2200 tonnes.7 The Frigg North East Subsea Development The Frigg North East subsea development is a natural extension and utilisation of the technology developed by Elf Aquitaine on their Grondin test station. since every element of the system is removable. The template was installed and has been in position on the sea bed since June 1981. However. The UMC utilises a remote maintenance vehicle (RMV) to carry out maintenance without the need for divers.3. The template has provisions for six deviated wells and a manifold. The six production wells were drilled in 1982 and production began in November 1983. The subsea production system was diver installed but has been designed to operate without diver intervention throughout its five year design life. The UMC is installed in 152 m of water.development is a subsea template which weighs 350 tons. Maintenance of the Exxon SPS is carried out by a remotely controlled manipulator which is lowered from a surface service vessel when required. The UMC can accommodate up to nine wells and provides four functions: —a template through which wells are drilled and satellite wells tied in. is 30 m long. have been installed. repair and maintenance will be carried out by removing the faulty module and repairing it on the surface. Since Frigg is a gas field the subsea system is extremely sensitive to leakages. 17 m wide and 8 m high.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 57 equipment. —a subsea equipment maintenance system. or remote satellite wells tied-in to the manifold using flowlines and spool-pieces. The tests succeeded in establishing subsea production technology and led to many design improvements in various items of equipment. The pump/separator maintains a low pressure in the production header by separating the produced liquids from the gas and by pumping the liquids to the surface. is 52 m long by 42 m wide and 15 m high. —a sea water distribution centre for injection into the reservoir. The UMC is similar in appearance to the SPS but offers additional features such as being able to serve either wells drilled directly through the template. The well fluids are transmitted to a production support vessel via an articulated production riser which was initially located some distance from the manifold. Divers will be used to make periodic inspections.8 The Central Cormorant Underwater Manifold Centre The Central Cormorant underwater manifold centre (UMC) is an extension of the technology developed by Exxon on its SPS programme. . 2.
The main technological advance to be tested will be in the area of control. is evident.3. The desirability of such a system. and involves the use of booster stations along the export pipeline in order to flow the wellhead products to the nearest landfall. However. The test period is one year. The Poseidon concept takes subsea production further by considering the possibility of operating subsea production stations at distances of up to 200 km from the point where the crude is processed. if successful.E. These messages activate the hydraulic pressure system. 2.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 58 This development constitutes the current state of the art in subsea production systems since it includes all the elements. eliminating as it does the costly production support. Operations are monitored on a computer screen and there is two-way communication between operator and station. control. IFP have been researching into two-phase flow for seven vears and have built a sophisticated test facility at Boussins in the South of France. The project began in mid-1984 and terminated in mid-1985. it will be installed at a depth of 10 m near the Norwegian Underwater Technology Centre (NUTEC) at Gravdal. delivery. in the case of Skuld. The operational experience with the UMC should establish the viability of subsea manifold systems. The subsea station is controlled by an operator. associated with offshore operations. which will be used to simulate a 20 year life.3. The structure was installed in May 1982. and production started in mid1983. The proposed system consists of the following elements: . maintenance and reservoir pressure maintenance. The Poseidon research programme is currently underway and. 2. One of the major problems associated with this concept is that of dealing with twophase flow operations. drilling began in October 1982. The objectives of the Skuld project are: —to demonstrate the feasibility of installing and maintaining a subsea production station from the surface without using divers.9 The Skuld Concept The Skuld project is an extension of the Elf technology tested in Grondin and utilised in Frigg N. —to investigate the possibility of controlling the station from an installation 30 km away.10 The Poseidon Concept All the subsea production systems considered to date involve the need for a production support nearby or. —to demonstrate the subsea system’s reliability over a long period. e. would constitute a substantial advancement in subsea production technology.g. who by means of a computer sends coded messages to the station through an under-water cable. 30 km distant. One of the results of this programme has been the development of two-phase flow pumping equipment which will be incorporated in the Poseidon booster station design. The subsea station consists of a template with wells drilled through slots and con0nected to a manifold. The Poseidon concept is presently under study by Total and IFP. production. to open and close valves.
The electro-hydraulic multiplexed controls normally used for subsea operations involve the signal from the support to the subsea equipment being transmitted electrically. Hydraulic control systems. fitted with subsea wellheads. i. There are two basic methods for controlling wellhead equipment—hydraulic and electrical control. the time between the command being given and the action being carried out. *control of pipeline pigging and inhibitor injection at the wellhead. on the flow of hydraulic fluid to actuate the command. —lower processing costs. —A central subsea station performing the following functions: *connection of flowlines and isolation of wells with cut-off valves. have the advantage that they are the simplest. —greater safety. —Flowlines linking the wells to a central station. However. in the case of subsea wells being controlled from a production support up to 8 km away these response times tend to be unacceptable for what may be emergency operations. a control pod situated on the subsea equipment converts the incoming electrical signal into a hydraulic signal. The entire system is of modular design and maintenance will be carried out by a surface service vessel capable of retrieving modules.3. as they do. In this way response time over a totally hydraulic system is substantially improved and the reliability of the . The response time is a function of the distance to be travelled by the fluid. —A multiphasic pipeline. If down-hole pumping is required the new two-phase pump will be used. piloted and sequenced hydraulic. *gathering of the production.11 Subsea Control System Subsea production systems present unique problems in the area of wellhead and manifold control system design. Electrical control has the advantage of very short response times but has proven unreliable in practice. in the case of satellite wells flowlines will be doubled to permit pigging. Therefore. comprising a coast/station link-up. —Electricity supply system for the subsea station.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 59 —Satellite or cluster wells. most reliable and lowest cost type of control system depending. Also. *expedition to shore of the two-phase flow by means of the newly developed pumps. hydraulic control bundles tend to be bulky items and should be avoided if possible. —greater versatility.e. —A remote control system. including direct. because of modular design. Because of the inherent weakness in each control method a hybrid system has been devised which utilises the strengths of each individual method. The advantages of the system are: —lower investment. a significant disadvantage of hydraulic control systems for oil and gas operations is the slow response time. *connection of the pipeline to the station. 2. and the hydraulic signal actions the command.
either under saturation or in atmospheric diving suits. 2. subsea. the oil industry has expended no little effort in developing remotely controlled repair and maintenance methods.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 60 hydraulic system is utilised where it is needed most. Consequently the service vessel must always be available and represents a significant operational cost. The two most advanced subsea production systems. that the first steps in subsea technology were taken in water depths where manned intervention was possible. This leads to the first categorisation of maintenance systems: those in a dry habitat such as in the Garoupa field development. It is only logical. tasks performed by divers (under saturation or in atmospheric diving suits). Control pods are normally designed and installed for easy removal if repairs are required.e. and modules can be retrieved for maintenance without affecting the continuing operation of the subsea unit. Anticipating a move to very deep water where manned intervention will be impossible. This is the system employed for the Garoupa field described earlier. The RMV is carried to location by a special service vessel. The RMV then propels itself along the track until it is opposite the module which needs to be replaced. using underwater lighting. and those systems maintained by remote manipulators where subsea units are constructed modularly. therefore. i. the evacuation of divers enclosed in pressure chambers from a production support. There is a considerable problem associated with this limitation. The UMC is maintained by a remote maintenance vehicle (RMV) designed to change out the electric/hydraulic control units and critical manifold valves. All operations are monitored by TV camera. This type of system is depth limited and requires divers on standby. The ‘all in the dry’ design mentality of the oil industry can be undoubtedly attributed to repair and maintenance considerations. increased maintenance and limited experience. complexity. Disadvantages include high cost. and experience gained from the operation of the UMC RMV and the Skuld project should lead to the establishment of this technology. the RMV also carries out visual inspections. The dry habitat system is the equivalent of surface repair and maintenance. Control of and power supply to the RMV are through electrical umbilicals running back to the surface vessel.e.3. i. is winched down to the UMC and latches itself onto the railway track which runs through the centre of the manifold. As water depths increased designers began to look at ways of making manned intervention possible or unnecessary. both use the remote control method. Remote maintenance systems and remote operated vehicles (ROV) seem to be the future requirement for subsea production systems. The most developed method of effecting repair and maintenance of subsea equipment is the use of divers. the Central Cormorant UMC and Skuld. .12 Subsea Equipment Repair and Maintenance Each subsea production system must be designed with repair and maintenance considerations very much to the fore. Personnel are usually transferred to the 1 atmosphere habitat from a special submersible service unit.
3. i. although not widely used to date. The diverter allows the service personnel to select the well they wish to service and diverts the tool string at the manifold into the flowline of that particular well. TFL technology has become generally accepted and has reached a high level of sophistication. setting and retrieving of plugs. a service vessel is required to carry out wireline operations. and therefore the string must go from the horizontal to the vertical. The method of intervention involves the necessary tools being lowered on the end of a wireline through a workover riser from a surface vessel. but are not limited to: the servicing of safety systems. The operations to be carried out include. running down-hole pressure and temperature surveys. The service tool carries out the operation which is required. Many fields worldwide incorporate satellite wells (whether wet or dry) and a greater level of confidence is available for systems employing subsea templates and manifolds. wax cutting and caliper surveys to monitor corrosion. At the wellhead the requirement is for the tool string to enter the well vertically. 2. This is the normal method of intervention from fixed structures.14 Technical Progress in Subsea Equipment The use of subsea components in offshore field developments can now be considered as established technology. Operation by wireline requires the production support for wells drilled directly beneath it and a service vessel for satellite wells or cluster wells remote from the support. Where satellite developments form part of the field production scheme. the pneumatic flow path is reversed and the service tool with its associated carrier string is pumped back to the surface. The carrier is then pumped down the hole to the desired location.13 Intervention in the Wells There are two basic methods of intervention in wells—wireline and through flowline (TFL). the tool which will carry out the specific down-hole operation. The 90° shift is accomplished by putting a long loop in the flowline at the wellhead.3. This lack of understanding has thus far limited the distance of satellite wells to approximately 18 km from the point at which the crude is processed. The tool string starts at the platform in a vertical position. The loop must be large enough to accommodate the tool string as it passes through and gives the characteristic shape to the TFL tree.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 61 2. For example. TFL techniques. is latched to a carrier tool. Use of TFL requires some design changes in the production wellhead. . have been accepted as a viable method for down-hole intervention. One of the major problems associated with the viability of subsea production systems is the lack of understanding of the two-phase flow mechanism. In the TFL system the service tool. The TFL system was designed and developed as a consequence of the proliferation of underwater completed wells.e. In order to eliminate the need for a service vessel the through flowline (TFL) system of down-hole intervention has been developed. satellite wells tied-in to a manifold can be serviced selectively by means of a diverter tool located at the manifold. but since satellite wells are some distance from the production support the tool changes little by little from the vertical to the horizontal by means of a gradual bend in the riser service line.
This type of information is necessary for two-phase flow pipeline design. The empirical information obtained by these programmes has led to the development of computer programs which can predict two-phase flow patterns. The use of a two-phase flow pump would permit the possibility of production from satellite wells or fields far distant from the point of crude oil processing. are underway with a view to gaining a better picture of the two-phase flow mechanism. March 1983.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 62 TABLE 2. The research and field . will make substantial use of subsea production technology. The development plans accepted for the Texaco Highlander field and Hamilton’s Duncan field shows industry and government acceptance of subsea technological advances.E. Total (9+) (2) (6) 17 trees Source: The Oilman. Two major research programmes. The French research programme has led to the development of a pump capable of handling two-phase flows. Research programmes are currently underway to improve wellhead control systems. Skuld and other subsea test stations can be used to establish repair and maintenance procedures. particularly by employing more accurate transducers. and will inevitably lead to improvements in equipment design. A major problem area for subsea production systems is undoubtedly associated with the control and repair and maintenance functions. especially those small fields associated with larger finds. one in France and one in Norway.5 List of Fields Employing Subsea Production Technology Satellite Beryl Casablanca Claymore Cormorant Emilio Lavinia Magnus Murchison N. Marginal field developments.Hewitt Ninian Tartan Total (1) (1) (7) (3) (2) (1) (6) 30 trees Total 30 trees Completions Satellite to subsea or riser (4) (2) (3) Argyll Buchan Castellon Dorado Espoir Nilde Tazerka Completions manifold (8) (7) (1) (2) (5) (1) (6/8) Template and long life systems Cormorant Central Grondin Frigg N.
The field reservoir characteristics are not always consistent with this stop-start type of production so some element of buffer storage must be considered. —articulated column. —throughput of oil. 2. —efficiency of discharge port equipment. In other sections. —number and capacity of the shuttle tanker(s). Among the factors to be considered are: —storm occurrence interval and persistancy. The reason for this popularity has been the easy availability of all sizes of tankers since the mid-1970 s overbuild situation. hawser. Offshore storage is normally required because there is inevitably a question of down time (time during which a system is not operational) associated with offshore loading concepts. The environmental factors will. Several aspects of crude oil evacuation must be examined before a suitable buffer storage system is selected. . —speed of the shuttle tanker.4 STORAGE Introduction Crude oil storage in relation to marginal field developments invariably means offshore storage. The exception to this rule has been Argyll field which has been subject to this stop-start production rhythm but has suffered no damage as a result. —spar. of course. the platform supervisory personnel have no option but to shut down field production. The normal method of crude evacuation is by shuttle tankers which may be loaded directly from a loading system or via a storage vessel.1 Tanker Based Storage Systems Tanker based storage systems are the most popular method of providing buffer storage for marginal fields.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 63 testing stage of this technology is coming to a close and the experience with the existing producing systems should form the cornerstone of the future designs. etc. The Poseidon concept opens up new and exciting horizons for subsea production and will lead to a further refinement of technology. 2. Four basic structures suitable for offshore storage include: —tanker. particularly those on production supports and loading systems.). —distance of the field from port of discharge. If no storage is provided and adverse weather prevents shuttle tanker loading. —loading system maintenance down time (hoses. However. —barge. while the tanker. have a bearing on the type of storage structure selected but the factors listed above govern the quantity of storage required. most of the components used for offshore storage are examined.4.
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 64 because of its geometry. —installation of mooring fenders and mooring bollards. This has been a function of the factors mentioned above rather than a limitation of barge technology itself. —inert gas system. —chain tensioning machine installation. a specially built barge with 1000000 bbls storage. South America and offshore California. For instance the Fako. of a hollow steel box. —cathodic protection. —PLEM (pipeline end manifold). —cargo crude oil transfer control and safety systems including dewatering by wash tanks. off Cameroon.2 Barge Based Storage Systems The barge is perhaps the simplest floating geometric shape consisting. —the provision of additional fire protection. in its most basic configuration. Tanker storage is suitable for most environmental conditions with systems installed in the North Sea. —hull reinforcement for anchorlines. —electric power generation including the fitting of an extra turbo alternator and diesel alternator.4. has been in service since 1972 offshore Indonesia. Barge storage has not been used extensively. —provision of a helideck. — the provision of hydraulic hose handling cranes and utility winches. there is a considerable amount of conversion work required to turn an ocean going tanker into a stationary storage vessel. The technology of tanker storage has advanced considerably during the past fifteen years and experience has shown that loading down time has been exclusively associated with tanker loading equipment and weather rather than the vessels themselves. The Arco Ardjana IIAPCO Cinta. —electrical supply by submerged cable to the platform. is eminently suitable as a means of buffer storage. South East Asia. principally because of the availability of tankers of all sizes. approximately 10000 bbls.3 Articulated Column Storage Systems . West Africa. —transformation of boilers for gas burning direct from the field. 2.1. a 90 000 dwt. —store and spare parts handling system on deck. 2. storage tanker on the Kole field. required the following conversion jobs: —mooring system design and installation on site. The systems employed to date have incorporated a small amount of storage.4. the Mediterranean. — modification to crew accommodation. Barges as production supports were already examined in Section 2. —crude oil metering system. —hoses between PLEM and storage tanker.
Elements of a marginal field development scheme 65 Articulated columns have already been considered as production supports and will later be extensively examined as loading systems. 2. The development of this technology was necessitated by the inability of very large crude carriers (VLCCs) to dock at existing port facilities due to draft limitations. Offshore loading technology has been developed from the use in the 1960 s of buoys for crude oil transfer from tankers to refinery tank storage. which is examined in detail later. .4. particularly SPAR type structures. 2. The extension of the technology to encompass the offshore loading of crude oil was developed in order to eliminate the requirement for sea-bed pipelines and booster stations and thereby reduce investment costs.5 OFFSHORE LOADING SYSTEMS Introduction A notable feature of all marginal field and early production systems is the use of an offshore loading facility for crude oil export. The Maureen Articulated Loading Column.4 SPAR Storage Systems The SPAR concept is based on the use of a large buoy structure. The storage capacity of the articulated column is a byproduct of the column’s geometry. The articulated column can have a very substantial (depending on the design) underwater tubular structure which has both buoyancy and stability functions. for offshore loading. all the systems examined above have proven operationally successful and have in no way been a limiting factor in the overall production system’s performance. can be arranged into a series of storage compartments which can be used for buffer storage if tanker loading is interrupted. The various concepts on offer are based on well proven technology and can easily be adapted to whatever loading system has been selected. with a substantial underwater element. The Brent SPAR is designed to store 300000 bbls of oil in six segmented tanks. This structure. The SPAR concept in general and the Brent SPAR in particular are examined in detail in the section on loading systems. which can be considered as hollow. offshore loading constitutes the optimum solution. Several loading system designs. When used simply as buffer storage.5 Conclusions Offshore storage capacity is generally sought in those circumstances where loading system down time can lead to production shut-in. Unless the marginal field is close to shore or in the vicinity of an existing pipeline system with spare capacity. 2. The column has been designed to incorporate a buffer store of 650000bbis.4. is a steel concrete hybrid structure 148 m high with a column outside diameter of 10 m. have the inherent capability to act as buffer storage. both in terms of technology and cost.
2. tankers are unable to moor safely and therefore production must be suspended. Because offshore loading systems are usually used in the case of . The following is a list of the systems including. derivatives include: —single anchor leg storage (SALS)—Castellon and Tazerka. a specific field application. the development of ‘mooring’ buoy technology and. sometimes for extended periods. Reservoir and crude characteristics translate themselves into three design parameters. water depth and weather conditions. i. (b) Single anchor leg mooring (SALM)—Thistle field. particularly the sizing of the export lines. evolved on two fronts. derivatives include: —exposed location single buoy mooring (ELSBM)—Auk field. The loading system must be capable of surviving the 100 year storm conditions as well as meeting minimum wave height operational criteria. —turret moored tanker.e. —single buoy storage (SBS)—Ashtart. the adaptation of the buoy technology to the provision of some level of buffer storage. second. (d) forces exerted by the selected transport.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 66 One of the major drawbacks of a mooring buoy loading system is its sensitivity to environmental conditions. (e) storage requirements. (d) Fixed tower—Cayo Arcas. Tunisia. where possible. therefore. The rate of production has an obvious effect on system design. —SPA—Brent field. First. (c) Articulated loading column (ALC)—Maureen and Beryl. throughput. for example the SBS is usually limited to a water depth of 150 m because of inherent problems posed by the catenary chain anchoring subsystem.5. until the weather improves sufficiently to resume operations. (a) Catenary anchor leg mooring (CALM)—Buchan field. Water depth can act as a limiting factor in the choice of feasible loading systems. (b) reservoir and crude characteristics.1 Offshore Loading System Design Considerations There are five major factors to be taken into account in the design of an offshore loading system: (a) environmental conditions. During storms or high sea state conditions. A solution to this problem is to provide crude oil storage capacity. generally in the form of a permanently moored tanker. The technology has. Environmental conditions fall into two general categories. (c) maintenance/operational continuity. There are four basic configurations of offshore loading systems with variations applicable to specific development criteria. so that production stoppages are eliminated. type of products and operational pressures.
2. Table 2. that is they must be available continuously for fluid transfer. to 12 in. The swivel associated with the loading system must be designed to accommodate the fluids and withstand their pressures.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 67 marginal field or early production.5.14 and 2. Once the export or storage tanker has been selected the forces it will exert on the loading system can be calculated and the system designed to accommodate those loads. 2.15).6 indicates the main characteristics of some CALM systems.2 Catenary Anchor Leg Mooring (CALM) A CALM loading system consists of a circular mooring buoy secured by a series of catenary anchor chain legs terminating at fixed anchor points on the sea bed. The transferred fluids may consist of processed crude. The advantages of the CALM system are: —Multiple fluid streams can be transferred while the moored vessel rotates around the buoy in response to sea and weather conditions (‘weathervane’). The swivel must also be designed to handle the various pressures associated with the fluids being transported. hydraulic fluids for valve control. The overall design of the system must reflect this criterion. natural gas for fuel. In addition. although not all the installations are located in an offshore environment. wave and currents). These pressures may vary from 225–275 psi for processed crudes to much higher pressures for live crude and hydraulic lines (1200–2000 psi). —Mooring forces are minimised as the tanker assumes a position of least resistance to the environmental forces (wind. This concept has been in existence for over 25 years and some 260 installations have been made worldwide. Tankers are moored to the buoy via a hawser arrangement which attaches to the buoy mooring arm (Figs. must be designed for execution with the tanker on the mooring. product lines are normally in the range of 8 in. Most of the offshore loading systems are designed for 100% occupancy. routine and preventative maintenance procedures. treated associated water and liquid petroleum gas (LPG). live crude oil and gas directly from the well. excluding hoses and hawsers. . Flexible floating hoses connect the underside of the buoy to a pipeline end manifold (PLEM) on the sea bed and the buoy to the tanker manifold respectively.
CALM.14. FIG. 2.15.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 68 FIG. 2. . Rigid yoke CALM.
pig. The novelties associated with this particular CALM include: —The entire crude flow system is designed to handle efficiently the passage of a 12 in.) Buoy diameter (m) 9 12 11 Rospo Mare Adriatic Sea (Italy) Abu al Bukhoosh Panama (2 buoys) Victoria Pampo Persian Gulf (Abu Dhabi) Chiriqui Lagoon (Panama) Gulf of Guinea Campos Basin (Brazil) 50 1×12 530 2×10 9500 2×20 57 125 5000 2×20 250 1×8 12 13 Source: EMH. Based on the environmental data and the requirement that the terminal should survive a 50 year storm. each about 407 m in length. —The buoy is reusable after the field has been depleted.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 69 TABLE 2. model tests showed that the buoy would have to be 15 m in diameter by 4.6 Main Characteristics of some CALM Terminals Terminal Location Water depth (m) 22 28 23 Tanker size (dwt. Several offshore loading systems were considered before a decision was taken to install a CALM system in 112 m of water.) 35000 230000 Up to 150000 50 to 280000 50000 Flow rate (m3/hour) Oil piping size (in. —Accidents have occurred during mild weather when the tanker has drifted onto the buoy and led to damage of the floating hoses.6 m deep moored by six anchor chains. —Swivel is located on the buoy for easy dry access. The Buchan CALM Buoy Because of the marginal nature of the field. —Tankers can be moored and released rapidly. the Buchan development discounted the use of a dedicated pipeline as an export system for the field. This capability is necessary because of the high wax content of Buchan crude . —The system is flexible. Some disadvantages are: —Mooring can only take place in relatively benign conditions making the export system the limiting factor for production.
The total displacement of the structure is 3950 tonnes. The central shaft of the substructure is 130 cm in diameter and is normally filled with water. ballast and trim tanks are arranged around this annular space. the anchor chains can be retensioned to the appropriate catenary shape while avoiding the need for crane barges and other costly installation equipment (see Chapter 5). The maximum operational criteria for a tanker moored to the Auk ELSBM are: . the generator room. —A self aligning quick hose connector is being used to attach and detach the floating hose from the buoy’s pipearm. Apart from the space structure which carries the helicopter deck (suitable for Sikorski S-61).and superstructure. —The buoy’s deck equipment includes a chain jack for retensioning any of the buoy’s six anchor chains. The total underwater weight of the substructure varies from 9. the emergency and control cabin. The substructure consists of three separate sections tapering from a diameter of 22 m at the top. The buoy is normally unmanned but is large enough to include some level of emergency accommodation. the superstructure also includes the mooring trunk hose reels and cable drum for the loading hoses.5. The annular space around this shaft permits access through the various decks to the base of the structure by means of ladders and hatches. because larger motions are experienced at the exposed location. The total draught of the structure is 52 m. The buoyancy.5 tons depending on the level of water ballast. —The hook-up and departure procedure is designed so that no assistance from small craft is required.5 to 13. The superstructure is connected to the substructure via the turntable section.6 m diameter. the submerged section of the buoy is substantially increased. The water plane area is of fender type construction in order to protect the structure from impact damage. The system is very much like that described for the CALM with the exception of the buoy structure which can be divided into a sub. With this equipment. The Auk ELSBM The Auk ELSBM is located in 84 m of water 2 km from the Auk platform.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 70 which posed the threat of wax build up should the flow be curtailed and the crude allowed to cool. —Two tankers are dedicated to the field minimising the risk of production shut-down. The mooring systems of the two configurations is the same with the ELSBM being conventionally moored by a series of chains. air compressor and diesel storage. 2.3 Exposed Location Single Buoy Mooring (ELSBM) An ELSBM is a direct extension of CALM technology to more environmentally severe locations. through a mid-section of 12 m diameter to a bottom section of 8. It is moored to the sea bed by 8 anchors each weighing 15 tons and which are set around the buoy in a circle with a 460 m radius. However. This system greatly simplifies installation and maintenance by limiting the need for divers and calm sea conditions. the reel for the mooring hawser.
The Brent SPAR The SPAR concept was originally designed to handle crude from the Brent ‘A’ Platform with a maximum throughput design capacity of 100000 BOPD using the SPAR storage or 250000 BOPD direct through-put from the platform.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 71 Wind speed: Significant wave height: Main wave period: 25 m/s 4.0 s The Auk ELSBM was installed in 1975.5 m 9. the structure as a whole is considerably larger than any loading buoy. SPAR is another adaptation of CALM technology incorporating some of the features of the ELSBM with the ability to store crude oil. 2.5. SPAR concept. The storage concept requires that the main storage tanks are kept full of either crude oil or sea water or a combination of both (Fig.16).4 SPAR The SPAR concept has been developed and utilised exclusively by Shell. FIG.16. The SPAR sits in 140 m of water . However. 2. 2.
—The yoke decreases the degree of freedom of the tanker which improves its behaviour. SBS installations made to date have been in the Mediterranean. the substructure and the superstructure. 12 normal crew with additional space for personnel required for diving operations or major overhauls. are eliminated. West Africa. The column is 17 m in diameter and 32 m high and protrudes above the surface. The superstructure also includes accommodation for 30 people. South East Asia. 2. . The superstructure is 26 m in diameter and 12 m high. The SPAR is kept at constant draught by keeping the storage tanks filled. The structure can be divided into two sections. The Brent SPAR was installed in June 1976.17). It floats below the water surface at a design draught of 109 m. 2.5 Single Buoy Storage (SBS) The SBS concept is similar to the CALM except that the tanker is moored permanently to the buoy by means of a yoke or rigid arm (Fig. which are major maintenance items. the Philippines. If crude is not available for filling the tanks sea water is used. There are several advantages of using this system instead of a conventional CALM system: —The use of a yoke or rigid arm permits the replacement of floating hoses by hard piping. Loading from the Brent SPAR is usually suspended when sea states exceed 8 m and wind speed 40 knots. loading swivel. The structure is held in. Processed crude is received continuously from the nearby platforms and is transferred to the SPAR unit from a pipeline end manifold located directly below the structure.9 km from Brent ‘A’.4 m diameter extends from the superstructure to the base of the substructure.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 72 and is located 2. It contains four decks and supports a turntable with cargo crane. —Routine maintenance of system components such as the swivel and bearing is made easier by provision of a walkway along the yoke. —Because there is a rigid connection between the buoy and the tanker. six storage tanks and twelve buoyancy tanks. The draught of the structure is controlled during all loading operations so that structural stability is maintained. —The hawsers.5. the Middle East and Brazil. The substructure is surmounted by a column which connects the underwater storage vessel with the superstructure. helicopter platform and mooring arrangements.1 m in diameter and 93 m high and is divided into 18 tanks. out-of-phase motions due to environmental loading are reduced. The substructure is 29. A free floating central shaft of 3. position by six anchor chains and wires terminating at six 1000 tonne concrete gravity anchor blocks.
The concept is an extension of the SBS concept and involves the connection of the mooring system directly to the bow of the tanker (Fig. The structure itself requires no buoyancy since it is an integral part of the tanker. A contract has been awarded for the world’s first turret moored tanker. 2. protrudes above the surface and is connected to the bow of the tanker. It .Elements of a marginal field development scheme 73 FIG. The mooring structure consists of a riser tower and a yoke collar which is below the surface and is directly connected to the bow extension.6 Turret Moored Tanker The turret moored tanker concept is relatively recent and no systems have yet been built. subsea production control system and the manifold control system are located at the top of the riser tower safely out of the splash zone. 2. 2.5. The production manifold. Single buoy storage (SBS).18). The mooring chains are supported by a chain table which is anchored conventionally to the sea bed by a spread chain system.17.
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields
FIG. 2.18. Turret moored tanker.
will be used in conjunction with the 140000 dwt. tanker based floating production system on the Jabiru field in 120 m water depth in the South Timor Sea. 2.5.7 Single Anchor Leg Mooring (SALM) The single anchor leg mooring, or SALM, was developed initially to extend the operational depth of CALMs. There are two SALM configurations. The first uses a single chain anchor leg and fluid transfer is accomplished from a subsea product distribution unit. The second configuration uses a single tubular riser and fluid transfer is accomplished from a production distribution unit at the top of the tubular riser. Combinations of the basic configurations are possible. There are seven basic elements in the SALM unit—a mooring hawser, a floating buoy, a swivel and U-joint which connects the buoy to the chain or riser element, a riser chain or single tubular riser, product hoses, a product distribution unit and a mooring base. The dynamic behaviour of the SALM differs markedly from that of the CALM. The SALM behaves as an inverted pendulum and the required restoring force is provided by the buoyancy of the buoy body as the mooring forces displace the terminal laterally from the vertical. In
Elements of a marginal field development scheme
FIG. 2.19. SALM concept.
contrast, the restoring forces in a conventional CALM are functions of the weight and spacing of the catenary draped anchor chains supported above the sea bed by the displaced buoy body. As with all mooring buoy designs the buoy in the SALM incorporates a 360° swivel in the horizontal plane which allows the loading vessel to weathervane so as to take up the position of least resistance to the combined forces of wind, waves and current (Fig. 2.19). The advantages of the SALM system are: —It is applicable to a wide range of water depths. —Because a gravity or piled base is used to locate the riser/mooring system a wide range of soil conditions are acceptable. —The major elements of the system can be reused. —Mooring forces are minimised as the tanker weathervanes about the buoy. The main disadvantage is that the product swivel is generally located underwater, and hence divers are required for maintenance and repair. The Fulmar SALM Three alternative export options were evaluated for the Fulmar field in the North Sea. They were: direct field loading of tanker; construction of new pipeline to shore; and tie into an existing line. The latter two options were rejected due to cost and lack of spare capacity respectively. A loading feasibility study showed that a SALM was the ideal solution for holding the required 210000 dwt. tanker on station in the 14.4 m significant wave height. The environmental design criteria were the following:
Significant wave height 14.4 m
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields
Maximum wave height Dominant wave period 1-minute mean wind 1-hour mean wind Surface current velocity
26.8 m 16.4 s 43.9 m/s 37.5 m/s 2.6 knots
The primary components of the Fulmar SALM are the buoy, rigid arm, product swivel, base and the mechanical articulations which connect them. The anchor leg of the Fulmar SALM is a rigid buoy connected to the base by an articulated joint and connected at the top directly to the rigid arm through a triaxial universal joint and mooring swivel. The buoy weighs 1829 tonnes and the outside diameter ranges from 8 m at the lower end to 15.9 m at the maximum diameter down to 5.5 m at the top. The buoy is sub-divided into 18 compartments to provide damage stability and a 3 m diameter central column provides access to the various compartments for inspection and maintenance. The rigid arm is a box truss triangular structure. The arm weighs 800 tonnes and measures 61 m in length and is 30.5 m at the hinged connection to the tanker. The arm carries all the rigid fluid lines necessary to carry out fluid transfer. The base is of gravity/piled design and consists of a steel hexagonal structure with a pile located at each corner. The piles were driven to a depth of 29 m and were then grouted to the pile sleeves in order to resist the environmentally imposed loads. The universal joint which weighs 360 tonnes connects lugs on the bottom of the buoy to those on the base structure via two 1560 mm diameter by 7.9 m long tubular pins and a coupler sleeve assembly. The Fulmar SALM stands in 82 m of water and is capable of handling approximately 180000 b/d of crude oil and loading tankers at a rate of 40000 b/h. The structure was installed in May 1981. 2.5.8 Single Anchor Leg Storage (SALS) The single anchor leg storage system or SALS is a variation of the SALM described above. The system is based upon a single vertical riser between the sea bed anchor point and the storage/production vessel mooring yoke. The yoke incorporates a submerged buoyancy tank or tanks for maintaining a permanent tension force to the riser regardless of sea state or loading conditions. As in the case of the SALM the articulated single chain riser (or single tubular riser) is connected by means of universal joints at both the top and the bottom ends (Fig. 2.20).
Elements of a marginal field development scheme
FIG. 2.20. SALS concept.
A swivel at the top of the upper universal joint allows 360° rotation for weathervaning of the production/storage vessel. The main difference between the SALM and SALS systems is the use of a mooring yoke in the former and a mooring hawser in the latter. The length of the mooring yoke is determined from the behavioural characteristics of the storage vessel in various loading conditions during the most severe sea states anticipated. The geometry of the yoke, in turn, determines the forces acting upon the structure and its points of attachment. The Castellon SALS One of the first applications of the SALS concept was the development of the Castellon field offshore Spain. The development utilised a tanker as a production support and the process system included water separation, degassing and gas disposal. The design criteria were the following:
Location: Water depth: Well data: Storage capacity: Survival conditions: (100 year storm) Western Mediterranean off the coast of Spain 117 m 20000 b/d of sour crude oil with a gas/oil ratio of 100 scf/bbl and a pressure of 1000 psi 350000 bbls Significant wave height Current Wind (1 hour mean) 8.5 m 25 knots 66 knots
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields
The system consists of the following elements:
(a) Anchor base—the anchor base is a welded box structure with a steel weight of about 80 tons and dimensions of 10×8×2.5 m. Four 60 m long, 75 cm diameter piles pin the structure at its corners with the lower universal joint being located at the centre. Ballast material was added to the base in order that the combined weight of the base, piles and lower universal joint counterbalanced the 400 ton pretension in the riser induced by the buoyancy tank incorporated in the mooring yoke. (b) Universal joints—the universal joints were of conventional design and weighed approximately 35 tons. (c) Anchor leg—the anchor leg is made up of forged steel links, 6 m long and 22 cm in diameter. End links are aligned alternately at 90° and joined by 30 cm diameter steel pins. The weight of the anchor leg is about 1 ton/m. The anchor leg has a dual role: it transmits the mooring force to the piled base and acts as a tensioned support for the riser and hydraulic control lines. (d) Mooring yoke—the yoke is a rigid box truss triangular structure composed of welded tubular steel members. The yoke also has a dual function, first to provide a stable mooring platform for the loading vessel and, second, to provide a support structure for the submerged buoyancy tank. This 18 m long by 8 m diameter buoyancy tank is divided by watertight bulkheads into three chambers each of which is equipped with bilge, sounding and purging pipework. The overall length of the mooring yoke from hinges to turntable centre is about 50 m. Load out weight of the mooring yoke including the buoyancy tank was about 500 tons. (e) Crude flow path—flexible 4 in. dia. jumper hose spans the lower universal joint and is attached by standoffs up the length of the anchor leg to the upper universal joint. The fluid then passes through the internal passages of the universal joint pin joints, and then through the main fluid swivel to hardline pipework along the rigid mooring yoke. The Castellon SALS system was designed for a 20 year service life and preventative maintenance activities are restricted to cleaning, inspection for damage and corrosion and lubrication of the mooring and fluid product swivel assemblies. The system has been operational since 1977. 2.5.9 Articulated Loading Column (ALC) An articulated column is a single vertical structure which is connected to its anchoring base by means of an articulated joint. Free rotation around the bottom universal joint horizontal axes ensures the compliance of the structure with environmental forces while buoyancy in the upper portion of the column provides the necessary restoring force (Fig. 2.21). Table 2.7 shows the characteristics of some North Sea ALCs. The concept consists of the following elements: —The base, which is located on the sea bed and acts as an anchor for the column; the base design is a function of the size of column and the sea bed soil conditions. —The cardan joint, which is situated on top of the base and permits the column to oscillate, i.e. to follow the movements of wind, wave and currents instead of resisting them.
21. which is submerged and stabilises the structure. 150 000 dwt. TABLE 2. . Mobil Mobil Phillips Statoil 1978 1982 1982 1985 1986 145 182 118 170 105 140 140 100 000 dwt. 2.5 MWH 15 s Wind 65 m/s 30 MWH 15 s 30. FIG.7 North Sea Articulated Loading Columns Name and site Beryl ‘A’ Owner Mobil Delivery year 1975 Water depth (total height) (m) 117 147 Design conditions 30. Articulated loading column.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 79 —The principal buoyancy section.2 MWH 15 s 30 MWH 31 MWH Tanker size 80 000 dwt. Statfjord ‘A’ Beryl ‘B’ Maureen Gullfaks ‘1’ Gullfaks ‘2’ Source: EMH. 90 000 dwt.
tankers at a rate of 20000 b/h.10 Yoked Tower The yoked tower is a direct derivation of the ALC.3 m steel chimney 5. with two buoyancy tanks. Tankers may remain moored and loading in wind speeds of up to 50 knots with significant wave heights of 6 m and maximum wave heights of 11 m. The rotating head weighs some 242 tonnes.6 m in diameter which supports the rotating head. . There is little change in the column architecture except for a rigid yoke articulated at both ends which replaces the flexible hawser. Sufficient stand-off distance between the column and the tanker is achieved by cantilevering the loading hose on a fixed boom projecting 36 m from the centre of the column. thus eliminating the need for an oil loading boom. 2. measuring 29 m by 36 m. The Maureen Articulated Loading Column The Maureen ALC. The columns may be fabricated in steel or concrete or a combination of the two.2 m in diameter with a wall thickness of 31 cm.5.7 m long. is the first permanently buoyant concrete structure in the North Sea. necessary to provide neutral buoyancy during installation. which is made principally from concrete. The Maureen ALC was installed in 100 m of water in August 1982.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 80 —The marine compartment which is a tubular section connecting the buoyancy chamber with the superstructure. The column is designed to operate in all but the most severe weather conditions. This section is in communication with the surface of the water and is designed to reduce the wave action forces on the structure and in consequence the articulation.25 m long. flow paths which provide continuity between the base crude oil circuits and the risers fixed to the exterior of the column.5 m long with a 200 tonnes breaking load capacity. after a 600 mile tow from the construction site at Loch Kishorn.5. —The superstructure. 9. The universal joint weighs 65 tonnes and incorporates duplicate 24 in. The column weighs a total of 3232 tonnes (3078 tonnes of concrete and 154 tonnes of steel) and measures 91. 2. When water depth conditions are such that the concept of an articulated column stabilised by a buoyancy tank is not applicable (water depths below 80 m). particularly a helipad to allow column maintenance.11 Catenary Anchored Tower (CAT) The catenary anchored tower (CAT) is a further adaptation of the ALC technology. the design is based on a 20 year operational life and the ALC is capable of loading 85000 dwt. The base weighs 4168 tonnes. At 8. each 9. containing the various pieces of equipment necessary to assure the various functions of the column. The mooring hawser is 112. the column may be stabilised by chain legs anchored to the sea bed. The gravity base is H shaped in plan.2 m in diameter and 27. The Maureen ALC is unmanned with all mooring and loading operations being controlled from the tanker.2 m above sea level the column is topped by a 12.
The fixed tower requires some form of fendering to absorb tanker contact (Fig. . and site conditions. FIG.22. initial cost. The system substantially reduces the relative motion between the loading terminal and the tanker.5.e.e. the boom with loading hoses and the mooring hawser. While the concept is not based directly on articulated column technology. i. Fixed tower. the structure itself may be architecturally similar to a column but is firmly fixed to the site. the rotating head. however. i. 2. The CAT concept is applicable to water depths ranging from 40 to 80 m in severe environmental conditions.22). 2. water depth and wave height. 2.12 Fixed Tower The fixed tower is a permanently located structure with a gravity or piled base on which is located the transfer equipment already described.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 81 The tanker is moored to the articulated column through a rigid yoke or a hawser depending on the environmental conditions at the site. there are limitations in terms of abandonment.
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 82 The Cayo Arcas Fixed Tower The Cayo Arcas fixed tower was installed in 1982 in 41 m water depth in the Gulf of Campeche by Pemex. Since the tower is a permanently located structure. The rotating head sits on the central shaft and supports a boom and loading hoses. it is much more vulnerable to collision than moored or articulated structures. One of the features of the fixed tower is the use of a large ‘bicycle TABLE 2. The tower is designed to load 285000 dwt.8 Factors Affecting Choice of Offshore Loading System Storage Environmental conditions Benign Water depth (m) Loading system −50 Fixed system 50–150 CALM 100+ ALC −50 Fixed tower No Severe 50–150 ELSBM 70–175 SALM 100–200 ALC −25 Fixed tower 50–150 SBS Benign 40–80 CAT 80–200 SALS/SPAR Yes −50 Fixed tower 40–80 CAT Severe 50–200 SPAR/SALS 80–200 ALC wheel’ fender. This type of fender is necessary because of the possibility of collision between the fixed tower and the tanker. tankers which are moored by hawser. . The structure consists of a central column supported by a piled base structure.
—safety systems.23. The various flowlines from the individual wells are manifolded into one or more large diameter pipes. Each production header then carries all or part of the total production to one of the separation trains. —water treatment and disposal system. called production headers.23 shows some possible combinations of process plant which may be required offshore. —gas treatment and disposal system. —utility systems. 2. The following list of systems is not exhaustive and by no means would every development use them all.1 Gathering System (Manifolding) The total production of reservoir fluids from the various wells must be combined prior to passing through the treatment facilities. Therefore each well is also . Block diagram of possible systems on an offshore production platform. —separation system. 2.6. Figure 2.6 PROCESSING FACILITIES The processing facilities for an offshore development can vary from a simple separation and disposal system to a highly complex processing plant utilising miles of interconnecting pipework and dozens of processing vessels. which are the first of the separation systems. The possibilities include. —oil treatment and disposal system. Each well must be tested periodically which involves diverting the flow to a testing system. FIG. but are not limited to: —gathering system.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 83 2.
This is being facilitated by the continuing development of ROVs which can undertake all the routine maintenance and inspection work. which bypasses the first or high pressure separator and flows directly to a separator operating at a lower pressure. on the other hand. This is achieved by the installation of baffles at the oil/gas interface in horizontal separators to reduce the effect of sloshing and by the use of curved weirs which have a profile that ensures their flow characteristics are unchanged for all expected angles of roll. has the advantage of having all the associated valves and pipework easily accessible and eliminating the considerable expense associated with diver and ROV systems normally required for subsea systems.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 84 connected to a test header. water and gas have differing densities. In harsh environments roll motions tend to be less significant than in milder environments—thus roll motions should not pose any insurmountable problems for floating separators. The principal of separation lies in the fact that oil. In this case a low pressure header is provided for these wells. Research has also been carried out on the effect of vessel motions on the operation of vertical distillation columns.6. In the case of the Cadlao process facilities. gas is lightest.3. .6. while permanent inclination does adversely affect vessel efficiency. The current trend is towards subsea manifolding. a few wells may have insufficient pressure to flow into the first stage of separation. 2. However. on the production support. gas and water in varying proportions and one of the primary functions of a production system is to separate the well fluids into their individual phases. In practice roll motions of 10° have been experienced without shutdown. The topside weight associated with manifolding on the surface is a significant item for submersible based production systems. Process separators must be modified to minimise the effects of vessel roll and pitch on their operation. —re-injection gas for reservoir pressure maintenance. and water is heaviest. Manifolding on the sea bed has the advantage of simplifying the riser configuration and the associated high pressure swivel arrangements.2 Separation System Each well produces oil. As explained in Section 2. the random motions due to the sea should have only a minor effect if suitable modifications are made to the internal trays. the separators were designed to operate satisfactorily with a roll of 15° (half amplitude). 2. gas on a floating production system may also have one or more of the following uses: —fuel gas for power generators. —sales gas if it can be piped to shore. If the field involves wells which flow at different pressures.3 Gas Treatment and Disposal Associated gas is normally flared in floating production systems. Manifolding on the surface. manifolding may take place at the sea bed or at the surface. It appears that.
. a gas disposal system must be installed to handle the full volume in the event of a production upset.Elements of a marginal field development scheme 85 Even if associated gas is re-injected or used to some other purpose. are being used successfully on production semi-submersibles.5 mmscf/d gas. Flare booms. The designers claim that designs have been completed for similar ground flares having capacities up to 50 mmscf/d. which are normally used on fixed platforms. The flare on the production platform on the Argyll field is mounted on top of the derrick. For this quantity of throughput the stack would be 11 m diameter and 22 m high. A ground flare installation is employed on the Cadlao FPSO to burn 6. water cooled incinerators are used to burn 2 mmscf/d gas. On the Castellon FPSO.
Thirty-nine field developments worldwide have been reviewed: 7 utilise or utilised a jack-up as a production support. —reduced capital investment. We now proceed to an examination of the fields reviewed using the above criteria. —minimum abandonment costs. —proven technology. In general such systems should incorporate all of the following features: —early production. —maximum return on investment. However. The majority of the 39 fields reviewed show a significant improvement on these figures. for example Badejo and Bicudo in the Campos Basin of Brazil began producing in the year in which they were discovered TABLE 3. —maximum flexibility for offshore development.1 Early Production The standard time required to develop a field conventionally is somewhere between three and seven years depending on the location and the type of production system chosen. —method to produce marginally economic field. some large discrepancies do occur.1.1 . 6 a monohull (barge or tanker) and a further 7 utilised technologies which are relevant to marginal fields. 3.Chapter 3 Existing Marginal Field Technology INTRODUCTION In this section we will examine those systems which have already been used to exploit hydrocarbon deposits and which could have widespread applications to marginal field development. A data sheet and field development layout for each of the 39 fields reviewed appears later in this section. —method to test the reservoir. Before proceeding with a global examination of the fields already developed it is perhaps opportune to review criteria for marginal field development systems. For example field developments in Brazil have incorporated some elements of early production but since the systems used have marginal field applications they have been reviewed for this section. 19 a semi-submersible. The list of developments includes fields which have permanent marginal field systems installed as well as those which have utilised some form of marginal field technology as an early production system.
Existing marginal field technology 87 Existing Fields Utilising Marginal Field Technology Date 1971 1974 1975 1975 1977 1977 1978 1978 1979 1979 1979 1980 1980 1980 1981 1981 1981 1981 1982 1982 1982 1982 1982 1982 1982 1982 1983 1983 1983 Ekofisk Bekapi Handil Argyll Castellon Enchova E. Garoupa N. Dorado Saltpond Enchova E. Casablanca Nilde Sul del Pampo Pampo Pampo Linguado Cadlao Badejo Lavinia Bicudo Buchan Garoupinha Bonito Tazerka Parati Espoir Emilio Corvina Pirauna Central Cormorant Field Location North Sea Borneo Borneo North Sea Spain Brazil Spain Ghana Brazil Brazil Spain Italy Brazil Brazil Brazil Philippines Brazil Italy Brazil North Sea Brazil Brazil Tunisia Brazil Ivory Coast Italy Brazil Brazil North Sea Operator Phillips Total Total Hamilton Shell Espana Petrobras Eniepsa Agri-Petco Petrobras Petrobras Chevron Agip Petrobras Petrobras Petrobras Amoco Pétrobras Agip Petrobras BP Petrobras Petrobras Shell Petrobras Phillips Agip Petrobras Petrobras Shell Production support Jack-up Barge Barge Semi-sub Tanker Semi-sub Semi-sub Jack-up Semi-sub Semi-sub Semi-sub Tanker Semi-sub Semi-sub Semi-sub Tanker Jack-up — Semi-sub Semi-sub Semi-sub Semi-sub Tanker Jack-up Jack-up — Semi-sub Semi-sub UMC .
if not all. was selected for conversion to the production platform. Some improvement with respect to time was experienced with the Pampo field which took three years from discovery to first oil. as does Petrobras. the conversion of that support for production operations. of production supports. was not produced until 1979. the procurement or lease of a support which has generally up to then been involved only in drilling.g. Since few companies find themselves having a series of fields coming on-stream sequentially. and second. e. Work began on the conversion at the Olsen Group’s Lewis offshore yard in Stornoway. to produce early oil. Where drilling had not been completed. For various reasons the conversion proved to be more complex and involved more . jack-up. Drillmaster. at short notice. semi-sub and monohull. The experience of BP on Buchan shows the perils involved with converting a drilling support to a production support. This experience has led to the remarkable situation where fields discovered in Brazil after 1980 have been brought on-stream in the year of their discovery. The very short times to first oil being achieved in Brazil can in large measure be attributed to the practice of Petrobras of completing exploration wells as producers. An examination of the data for each field shows that as supports are decommissioned from one field they are swiftly employed in the production system of another field. First. In most of the cases examined several. Lewis in October 1978. The importance of the availability of a suitable production support to early production cannot be overstated. which incorporated novel tension leg platform technology. Generally it is true to say that where no novel technology is involved and where the operator has gained some experience of early production systems the time to first oil can be greatly reduced. they must address two problems. This is a major factor in the performance of Petrobras. There are two factors which greatly influence the ability of systems based on conventional supports. At best this operation can take up one to two years and at worst considerably longer. The first field in Brazil produced using early production technology was Garoupa North which. although discovered in 1974. The semi-submersible Pentagone design drilling rig. of the production wells were drilled prior to the arrival of the production support. satellite wells were added to the system as necessary. They are (a) the ability to pre-drill development wells. was discovered as early as 1973 but only began producing in 1984. and (b) the availability. The Brazilian experience is worth examining.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 88 1984 1984 1984 1984 1984 1984 1985 1985 1985 1986 Saleh Hutton NE Frigg RJS-236 RJS-150 Parati RJS-90 Scapa Highlander Balmoral UAE North Sea North Sea Brazil Brazil Brazil Brazil North Sea North Sea North Sea Gulf Conoco Elf Norge Petrobras Petrobras Petrobras Petrobras Occidental Texaco Sun Oil Jack-up TLP Articulating Semi-sub Jack-up Semi-sub Semi-sub UMC UMC Semi-sub while the Hutton field.
3.3 Maximum Return on Investment There are two factors associated with the systems reviewed which would seem to conform to this criterion. There are of course constraints on jack-ups in terms of water depth and payload. the most significant impact on capital investment occurs when the support and/or the production equipment is leased. However. This factor greatly improves the profitability of the venture and leads to a maximisation of return on investment. While leasing is not an option for fixed platform developments. Another area of significant saving is marine operations.4 Maximum Flexibility for Offshore Operations The field developments reviewed demonstrate the flexibility of the various components for marginal field operations. Most types of vessel have been utilised: . First. Although the modifications had been scheduled to take 11 months. although payload should not be a limiting factor in the case of small fields. The Pentagone design made such changes difficult and in some cases involved cutting through decks and bulkheads. All these factors increased costs and caused delays. In general the production supports are floating and are therefore substantially more flexible than fixed installations. a year later than anticipated. second.1.1. while on average the 32 fields using conventional supports improved time to first oil.Existing marginal field technology 89 extensive rebuilding than had been anticipated. Therefore. A one year improvement in time to first oil in the North Sea can improve the rate of return by up to 8% for a 60000 b/d field and 5% for a 30000 b/d field. Statutory regulations had changed since Drillmaster had been built and extensive modifications were required. the time to first oil is reduced and.e.2 Reduced Capital Investment Some 32 of the 39 field developments reviewed utilised an existing drilling support or tanker converted for production operations. 3. i. This considerably reduces the amount of capital investment made by the operator. installation and hook-up which are substantially shorter for a marginal field production system than for a development involving a fixed platform. there is a lease option for supports and production facilities. the availability of suitable supports and a degree of experience are prerequisites to successful operations. The option to lease short-term both production support and facilities provides the operator with the opportunity to pay a significant proportion of his costs of field development from his oil revenues as they accrue. Buchan Alpha was not towed out to the field until September 1980. jack-ups. An economic analysis of marginal field developments carried out showed that time to first oil is one of the most significant parameters in offshore marginal field developments.1. Savings were thus made on front end engineering as well as the purchase or lease of the second hand production support. 3. semi-subs and tankers are freely available for long-term leasing.
However. apparent that the field operators do in fact opt for tried and true technology when developing marginal schemes. Nilde etc. Field development schemes must be viewed as integrated systems and not just as a series of components put together. In fact the systems reviewed run the complete spectrum of the technologies envisaged for marginal field development.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 90 —barges (Handil. Bekapi). —tankers (Castellon. Therefore. drilled through templates or satellites. and in the speed with which recently discovered fields have been brought on stream. and (f) loading side-by-side.1. (e) loading in tandem. (c) associated with a catenary anchor leg mooring. 3. —articulated column (Garoupa). The loading systems utilise tankers (a) catenary moored. Wellheads can be dry or wet. all areas of uncertainty must be clarified before the development begins. (b) associated with a single anchor leg mooring. Badego etc.). That experience is evident in the number of fields presently under consideration for development. Enchova. it is. Saltpond. —arced flexibles (Cadlao). —jack-ups (Ekofisk. however. Cadlao etc.). This is particularly true of technology selection. Export is rarely by pipeline but normally via a storage tanker and a shuttle system. Nilde. Each individual marginal field development is unique and may have some particular aspect of technology which is quite unique or novel. Buchan.6 Minimum Abandonment Costs .). although one tries to maximise the level of proven technology in any development there is always the possibility of encountering probems of technological fit. The riser systems have included —tubular (Argyll. 32 may be said to have used proven technology in that each individual component of the system had been proven technology before the start of the development.). The flexibility of the technologies is demonstrated again via the Brazilian experience where totally different systems have been utilised to develop fields in the same basin. Dorado etc. the engineering maxim that the sum of the parts is sometimes less than the whole generally holds. —flexible (Castellon). (d) associated with an articulated column. Marginal and early production systems have been in operation since 1971 and since then a large amount of experience has been gained. 3.1. With respect to the 39 fields reviewed. Having said this. —semi-subs (Hamilton.5 Proven Technology Because of the inherent problems associated with the profitability of marginal fields. but an effort is usually made to utilise or adapt technologies already proven in larger field developments.
3. abandonment costs are real and substantial and any development system which reduces them reflects positively on project profitability. If a field is marginal because of the uncertainty over the level of reserves. The fiscal system in operation in any specific country can have a significantly greater impact on the profitability of marginal fields than technology alone. technological selection is not the only ingredient in making marginal fields economic. 3. but also provided additional reservoir data which led to an improved development plan for the field. If the distribution in the Table 1.5 on Proven Technology. The Buchan field with an ultimate recoverable reserve of 50 m barrels is set to produce an internal rate of return of 15.8 Conclusion .1 is accurate. For example the Enchova field in Brazil was developed in three phases. operating costs. To date. the cumulative effect of the production of the fields with reserves of less than 50 m barrels could in theory equal that of the production of all the fields in the 200–500 m barrel range. When one considers the problems encountered by BP. production levels and recoverable reserves can have a major effect on the profitability of the venture. However. Hutton. Clyde.7% which is higher than Maureen. the economics of a semisubmersible based production system should be apparent.1. Therefore the only fixed installations are the subsea wellheads which can be abandoned. Magnus and Brae among recent developments. 50 m barrels has been considered as the minimum recoverable reserve to justify a field development. The economics of marginal fields are usually so finely balanced that changes in basic economic conditions such as capital expenditure. particularly the one year delay. A second area of uncertainty in marginal fields is reservoir performance.1. However.1.7 Method to Test the Reservoir We have already discussed one of the areas of uncertainty in marginal field development under point 3. Capital expenditure and operating costs are defined by technological selection whereas production levels and recoverable reserve estimates are sometimes derived on the scantiest of information. a period of production will give additional reservoir information and will reduce uncertainty thereby leading to improved decision making. The possibility of a significant resource has been established and many would argue that 32 successful developments and 7 developments of real technological innovation should be sufficient to establish the validity of the technology. Many oil company economists tend to ignore abandonment costs since in most cases they appear only after 20 years of field life and have therefore a negligible effect on the discounted cash flow of the project. In general production supports are floating and anchored.Existing marginal field technology 91 Since there are few if any fixed installations associated with marginal field developments the abandonment costs tend to be minimised. crude export is via tanker and not pipeline. Two phases were early production schemes which not only produced a revenue stream. Alwyn North.
res. gas/oil ratio 1 547 sef/bbl. satellite. export lines 1971–1974 Ekofisk North Sea Norwegian sector. 3. The technology has now evolved to the stage where proven systems do exist which may be adapted for use in most circumstances. The field data sheets show the wide range of reservoirs which have to be produced while the environments have varied from the relatively benign regions of Brazil and Ghana to the harsh environment of the North Sea. flowlines and 2×10 in. caisson containing in. 4 Wet.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 92 The 39 developments reviewed for this section show that marginal field technology has been in existence since 1971 and has been steadily evolving since that time. JACK-UP SYSTEMS Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No.21 wt%. reservoir pressure 7135 psi @ 10 489 ft.6 m dia. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: Crude was exported via two CALM buoys This system has been replaced since 1974 by a permanent production system comprising five steel platforms and one concrete storage tank 42 000 b/d Jack-up Gulf Tide 1. temperature 131°C.2. Marginal fields will form an important segment of the petroleum resources of the future whether they are located in existing oil provinces or in new areas. block 2/4. The 32 developments utilising some form of conventional production support have established the technological viability of producing marginal fields while the remaining 7 developments have taken a first step in demonstrating the technologies which may be used to develop marginal fields in the future. sulphur 0. subsea . 300 km SW of Stavanger Phillips Petroleum Water depth—70 m Crude gravity—36° API.
surface . Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. sulphur 0. of wells: Well completion Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: 1 200 b/d (1983) Jack-up Mister Louis 1978 Saltpond Offshore Ghana. 3. 50 km west of Accra Agri-Petco Water depth—30 m. prevailing winds are south-westerly between force 4 and 12 Crude gravity—39° API.Existing marginal field technology 93 FIG.1. only 4 producers Dry. Ekofisk early production.99 wt% 6 wells drilled.
Saltpond. Agri-Petco have been searching for sometime for a joint venture partner in order to implement phase II of the development which incorporates some gas injection FIG.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 94 Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: The crude is loaded via an export line to a conventionally moored storage tanker (capacity 420 000 bbls) The production level of this field is very low.2. 3. 60 km from the coast Petrobras . Date: Field: Location: Operator: 1981 Badejo Campos basin. the quality of the crude and the government policy towards exploitation has made production possible. however.
). Badejo early production system. 3. tanker size is approximately 53000 dwt FIG. 2 wet satellites 7 400 b/d Jack-up Penrod 62 4 rigid. .Existing marginal field technology 95 Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. 2 flexible Crude offloading is via a CALM buoy and shuttle tanker.3. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Water depth—94 m Crude gravity—32 API (Avg. porosity 10–15% 4 2 dry.
Gas/oil ratio 436 scf/bbl 4 Well completion: 2 dry.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 96 Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. 2 wet satellite 7 000 b/d Jack-up Petrobras III 1 rigid. 3 flexible Crude offtake is via a floating hose from the production jack-up directly to a conventionally moored 30 000 dwt shuttle tanker This was an early production system . of wells: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: 1982–1984 Parati Offshore Brazil Petrobras Water depth 94 m Crude oil gravity—25–28° API.
satellites .Existing marginal field technology 97 FIG. gas/oil ratio varies from 350 to 1 800 scf/bbl 4 Wet. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: 10 000 b/d 1982 Espoir Offshore Ivory Coast Phillips Petroleum Water depth—130 m Net thickness of reservoir interval—90 m. Parati early production system. 3. Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No.4. crude oil gravity—29–33° API.
VLCC Phillips Enterprise via a catenary anchor leg rigid arm mooring (CALRAM). export line into a 230 000 dwt. export line Crude is offloaded from a 12 in. 3.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 98 Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Jack-up Dan duke Rigid. . integral 12×3 in. flowlines 1×12 in.5 Espoir. the buoy is pin-connected to the tanker during loading Remarks: FIG.
5° API. wellhead platforms 5 000 b/d (early 1984) Jack-up Zapata Offshore’s Heron Crude oil from the field moves through a 12 in. crude oil gravity 45. 1984) to an anticipated 23 000–26 000 b/d (late 1984) . of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: 1984 Saleh Offshore UAE.9% (Avg.Existing marginal field technology 99 Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No.9 m. 17.).. porosity—10. ratio 4 701 scf/bbl. 3 Dry. gas/liq. 21 mile pipeline to a permanently moored storage tanker.9%. 26 miles from the coast Gulf Oil Water depth—100 m Gross thickness of reservoir interval—145. Afran Zodiac This development constitutes an early production system for the field where the rhythm of production should increase from 5 000 b/d (Jan. the 230 000 dwt.9–24.
gas/oil ratio—400 scf/bbl . 3. Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir August.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 100 FIG. Saleh field early production system. Campos Basin Petrobras Water depth—18 m Crude oil gravity—37° API.6. 1984 RJS—150 Offshore Brazil.
1 Dry 1 800 b/d 1 800 b/d Jack-up Petrobras III 1 Rigid FIG.7. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: Oil via floating hose to permanently moored 30 000 dwt tanker. Two wet satellite wells are planned. RJS—150. 3.Existing marginal field technology 101 characteristics: No. These wells will be connected to the support by means of flexible risers. .
longitude 3 E. crude gravity—38° API. subsea .Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 102 3. 4×4 in. 2×4 in. of wells: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: 19000 b/d Semi-sub Transworld 58 Rigid non-integral 1×10 in. central. service Loading is by means of shuttle tanker moored to a catenary anchor leg mooring system (CALM) Argyll was the first oil field to be produced by a floating production system. latitude 56 N Hamilton Water depth—80 m Gas/oil ratio—160 scf/bbl. 1975 Argyll North Sea.2% sulphur. the marginal nature of the field forced the operator to decide on a retention of the floating system.0% wax 4 plus 2 later Well completion: Wet. however. production. 6. block 30/24. 0.3 SEMI-SUBMERSIBLE SYSTEMS Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. the initial system was intended to be temporary in order to gain reservoir information.
Existing marginal field technology 103 FIG. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: 1979–1980 Enchova East. phase I Brazil Petrobras Water depth—100 m. 3.75 wt%. gross thickness of reservoir interval 42 m and 77 m 1 One surface tree plus a subsea test tree and tubing string run inside a drilling riser and BOP to a deck tree — . sulphur—0.5 knots Crude gravity—23° API. Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. gas/oil ratio 477 scf/bbl. current 3.8. Argyll field layout.
3. Enchova and Enchova Leste I. shuttle tanker conventionally anchored and fed by a floating hose This phase of the development constituted an early production system on a marginal field in order to improve the field economics FIG.9. .Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 104 Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: 6 300 b/d Semi-sub Penrod 72 Flexible and tubing string inside drilling riser and BOP Offloading was accomplished by means of a 53 000 dwt.
production level in 1983 was 7 000 b/d Well completion: Test plus 3 wet subsea satellites . 1×8 in. flexible gas lift/kill lines. shuttle tankers utilising a CALM buoy The second phase of the development included the use of a second production support Penrod 72 connected to Sedco 135D by a flexible line. gas/oil ratio 477 scf/bbl.5 in.Existing marginal field technology 105 Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. flexible production line Offloading of crude was accomplished through 53 000 dwt. of wells: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: 1979–1983 Enchova East phase 2 Brazil Petrobras Current 3. eventually Sedco 135D and its storage tanker were removed and the field was produced using Penrod 72 alone. 3×2. gross thickness of reservoir interval 42 m and 77 m 4 — 14 100 b/d Semi-sub Penrod 72 1 tubing string inside the drilling riser plus 3 flexible bundles 2×4 in.75 wt%.5 knots 0. flexible production lines. flexible export line. 1×8 in.
T=12. sulphur 0. gross thickness of reservoir interval—100 m 3 Well completion: Wet. of wells: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: 10 000 b/d Semi-sub Sedco 1 Rigid individual 1977 Dorado Offshore Spain. Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No.6 wt%. gas/oil ratio—315 scf/bbl. Enchova Leste II. subsea with deck tree .5 s Crude oil gravity 21° API.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 106 FIG. 20 km from Tarragona Eniepsa Water depth—93 m. Hmax=16 m. 3.10.
Existing marginal field technology
Riser data: Export details:
3×4 in. production Evacuation was by a 4-point conventionally moored 33 000 dwt. tanker, connected to the semi-sub by a 4 in. dia. floating hose; a 6 in. pipeline has been installed The development of this field took place in two phases—in phase 1 production was from one well only via a subsea test tree and tubing string run inside the drilling riser and BOP to the deck tree; in phase 2 two additional wells were drilled equipped with Regan subsea wellheads; only two wells are currently producing
FIG. 3.11. Dorado.
Date: Field: Location: Operator: 1979 Garoupa North Offshore Brazil Petrobras
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields
Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks:
Water depth—120 m Net thickness of reservoir—110 m (Avg.), crude oil gravity 31°API, sulphur 0.14 wt% Initially 1 with 2 wells added later Test plus 2 wet subsea satellites
Semi-sub Sedco 135D Tubing string inside drilling riser plus 2 flexible bundles Offloading via a shuttle tanker conventionally anchored and connected by flexible hoses to the production support (See Fig. 2.13; now replaced by fixed platform)
FIG. 3.12. Garoupa North.
Existing marginal field technology
Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks:
1979–1981 Casablanca Offshore Spain, 50 km from Tarragona Chevron Water depth—120–130 m Crude oil gravity—34° API, sulphur 0.2 wt%, gas/ oil ratio 65 scf/bbl, gross thickness of reservoir interval—200 m 2 Wet, subsea 15 000 b/d Alfortunada 2 flexible bundles 1×6 in. flexible production line, 1×4 in. flexible production line, 4×1 in. flexible lines. 1×12 in. flexible export line The crude is delivered via an export pipeline The field was developed in three phases—phase 1: early production using an Aker H3 as support; phase 2: described above; phase 3: a fixed production system
Production support: Semi-sub
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields
FIG. 3.13. Casablanca.
Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: 1980 Sul del Pampo Offshore Brazil Petrobras Water depth—113 m Net thickness of reservoir interval—28 m, crude oil gravity 31–31.5° API, high sulphur (2000 ppm), 6% CO2
Existing marginal field technology
No. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks:
5 1 dry, 4 wet satellites 23 500 b/d Sedco Staflo 1 rigid, 4 flexible Crude offtake via a CALM buoy to 53 000 dwt. shuttle tankers Although this system was for early production it encompassed many facilities associated with a full system, particularly the processing facilities
Production support: Semi-sub
FIG. 3.14. Sul de Pampo early production system.
water saturation 21%. porosity 21–27%.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 112 Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: . crude oil gravity—21° API 1 Production via a subsea test tree and tubing string run inside a drilling riser and BOP to a deck tree 8 000 b/d Sedco 135D Tubing string inside drilling riser and BOP This system was temporary and Sedco 135D was transferred to Bicudo when the Pampo well was incorporated into the Linguado system. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Remarks: 1980 Pampo Offshore Brazil Petrobras’ Water depth—120 m Gross thickness of reservoir interval—38 m and 210 m. replaced by fixed platform 1981 Pampo Linguado Offshore Brazil Petrobras Water depth—110 m Crude oil gravity—20–30° API 4 Test plus 3 wet subsea satellites 20 000 b/d Semi-sub Transworld 61 1 tubing string inside the drilling riser and 3 flexible bundles Production support: Semi-sub Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No.
shuttle tanker FIG.15. 3.Existing marginal field technology 113 Riser data: Export details: Remarks: Crude export was via a floating hose to a conventionally moored 12 000 dwt. Linguado early production system. .
of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: 20 000 b/d 1982 Bicudo Offshore Brazil Petrobras Water depth—130 m Gross thickness of reservoir interval—30 m (Avg. 3. porosity 25% (Avg.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 114 FIG.).16. crude oil gravity 23.). Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. Linguado early production system phase II.5° API 6 1 test plus 5 wet subsea satellites .
17.Existing marginal field technology 115 Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: Semi-sub Sedco 135D 1 tubing inside drilling riser plus 4 flexible bundles 4×4 in. flexible export line The field development utilises two CALM buoys to load shuttle tankers Bicudo has been developed using the same philosophy as Enchova—in fact the same production support. 1×3 in. Date: Field: Location: Operator: 1982 Buchan North Sea. flexible gas lift/kill lines. 3. 154 km ENE of Aberdeen British Petroleum . was used in each case FIG. 4×2 in. flexible production lines. Bicudo early production system. Sedco 135D.
the buoy measures 15 m in diameter with a draught of 2. both of which are designed to swivel through 360° which allows the tanker to weathervane round the buoy The gas lift risers will be installed integrally with the associated production riser. gas/oil ratio 280 scf/bbl recoverable oil 50 m barrels. 56–60 m with gas lift 8 consisting of 5 template wells and four satellite wells Wet subsea provided by Sedco Hamilton Production Systems Gas lift installed Semi-sub Pentagone type (Drillmaster) Rigid non-integral 1×12 in.7 m. production. 8×4 in.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 116 Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. 7% porosity. 34. central. gas lift Loading is via a CALM buoy which was designed by Press-Imodco Terminals Limited.8° API gravity oil. 2×4 in. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Water depth—112–118 m Extent 29 km. 400 m long. 8×2 in. a hawser and a flexible floating hose from the buoy permits mooring and loading of the 60 000 dwt tankers. 411 m thickness. it is anchored by six 105 mm chains. Production rate: 48 000 b/d Remarks: . service.
Buchan field layout.Existing marginal field technology 117 FIG.18. Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. gas/oil ratio 4 739 scf/bbl 3 Test plus 2 wet subsea satellites . 3. crude oil gravity—25–33° API. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: 6 000 b/d Semi-sub Sedco 135F 1 tubing string inside drilling riser plus 2 flexible bundles 1982 Garoupinha Offshore Brazil Petrobras Water depth—113 m Net thickness of reservoir interval—8 m.
Garoupinha early production system. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: 28 000 b/d Semi-sub 1982 Bonito Offshore Brazil Petrobras Water depth—8 m Crude gravity 27° API. 3. Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No.19. subsea. 5 satellite . gas/oil ratio 1 212 scf/bbl. 7 template. net thickness of reservoir interval—28 m 12 Wet. shuttle tankers FIG.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 118 Export details: Remarks: Crude is offloaded via a floating hose to conventionally moored 12 000 dwt.
Date: Field: Location: 1983 Corvina Petrobras .20. Bonito early production system. 3.Existing marginal field technology 119 Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: Penrod 71 Flexible bundles Crude offtake via a CALM buoy to 53 000 dwt. shuttle tankers The associated gas is compressed to shore through the Enchova field fixed platform FIG.
net thickness of reservoir interval—21 m.8° API 5 Wet.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 120 Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. . of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: Water depth—226 m Gross thickness of reservoir interval—30 m. 4 flexible Crude is offloaded via a CALM buoy to 53 000 dwt. 4 satellites 16 000 b/d Semi-sub SS Petrobras IX 1 rigid. shuttle tankers This is a classic early production system for a field which has been on production since August 1983. crude oil gravity—27.
gas/oil ratio 315 scf/bbl 5 Wet. Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. net thickness of reservoir interval—20 m. 3. crude oil gravity—28° API. satellites . porosity—30%. Corvina early production system.Existing marginal field technology 121 FIG. of wells: Well completion: 1983 Pirauna Offshore Brazil Petrobras Water depth—243 m Gross thickness of reservoir interval—35 m.21.
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 122 Well recovery: Production rate: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: Oil via CALM buoy. gas via pipeline Early production system in operation since December 1983. 3.22. . 22 000 b/d SS Petrobras XV 5 flexible Production support: Semi-sub FIG. Pirauna early production system.
Campos Basin Petrobras Water depth 99–111 m Crude oil gravity 28/32° API. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: June.Existing marginal field technology 123 Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. 1984 RJS—236 Offshore Brazil. Gas oil ratio 737 scf/bbl 3 2 wet 8 200 b/d Semi-sub Transworld 61 1 rigid. 2 flexible Oil export via CALM’s on Badejo and Linguado fields .
1984 Parati RJS—194 Offshore Brazil. Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 124 FIG. gas/oil ratio—438 scf/bbl 6 Wet . RJS-236 field layout. Campos Basin Petrobras Water depth 96–117 m Crude oil gravity—28° API. 3. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: 19400 b/d (estimated) Semi-submersible Neptune 7 December.23.
Campos Basin Petrobras Water depth 125–126 m Crude oil gravity 24–27° API. 227–300 scf/bbl 5 Wet . of wells: Well completion: December. Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. gas/oil ratio. Viola Offshore Brazil. 3.Existing marginal field technology 125 Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: 1 rigid. 1984 RJS—90. Parati RJS-194 field layout. 5 flexible Oil via floating hose to permanently moored 30000 dwt tanker This is the second phase of the Parati field development FIG.24.
233 km north east of Scotland Sun Oil . Date: Field: Location: Operator: 1986 Balmoral North Sea UK sector block 16/21A.25 RJS-90 Viola field layout. 3.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 126 Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: Oil via floating hose to permanently moored 30000 dwt tanker 12000 b/d (estimated) Semi-submersible Zephyr I 5 flexible FIG.
2 wt%. permeability 800 md (Avg. gas/oil ratio 230 scf/bbl (Avg.) 13 producers. porosity—18–29%. is 33 ft high and weighs 840 tons. export. 2×6 in. it has 14 well slots. and provision for 5 manifolds. 2×8 in. sulphur 0.3° API. a 14 in. 6 injectors Wet Six water injection wells to be drilled 35 000 b/d Semi-sub Gotaverken Arendal GVA 5000 Flexible 1×10 in. water injection. crude oil gravity—39. flowlines. 3×4 in. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: Water depth—145 m Net thickness of reservoir interval—144. 3 of which are being installed initially . diameter export line into the main Brae/Forties line to shore The Balmoral subsea template measures 100 ft square. service lines Balmoral crude will be exported by pipeline.7 m.Existing marginal field technology 127 Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No.).
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 128 FIG. 3. Balmoral field layout.26. .
unloading and return was approximately 48 hours 1974 Bekapi Offshore Borneo.08 wt% 1 Well completion: Dry.4 MONOHULL BASED SYSTEMS Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. flexible line. water saturation—35%.3° API. The field was produced using a wellhead platform connected to the production barge L39 by a 4 in.Existing marginal field technology 129 This page intentionally left blank. crude oil gravity— 40. of wells: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Remarks: Barge L39 Rigid integral 1×6 in. permeability—1000 md (Avg. sulphur 0.). 100 km to the north east of Balikpapan Total Water depth—35 m Net thickness of reservoir bearing interval—105 m. porosity—25–35%. 3. located on wellhead platform . the crude was offloaded using two 1500 tonne shuttle barges. round trip loading.
27. crude oil gravity 30.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 130 FIG. permeability—high. Bekapi early production system. 70 km north east of Balikpapan Total Water depth—4–5 m Porosity—38%.09 wt% 4 Dry.8° API. 3. clustered . Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. sulphur 0. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: 33 000 b/d Barge L50 1975 Handil In the Mahakam delta.
99cst at 38°C. Tass 13 s. Hs 8. production The storage production loading tanker is moored to a single anchor leg system (SALS) with crude transfer being effected to a second 15000 dwt.Existing marginal field technology 131 Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. Crude oil gravity—35–35.5° API. subsea Cameron type None 6 000 b/d Tanker 60 000 dwt. tanker moored alongside The development consists of a remote subsea wellhead connected by flowline to a manifold and thence by means of a flexible riser to a production/storage/loading tanker.35 wt% viscosity 5. Flexible 1×4 in. 1yr. 1 min mean 24.9 m. waves—100yr Hmax 15. 65 km from Tarragona Shell Espana Water depth—117 m. gas/oil ratio 75 scf/bbl 1 Wet.2 m/s.5 m.6 s.7 m/s. this simple type of system has demonstrated that even a very small field located in benign environmental areas can be economically produced Remarks: . of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Crude offtake via three 1500 tonne barges In 1976 two supplementary wells were drilled and barge L39 (demobilised from Bekapi) was added as a second production support 1977 Castellon Offshore Spain. Tz 10. wind—100yr 1 min mean 40. sulphur 0.
Castellon. wave height 10. Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditons: Reservoir characteristics: No. tidal current at 10 m depth— 1. 3.28. SALS rigid riser Well completion: Wet. wave period—13 s.3 m. subsea . crude gravity—38. sign. maximum wave height—18.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 132 FIG. of wells: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: 1980 Nilde The Sicily Channel 57 km south west of the island of Sicily Agip Water depth—96 m.9° API 1 None 8000 b/d Tanker 84000 dwt. wind velocity—175 km/h.2 m/s Wellhead flowing pressure 700 psi.0 m.
this system gave some trouble initially leading to the yoke being fractured.).2 m. Nilde. subsea . permeability low. reservoir depth—5 800 ft. production Offtake of the crude is accomplished by shuttle tanker loading side-on to the production/storage/ loading tanker The Nilde field has been developed with the aid of a single anchor leg storage system (SALS). gas/oil ratio 160 scf/bbl 2 Wet. production had to be stopped but was resumed in 1982 FIG. Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No.29. of wells: Well completion: 1981 Cadlao Offshore Philippines Terminal Installations for Amoco Water depth—97 m Crude gravity—48° API.Existing marginal field technology 133 Riser data: Export details: Remarks: 1×6 in. porosity 16% (Avg. net thickness of reservoir bearing interval—18. sulphur 0. 3.66 wt%.
0 s Crude gravity 30° API.2 m.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 134 Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: 5500 b/d Tanker 127000 dwt. Hs 6. 3. gross thickness of reservoir interval 100 m. wind: 100yr 1 min mean 46. service Offtake is by tandem (bow to bow) tanker berthing The production/storage/loading tanker on this field is held on station by a rigid yoke attached to a single buoy storage system (SBS) which is itself anchored by 6 in. Flexible 2×6 in. Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No.4 m/s. 1yr 1 min mean 27. Tz 9. gas/oil ratio 300 scf/bbl 4 . after field depletion this system can be relocated to another similar field FIG. production 2×6 in. waves: 100yr Hmax 12. Tass 11.0 s. chains connected to pilings driven into the sea bed.30 Cadlao.3 m/s.7 m. of wells: 1982 Tazerka Offshore Tunisia 56 km from the north east coast Shell Tunirex Water depth—140–175 m.
Rigid with flexible jumper hoses at the base of the SALS 4×3 in. subsea Water injection. production. water injection and gas lift for up to eight wells. 2×2 in. gas lift Offloading takes place with the aid of shuttle tanker berthing side-by-side Tazerka is the first field to use a high pressure multipath fluid swivel in conjunction with a manifold chamber. gas lift Tanker 210 000 dwt. diver assisted satellite trees which are remotely controlled hydraulically from the tanker Production rate: 10 000 b/d . the development utilises six swivels located at the top of the SALS and permits operations in any combination of wells. Vetco supplied innovative wireline services (non-TFL). the system was designed by SBM for Shell and permits the versatility of oil production.Existing marginal field technology 135 Well completion: Well recovery: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: Wet.
3. Tazerka.31.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 136 FIG. .
5 OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEMS Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No.Existing marginal field technology 137 3. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: Gas is exported to the onshore production unit by pipeline Because this field is located so close to shore the single well is treated much in the same way as a satellite well in an offshore development 5000 m3/day Production support is located ashore 1981 Lavinia East of Sicily Agip Water depth—77 m Gross thickness of the reservoir interval—300 m 1 Wet. subsea Vetco type with hydraulic remote control .
crude oil gravity—3. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: 1982 Emilio Offshore Italy in the Adriatic.5–11.6° API 1 Wet.32. porosity—4–28%. subsea. 30 km from the coast Agip Water depth—90 m Gross thickness of reservoir bearing interval—600 m. Lavinia. net thickness of reservoir bearing interval—360 m.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 138 FIG. Cameron type. permeability—low. Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. 3. the glycol system is fail safe .
33. 3. . Emilio.Existing marginal field technology 500000 m3/day of gas and condensates Production equipment is located ashore 139 Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: Gas is exported to the onshore production unit by pipeline Similar development to Lavinia FIG.
satellites. of wells: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: 1983 Central Cormorant Shell UK Exploration Water depth—152 m Crude gravity—35° API. another important aspect of this development is the incorporation of TFL (through flowline) servicing of the wells Remarks: .1%. causing wax and hydrate formation Central Cormorant is the first practical demonstration of subsea manifold technology developed by Exxon in the SPS (subsea production system) programme of the late 1970 s. 4 injection Water injection planned 50 000 b/d (planned) Underwater manifold centre (UMC) Weight 2200 tonnes. wax 7. sulphur content—0. Vetco for the satellites Two 8 in. production lines carry crude from the underwater manifold centre (UMC) to the Cormorant A platform. dimensions 52×42×15 m Well completion: Wet TFL subsea. because the UMC and the platform are so far apart a special insulated pipe has had to be developed to prevent the oil in the pipeline from cooling too much.2%.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 140 Date: Field: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. gas/oil ratio— 500–600 scf/bbl 9–5 production. McEvoy on the manifold.6–1.
3. blocks 211/27 and 211/28 Conoco Water depth—147 m Crude gravity—33° API. gas/oil ratio—130 scf/bbl 32 of which 13 are producers Deck. dry Water injection and gas lift 85 000 b/d Tension leg platform . Central Cormorant UMC. sulphur—0.7%.Existing marginal field technology 141 FIG. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: 1984 Hutton North Sea. Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No.34. no wax.
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 142 Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: Purpose built by Highland Fabricators Rigid individual 32×9 in. although not a marginal field. Oil will be transferred by pipeline to Brent while the gas will be flared The Hutton field is the first application of a tension leg platform to an oil field development. the platform weighs 22 400 tonnes and is anchored in tension to four bases on the sea bed by 16 tubulars (4 at each corner). Hutton will act as a full scale test of tension leg technology and may have marginal field applications in the future .
35. Hutton tension leg platform. 3. .Existing marginal field technology 143 FIG.
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 144 Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No. the scheme adopted leans heavily on technology already developed by Elf at their Grandin test station in Gabon. permeability— 1250 md. porosity—28%. latitude 60 N. con-densate/gas ratio—1 bbl/mmcfg (single welldata) 6 Well completion: Wet. field life is estimated to be 5 years . of wells: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: Remarks: 1984 North East Frigg 2 20 E. gas line North East Frigg is a marginal field whose recoverable reserves are not sufficient to justify the costs involved in a traditional development scheme. 18 km NE of Frigg Elf Norge Water depth—100 m Gross thickness of reservoir interval—200 m. cluster. each well is connected to a subsea gas manifold 5MMm3/day of gas Articulated column Designed by EMH. normally uninhabited Gas is exported to the TCP 2 Frigg field platform via a 16 in.
3. 1984 Scapa UK North Sea.5° API. template . of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: 10 000 b/d (peak 24 000 b/d in 1988) September. 42 m barrels recoverable reserves. 112 miles NE of Aberdeen Occidental Water depth 130 m Gravity 32. Gas gravity—78. North East Frigg.Existing marginal field technology 145 FIG.36. block 14/19. Gas oil ratio—2 scf/bbl. 6 Wet. Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir characteristics: No.
Date: Field: Location: Operator: Environmental conditions: Reservoir 1985 Highlander North Sea UK sector block 14/20 Texaco Water depth—140 m Crude oil gravity—34–35° API porosity—15% net thickness of reservoir .37.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 146 Export details: Remarks: Oil is piped via two flowline bundles to the Claymore platform for processing Total cost of this development is £150 m FIG. Scapa. 3.
sulphur 0. one 12 in.3 m and 47. 140×45×30 ft N/A N/A 5 lines are planned between the field and the near-by (14 km) Tartan platform. utilities line Highlander is due for installation in early 1985 with limited production beginning late in the second quarter of the year. for bulk crude. cluster. gas/oil ratio—140 scf/bbl Initially 3 Wet.Existing marginal field technology 147 characteristics: No. three 3 in. subsea Water injection and gas lift planned Initially 13 500 b/d Subsea manifold Weight 100 tonnes. gas lift and water injection and a 4 in. of wells: Well completion: Well recovery: Production rate: Production support: Support data: Riser type: Riser data: Export details: interval—131. for test crude.3 wt%.2 m. production should eventually rise to 20 000 b/d and the recoverable reserves have been estimated at 30 million barrels Remarks: .
.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 148 FIG. Highlander field layout. 3.38.
in order to appreciate the interaction of the various elements it is useful to consider the technology in terms of the overall systems which may be employed in an offshore development. Different design wave heights for various offshore areas are shown in Table 4. To a large extent. steel template jackets or gravity concrete or steel platforms with pipelines to shore etc. the various types of production supports may be used in conjunction with different types of riser systems etc. They must also be capable of operating in an environment which experiences waves of significant height for most of their design life without suffering from fatigue problems. within the design parameters of the particular field.1 Comparison of 50 Year Design Wave at Different Offshore Locations Celtic Sea Kinsale Hd. A system employing a converted jack- .) the most common production concept used in the North Sea type environment is based on the semi- TABLE 4. 4.). We will also review several promising concepts/designs which are currently being proposed for marginal field applications in deepwater environments. North Sea type installations must be designed to withstand higher maximum waves. Systems which may operate quite satisfactorily in the tropics may be quite unsuitable when considered for duty in a North Sea type environment. Hmax (m) Water depth (m) 26 100 North Sea Buchan 26 112 Campos Bicudo 12 140 Spain Castellon 15 117 Tunisia Tazerka 18 140 Philippines Cadlao 17 90 sub production support.1. the articulating column and the tension leg platform.g. A comparison between North Sea and Gulf of Mexico wave environment is shown in Fig. If one ignores the field developments which employ ‘conventional’ technology (i.1. these are interchangeable (e. However.Chapter 4 Current and Future Marginal Field Development Concepts In Chapter 2 we discussed the various separate elements that may be incorporated into a marginal field development system. In this chapter we will consider the various production concepts which are currently being employed in marginal field type applications in moderate water depths (150 m) and harsh environments (North Sea or equivalent).e. Other concepts in current use employ subsea production.
—MACC (manifold and control column). . —Floating oil patch. They include the following systems. —IMFP 300 (integrated and modular floating production system). However. Illustration: waves of 4 m are exceeded 22% of the time at NS latitude 61° N but only 2% of the time in the Gulf of Mexico. here include a number of promising ideas which could be adopted within the next 5–10 years.1.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 150 up rig was used successfully for a period on the Ekofisk development. among others: —SWOPS (single well oil production system). Comparison of North Sea environment and a mild environment. When one reviews the concepts which are currently being proposed there is a plethora of ideas. the use of tankers for crude oil storage and for transportation to shore is now commonplace. —Seaplex. Production tanker based concepts have not as yet been used in North Sea environments. The concepts which are reviewed FIG. This has implications for weather down time of loading systems and floating production installations. —KbE subload. varying from minor modifications of existing systems to quite futuristic proposals. 4.
The Buchan field commenced production in 1982. thus the concepts which are based on the semi-submersible. 4. Thus the production semi-sub can be leased for the production period. These principally relate to the deck load capacity of semi-subs. They are considered in that order. . the reliability of the riser system and the operational down time attributable to the offloading system. There are a number of offshore developments which employ a converted semisubmersible as the production support. are considered together. the concept also has a number of significant drawbacks. Each of these systems can be seen as a development of one or more basic production supports—semi-submersibles. The concept has several inherent advantages: —Accelerated production from the reservoir. —CONPROD. Tables showing the typical characteristics and criteria of the various systems enable general comparisons to be made between them. —Onshore and inshore construction of the semi-submersible production installation is less costly than offshore construction and hook-up of conventional structures. It should be emphasised that the various specific systems discussed here are merely several among many hundreds of designs and concept proposals which have been produced by oil company in-house engineering teams. tankers. However. since the well can be pre-drilled in advance of the production installation being taken offshore. The subsea system consists typically of a template with a number of satellite wells feeding to a riser base which may incorporate a subsea manifold.1 CONCEPTS BASED ON THE USE OF A SEMI-SUB PRODUCTION SUPPORT The basic production system consists of a conventionally moored semi-submersible housing the production facilities. The Argyll field commenced production in 1975. offshore design consultants and offshore contractors. we feel that most of the ideas which are currently being considered for marginal field applications are covered by the representative sample discussed below. for instance. With the exception of the Argyll and Buchan developments in the North Sea. —The production semi-sub can be taken inshore for inspection and repairs. towers and subsea units. —The production semi-sub can be re-used once the reservoir has been depleted. generally progressing from the conventional to the more futuristic. and similarly for the other types of support.Current and future marginal field development concepts 151 —TAPS (turret anchored production system). However. Oil flows to the processing facilities on the semi-sub and returns to the sea bed whence it is pumped to an offshore storage or loading system (see Chapter 2). It was the first oil field to be developed using a floating production system. See Chapter 5 for technical details of these installations and information on their operating history. these are all situated in moderate environments. jack-up units. the disposal of associate gas. which is linked to a subsea system by a riser.
1. The flexible riser offers significant attractions over the rigid riser to operators using a semisubmersible production support. There are advantages at the vessel/riser interface where the necessity for heave compensation equipment is eliminated and almost instantaneous disconnection is possible without difficulty.1 The ‘Highlander 6000’ Floating Production Vessel The Highlander 6000 is fairly typical of the new designs for large. it comes close to the limit of what can be achieved by the conversion of a standard drilling rig. (See Chapter 2 for details of the Balmoral riser and see Chapter 3 for a description of the Balmoral field development. The Balmoral field development is significant in that it will be the first time that flexible production risers will be used in a severe North Sea type environment. The GVA 5000 has two twin decks which will house process facilities and water injection equipment as well as providing for future gas lift compressors. is scheduled to commence production in 1986. thereby increasing available topside weight capacity. A flexible riser should never need to be stored on board which further increases available deck space and weight capacity. a joint venture between Brown & Root/Wimpey Highlands Fabricators Ltd and Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co.) Thus the Balmoral development should provide a significant advance to the semisubmersible production concept and useful operational experience of the behaviour of flexible risers in harsh environments. This represents a further development of the semi-submersible production concept. The Buchan field development can be seen as the natural successor to Argyll. simplifying the riser system and improving the mooring and offloading systems. The Highlander floating production vessel (FPV) has been specifically designed for low cost development of North Sea fields in the 100–200 . In terms of field size.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 152 When the Argyll production facility was installed on the field it was not intended as a permanent production facility—rather it was considered a production test facility. which is currently being developed by Sun Oil in block 16/2/A in the North Sea. it represents the extension of the floating production principle to a field with more subsea completions. The Balmoral development is significant in that it demonstrates the significant topside weight capacity that is now possible with current semi-submersible designs (up to 5000 tons on the GVA 5000 series). In addition the flexible riser places less demands on deck space and loading. The flexible risers do not need to use the moonpool. Unlike the rigid system it needs no tensioning. While similar in concept. but no radical departures in new technology. A purpose built production platform based on Gotaverken Arendal GVA 5000 semi-submersible has been designed with process facilities of 65000 b/d capacity. Its design was the result of drilling experience with semi-submersibles and the production support consisted of a converted drilling unit. New proposals for further development of the basic production semi-sub concept are tending to concentrate on increasing deck load capacity. 4. leaving it free from workovers which can be accomplished without interrupting production. The Balmoral production platform is intended to provide processing facilities for the satellite Glamis structure and possibly other oil reservoirs in the area also. It has been produced by Scottish FPV Builders. conventional production semi-submersibles. however. The Balmoral field.
The deck sides are cladded with lightweight panels for weather protection.0 16. Table 4. The unit has been designed to maximise ease of fabrication and minimise construction time while meeting all North Sea safety regulations and maintaining motion characteristics which are comparable with other semi-submersibles.6 s 2. It is designed for handling workover and side track drilling and control umbilical TABLE 4.0 Design operating conditions 100 year storm survival conditions Waves (Hs×period) Surface Current (knots) Hour Mean Speed (knots) 9.0 Survival 27100 15. The main deck of the structure contains the following items: —workover derrick. services and accommodation.2 shows the main characteristics and criteria which have been established for a vessel. as a result of the less onerous accommodation requirements outside Norway.4 s 1. —wellhead workshop. The large deck area is a significant advantage since it reduces the height of the topsides and so optimises the location of the centre of gravity which in turn maximises the deck loading capacity. this can be upgraded to 120 persons without change to the major structure.2 Highlander 6000 Main Characteristics and Criteria Number Columns Pontoons Deck 8 2 Main+cellar Dimensions 10 m dia.6 m 6. 12.6 m×16. . ballast etc.6 51.4 m 10. The topsides of the vessel contain all the production facilities. with production payload of 6000 tonnes.) Transit Displacement (tonnes) Draught (metres) 20300 6.1 Operating 31000 20.0 m Dry Deck weight (tonnes) Hull weight (tonnes) 7500 7800 Operating 10000 21000 (inc.8 m width×75 m long 75 m×55 m Height 24.6 73.4 m×12.Current and future marginal field development concepts 153 m water depth range. Outside the Norwegian sector. The unit incorporates an integrated truss type deck of the ‘Hideck’ type which is designed for wet mating of the hull and deck in a similar manner to that of the Hutton field TLP in 1984. A moonpool is located in the centre of the deck. Accommodation is designed for 80 persons in single or two berth cabins and hotel facilities.0 tensioning equipment. operating in 150 m water depth in the North Sea.
—material stowage. including maintenance operations. These include: —the Gotaverken Arendal 5000 series and 12000 series (with 12500 tonnes topside capacity). Riser disconnections should not be required in any intact condition. Hydraulically operated mooring chain tensioning systems are located on the columns. —deck cranes for all onloading and offloading and for material handling on board. TABLE 4. —totally enclosed motor propelled survival craft (escape capsules) with launch and recovery davit systems and other life saving appliances. —flare boom. —some process plant. The Highlander 6000 production capacity obviously depends on the characteristics of any particular field as illustrated by the following weight constant options: Option I Option 2 Option 3 Option 4 Oil production rate (b/d) Gas compression (mmscfd) Produced water treatment (b/d) Water injection (b/d) 35000 30 35000 40000 100000 30 0 60000 50000 150 20000 0 100000 0 35000 100000 A conventional 12 line 95 mm chain catenary mooring with high holding anchor piles is designed to keep the unit on location within the allowable offsets even in storm conditions. —riser headers and dry break couplings for the flexible risers. —the EPM—T2000 ‘Cybele’ design.3 Some Production Semi-Submersible Designs System name Designer Assumed field data Water depth Oil production Gas production GOR 1200 ft /bbl 3 Seahawk Santa Fe 100–500 m 40000 b/d Penta 7000 CFEM 200–550 m 120000 b/d 90 mmscfd Cybele EPM 150 m plus 10000 b/d 140 mmscfd . The Highlander concept of a large conventional semi-submersible production platform is not unique. —the Santa Fe ‘Sea hawk’ design. —the CFEM five legged ‘Penta 7000’ floating production platform. Several other similar designs have been proposed by designers and contractors.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 154 —helideck (suitable for a Boeing 234—Chinook helicopter).
of wells Dimensions Length Width Height to main deck Depth No.) Waves (height and period) Surface current 25–40 At up to 2400 psi 60000 b/d 32000 psi 16 84 m 64 m 7m 6 9.8 m 23580 tonnes 2900 tonnes 7000 tonnes Chain.Current and future marginal field development concepts 155 Gravity (API) Gas lift Water injection Reservoir pressure No. 10pt 120 personnel 10600 tonnes None 11300 tonnes 45000 bbl 9300 tonnes 88 m 116 m 42 m 4m 5 22.5 m 28000 tonnes 92 m 92 m 41 m 8m 8 25 m 35200 tonnes Possible Possible 150000 b/d 70 knot 30 ft 2 knot 100 knots 30 m×14 s 2. it is worth noting that semi-submersible designs exist which are proposed as being suitable for quite large fields in very deep water—the Santa Fe drilling DP-120 vessel concept would have a deck load capacity of 7000 tonnes and a production capacity of 100000240000 b/d in water depths of 300–1600 ft.5 knots 100 knots 31 m×15 s 2. Indeed.3 for details of these current production semi-submersible designs. .of columns Draft (operating) Displacement (operating) Variable deck load Fixed and variable deck load Mooring Accommodation Weight of structure Crude storage capacity Environment Normal operation Wind Waves (Hs) Surface current Survival Wind (1 min. 8 point 108 personnel None wire cables.5 knots See Table 4.
thus limiting their versatility and reusability in marginal field applications. therefore. Lines are pulled with jacks and stoppers are used.2 The IMFP 300 Semi-submersible The IMFP 300 is a design which takes the semi-submersible production concept a stage further in that it incorporates oil storage and offloading of product as well as production in a single modular structure.4 shows the main characteristics and criteria for one version of the unit. These units cannot. Oil entering these storage tanks displaces a corresponding volume of oily sea water which is ejected into the sea through an oily water treatment unit. A sketch of the IMFP 300 is shown in Fig. The IMFP 300 requires a constant draught to be maintained in all storage conditions. It is a design concept which has been developed by Integrated & Modular. Table 4. Thus the unit only needs to employ a low pressure swivel for crude offloading and gas flaring. be redeployed in a wide range of water depths. Mooring winches are not provided for. thus facilitating redeployment. The production facilities remove gas and water from the crude oil and the oil is stabilised. and thus the total weight of oil in the storage tanks plus the sea water in the ballast tanks must be the same for all storage conditions. In water depths over 120 m current production/storage tankers need to be permanently moored by a sophisticated system such as an articulated riser. a joint subsidiary of Technip Geoproduction and IFP. The weathervaning facilities needed for production tanker systems have to incorporate multiple path. services and accommodation for 40 personnel. oil storage and an offloading system. The top sides of the vessel and central shaft contain all the production facilities.2. The IMFP 300 vessel can be anchored by its own conventional mooring system in a variety of water depths from 100 m to 500 m. —A conventional catenary mooring system. . 4. The IMFP 300 concept attempts to overcome the principal limitations of the current generation of production semi-submersibles and production/storage tankers. Mooring lines are composed of short sections of chains with wire ropes. a joint venture between CFEM (Compagnie Francais d’Enterprises Metalliques) and PPT (Progressive Production Technology). which can be a source of maintenance problems. —A flexible riser system which facilitates redeployment in a wide range of water depths. The available production capacity depends on the reservoir characteristics but is illustrated by the following options: —oil production (b/d)—25000.1. The IMFP 300 is aimed at early production and production of marginal fields in water depths of 100 m to 500 m. high pressure swivels. —A circular monohull design which obviates the necessity for the unit to weathervane. The main components of the system consist of: —A modular semi-submersible structure which integrates in a single unit production facilities.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 156 4. The stabilised oil is pumped from the production deck to the peripheral storage tanks.
no sand. —Oil offloading rate (b/h)—12000. —Gas separation (mmscfd)—20. —Number of subsea wells—6. —Produced water treatment (b/d)—12500. gas/oil ratio 840 scf/bbl. . crude oil/water emulsions and foaming problems to limit of treatment by chemical injection. water cut 0% to 50%. 4.Current and future marginal field development concepts 157 FIG. IMFP 300. max.2.
1 s 3.4 IMFP 300 Main Characteristics and Criteria Number Dimensions Central shaft Peripheral cylinders Deck Total height (without flare) Flare height above deck 1 8 13. of a number of satellite wells feeding to a manifold and riser. typically. —The tanker conversion can be completed in shipyards or inshore thus avoiding expensive offshore construction and hook-up.0 Environment Waves (Hs×period) Surface current (knots) Bottom currents (knots) Annual return period 5.3 0. since the wells can be predrilled in advance of the production installation being taken offshore. . The subsea equip-ment consists.8 m dia.2 CONCEPTS BASED ON THE USE OF A TANKER PRODUCTION SUPPORT The basic production system consists of a conventionally moored tanker which houses the production facilities and which is linked to a subsea system by a single point mooring (see Chapter 2).0 m×9. The concept has several inherent advantages: —Accelerated production from the reservoir. 7. 30 m×30 m 107 m 34 m Height 65.3 0.5 s 2.0 m Storage 105000 bbl Weights and draught Deck weight (tonnes) Total dry weight of structure and equipment (tonnes) Displacement (tonnes) Draught (m) Number Dimensions 1500 Height 12500 Storage 40000 77. and buffer storage is provided on the tanker. where the oil is degassed.0 m 62.0 m dia. TABLE 4.2 Oil flows to the processing facilities on the tanker.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 158 4. —The production unit may also house very large storage capacity and afford a stable terminal for offloading the produced oil into shuttle tankers. Offloading of the oil is by shuttle tanker which takes oil from storage to shore.2 100 year storm survival conditions 7.6 m×11.
However. The tanker itself may be moored in a spread mooring of multiple fixed anchor points on the sea bed. these are all currently operating in moderate offshore environments. these several hundred existing SPM systems were designed for handling tanker-ready crude at terminals. Consequently any continuous delivery of fluids through a pipeline or hoses to. waves and currents prevail. the concept also has a number of significant drawbacks when considered in the context of North Sea type environments. Nevertheless. —The tanker and its topside facilities can be redeployed once the reservoir is depleted. There are a considerable number of offshore developments which employ a converted tanker as production support (see Chapter 3 for the technical details and information on their operating history). If multiple conduits are required. The piping conduit itself must also be equipped with a swivel to permit the tanker to weathervane. The related production equipment considerations are about the same as for those of a semi-submersible. without exception. oil. tanker based systems for a North Sea type environment are being proposed and built as we shall see below. of course.Current and future marginal field development concepts 159 —Offshore loading from tanker storage is less prone to the weather and mechanically induced down time which has plagued some loading systems in harsh offshore environments. Thus the tanker has all the advantages of the semi-sub concept with the addition of providing oil storage and being an integral offloading terminal. The use of a SPM moored tanker as the production support facility for early or marginal field production systems presents an entirely different set of circumstances. in fact. This. This type of arrangement fixes the orientation of the tanker and can be used only in shallow.e. which remains one of the main problems in the design of semi-submersible type units. results in the possibility of the ship rotating freely about its mooring. Swivels to accommodate multiple concentric passages have been developed. —The unit can be taken inshore for inspection and repairs. be concentric with respect to the axis of rotation of the whole system to avoid interferences or entanglements. contain H2S). However. . water and sand is being handled. or from. The pressure may be the well flowing pressure of several thousand pounds per square inch. This is all in contrast to the stabilised and treated crude oil at a maximum pumping pressure of 200 psi normally seen in tanker loading service. Similar systems have been used for many years for loading and unloading crude oil tankers at terminals. The gas and oil may both be sour (i. they must have multiple concentric swivels. the ship must pass through the buoy and. —The large deck areas and virtually unlimited deck load capacity of tanker based production units eliminates the problem of topside weight control. These principally relate to the mooring and the riser systems. The alternative method of mooring a tanker is by its bow or stern with a single point mooring. wave and current. protected waters where mild winds. The single point mooring system (SPM) (see Chapter 2) minimises the environmental load on the tanker by allowing it to weathervane to the orientation of least resistance to the combined forces of wind. However. In this situation the live well bore fluids of gas.
Produced water is treated and discharged while gas produced will be burnt in a ground flare fitted aboard the vessel. is designed to remain connected in survival conditions. 4. The production riser. a Norwegian firm. Golarnor Production. the vessel is also fitted with dynamic positioning thrusters to assist in position keeping. a multiple well riser may be accommodated if required. .Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 160 4. are currently having the vessel constructed at Nippon Kokan KK (NKK) in Japan and the vessel is scheduled for completion early in 1986 (Fig. It is anticipated that dynamic positioning will be used exclusively in deep waters.3. capable of processing a wide range of reservoir fluid characteristics. However.5 for details of the main characteristics and criteria of the PTS. Periodic discharge of produced crude oil will be via a loading arrangement to a shuttle tanker moored at the stern of the PTS by a hawser. Golarnor/Petrojarl PTS. The PTS will be initially equipped with a single well riser. The Norwegian owners of the vessel. The production equipment installed is FIG.2. The operation of the vessel will be undertaken by a subsidiary of Det Nordenfjeldske D/S. The design was undertaken by Tentech International. See Table 4. which can be installed by the ship and crew.1 Offshore Oil Production and Test Ship (PTS) Petrojarl/Golarnor The PTS is a ship shaped vessel designed for early production of crude oil and well testing. 4.3). Two riser options are available: vertically tensioned or flexible in catenary with subsea buoy. up to 20000 b/d of liquids. K/S Petrojarl 1. a consortium of five Norwegian shipping companies. The vessel is turret moored in order to permit a heading into the prevailing seas at all times. However. The vessel will be kept on station over a subsea template by means of the turret mounted catenary mooring system.
The owners of the PTS intend to lease the vessel out to operators of offshore fields. involved fatigue loading. 4×1500kw fixed transverse thrusters.2 The ‘SWOPS’ Oil Production System The SWOPS system is a design which takes the tanker floating production and storage concept a stage further in that it is a purpose built monohull which is designed for the development of small fields and extended well testing in a North Sea environment. the mooring and riser systems and the topside arrangements. DP to provide heading control and reduce peak mooring line loads on turret system. Items of special interest.5 PTS Production Test Ship Assumed field data Water depth Oil production Water cut Export system PTS characteristics and criteria Dimensions Draught Displacement Oil storage capacity Ground flare capacity Mooring Dynamic positioning 209 m long×32 m width 10 m 50910 tonnes 188700 STB of crude oil 30.2.Current and future marginal field development concepts 161 TABLE 4. It has been reported (August 1985) that Norske Hydro intend to charter the Petrojarl to carry out extended production trials on two wells on the Oseberg field offshore Norway. It .6 tonne anchors DP systems with hydroacoustic reference to transponders at seafloor. The PTS is a logical development of the production tanker concept from the mild offshore environments of the Mediterranean and Far East. 100 m to 600 m 2850 tonnes/day Up to high % (if required) Offloading to shuttle tanker. over stern The PTS has been designed to survive and remain on station in a North Sea storm of 100 year return period. It is a design concept which has been developed by BP Petroleum Ltd. The construction of the first SWOPS vessel is due to commence at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast. 4. when extending the concept to North Sea type environments. two forward and two aft. This vessel is scheduled to commence operation in the central North Sea during mid-1987.5 mmscfd 8×1600 m long K-4 class anchor chains with 13. 2×5600kw controllable pitch main thrusters.
—A rigid riser system operated through a moonpool in the centre of the vessel’s hull. 200 km offshore. The dynamic positioning also obviates the necessity for a conventional mooring system.4. The SWOPS vessel shuttles back to an inshore terminal to offload the stored crude oil. See Table 4. —A conventional subsea well completed to accept the SWOPS riser. FIG.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 162 is understood that it is initially intended to be deployed on a 30 mmbbl accumulation in UK sector in Block 16/28in almost 110 m of water. The vessel is designed to maintain station and heading into the prevailing seas at all times by means of dynamic positioning (DP). The main components of the SWOPS system consist of: —A dynamically positioned vessel fitted with integral process equipment and oil storage. —An offshore loading system is not provided for. thereby minimising the operating costs of the DP system and reducing the quantity of produced gas to be flared. Power for the DP system is provided by produced gas.6 for details of the main characteristics and criteria for SWOPS. 4. SWOPS. .
producing wells Wellhead fluids SWOPS main characteristics and criteria Dimensions Displacement (at 11. no. 0°C pour point 251. The TABLE 4. The exploration or appraisal wells are completed in a conventional manner by a drilling vessel and the wellheads are capped with a SWOPS re-entry hub.5 m× 37.0 m design draft) Tanks’ capacity crude oil storage ballast slops heavy fuel oil Transit speed Riser pipe pipe Riser operating tension Number of tensioners Max. travel of tensioners Max. wax content.7 lb/ft Grade E SMLS API 5A drill .8 m depth 76 440 tonnes 51 000 m3 39 000 m3 6 500 m3 2 600 tonnes 12–14 knots OD ×24.5 knots 90 000 lb/ft 4 50 ft ±15° 75–200 m 3 000–15 000 6 4000 5 000 psi None 2 Negligible H2S. shut-in pressure Water/gas injection Max.Current and future marginal field development concepts 163 The vessel does not have a drilling capability. riser angle Max environmental criteria for production Significant wave height.6 SWOPS System Assumed field data Water depth Oil production (b/d) Gas production (mmscfd) Water production (b/d) Max.0 m width× 19. Hs Winds 4.5 m 36. 10% weight max.
designed for 500 m water depth. and the tandem hull design aims to reduce the wave induced motions of the unit. The SWOPS vessel which has now been commissioned will incorporate the rigid riser configuration described above.2. 4.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 164 rigid riser. which incorporates a wellhead re-entry connector. The depth limitation of the current SWOPS design is more a function of the specific applications which BP have in mind for this vessel than an inherent limitation of the concept. The installed production equipment has a design capacity of 15000 barrels a day. The vessel will have a displacement of about 76000 tonnes. Riser stresses are minimised by the universal joint which permits the vessel to oscillate under DP control. The two-stage production process is straightforward. After the second stage separator the crude is cooled to storage specifications and led directly to the ship’s cargo tanks. Incoming crude oil is cooled and its pressure reduced to separator conditions.3 The Floating Oil Patch The floating oil patch is a design concept which takes the production tanker a stage further in that it abandons the tanker shape in favour of that of a barge shaped hull. The purpose built vessel also permitted BP to optimise their design. it requires much tighter DP control plus extra deck storage. The rigid. both technically and commercially. the economics of other small fields may dictate the use of a converted tanker deploying a flexible riser over the side or bow of the vessel. The SWOPS vessel has a storage capacity of some 42000 tonnes of crude oil. Oil produced from up to two wells can be comingled at the base of the riser. However. At the first stage separator up to 80% of its gas content is removed and conditioned to fuel gas quality to feed the ship’s power generation system. has been proposed by the designers. However. Any remaining gas is flared. an alternative flexible riser design has also been proposed by BP for future applications of the concept. Nevertheless. The concept has been developed by Worley Engineering. Produced water is fed to the oily water separation system where natural separation takes place. The floating oil patch is aimed at early production of marginal fields in all types of environments where rapid construction time and low capital costs are important criteria. the rigid riser does permit wireline entry to the wellhead. The riser is designed to permit production to continue in severe weather conditions. The wellhead hydraulic controls are simultaneously connected with the production bore and riser.) as an alternative to a purpose built vessel but rejected the conversion option as they considered it to be unsatisfactory. It is housed below the main deck and adjacent to the moonpool. space and a derrick and moonpool arrangement. However. is lowered to mate with the wellhead when the SWOPS vessel is on station. tensioned riser consists of a series of conventional jointed tubulars with a universal joint at the lower end and a high pressure swivel at the upper end. The main components of the system are: . A SWOPS vessel. The design permits re-entry and connection of the production bore with the riser whatever the rotational orientation of the riser connector. limited only by heave and the station keeping capability of the ship. BP did consider converting an existing tanker (of about 50000 dwt. The rigid riser is a less expensive option than a flexible riser.
The large power sink. Jack-up units have the advantage of providing a stable platform but they are limited in regard to water depth and deck load capability. —A tensioned leg riser tower with subsea manifold which can be maintained by divers in the air diving range. This system consists of a series of open bottomed tanks along the sides of the upper hull which are valved to ensure that the natural frequency of the vessel is altered so that it never operates in the range of its two roll resonant states. The tower is tensioned by a buoyancy tank which is surmounted by a subsea manifold which can be maintained by divers in the air diving range. utility and power generation equipment and systems are located on the main and lower deck levels and a ground flare is located at the aft end of the platform. thus created. . The tandem hull design also reduces the water plane ratio of the vessel and so further reduces the motions. However. The flowlines are then routed down to sea-bed level where they are connected to a flexible riser system. Deck loading should not be a problem as the unit could accommodate up to 15000 tonnes payload. one supported beneath the other. Periodic maintenance and inspection of the upper hull and interhull structures is facilitated by deballasting the lower hull for dry access to these areas. consumes the wave energy thereby reducing the pitch. The floating oil patch concept attempts to overcome the limitation of the current generation of floating production and storage vessels while still capitalising on the best features of the systems currently available. 4. Process.Current and future marginal field development concepts 165 —Two conventional barge shaped hulls. the mooring and riser systems pose problems in severe wave environments and. —Multiproduct high pressure swivels in the turret to permit transfer of all well fluids to the process system. Converted tankers have the advantage of high payload capacity and large deck area. few are suitable for conversion.5. Semi-submersibles have the advantage of satisfactory motion characteristics but they are expensive to build or convert and they tend to be weight sensitive. The supporting members in the interhull gap are designed to promote conflicting currents and vortices in the water entrained between the hulls. —A turret mooring system with six catenary mooring lines which permits the unit to weathervane. A notable feature of the concept is the tandem hull design. A sketch of the floating oil patch is shown in Fig. The subsea flowlines and control lines from production and injection wells are laid to anchor blocks below the tension leg riser tower and flexible transitions connect them to the rigid risers in the tower. heave and roll motions of the vessel. despite the availability of surplus tankers. leaving an interhull gap. just as the same principle forms the basis of the steadiness characteristics of semi-submersible vessels. Vessel motions are further dampened by a passive motion suppression system developed by the London Centre for Marine Technology and licensed by BPP Ocean Technology Ltd.
4. The dimensions and capacities of the oil patch concept are quite flexible and the designers have proposed a number of options with different production and load capacities.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 166 FIG. a joint venture between Taylor Woodrow and Seaforth Maritime Ltd. . Crude oil storage is available in the lower hull of the unit and direct offloading is possible using shuttle tankers. Oil patch. storage and offloading capabilities in one barge type facility.2.4 The TAPS System The barge based turret anchor production system (TAPS) is a design concept which aims to incorporate production facilities.7 shows the main characteristics and criteria for one version of the unit. minimum wave induced motions can be achieved. The concept has been developed by Flotech Ltd. Alternatively. Accommodation facilities are provided for up to 100 persons in an accommodation block which also houses the control room and marine facilities. of course. 4. Table 4. Indeed. they claim that a barge can be optimised to give less severe motions than those of current semi-submersibles. the relatively simple hull shape permits rapid and economical construction. with proper selection of the barge dimensions. the stabilised crude may be transferred to an export pipeline. Additionally. Based on their studies the designers suggest that. The TAPS system is aimed at production from marginal fields in all types of environment.5.
transfer to existing pipeline TABLE 4. shut in pressure (psig) Water injection rate (b/d) Gas injection rate (mmscfd) 300 m 70 000 22.0 m deep 3.5 m 45.8 TAPS System Assumed field data Water depth Oil production (b/d) Gas products (mmscfd) Produced water (b/d) Gas oil ratio (scf/bbl) Max.of mooring chains Deck payload capacity Environmental criteria The unit is designed to maintain normal operations in Beaufort force 8/9 weather conditions in Block 30 of the UK Sector North Sea and to survive the 100 year storm.7 The Floating Oil Patch Assumed field data Water depth Oil production (b/d) Gas production (mmscfd) Water cut Gas/oil ratio Max.0 m deep 131.0 m×9.0 m×28. 124. shut in pressure Number of subsea wells Export system Dimensions Upper hull Lower hull Interhull gap Depth of subsea manifold No.Current and future marginal field development concepts 167 TABLE 4.0 m×33.0 m×8.5 48 000 500 5 000 65 000 20 .4 60 000 320 5 000 90 000 20 100 m 45 000 22.0 m below LAT 6 15000 tonnes 150 m 20000 (36° API) 60 33% 300 scf/bbl 2000 psi 6 6 in.
gas injection wells No. producing wells No.45 m/s The main components of the TAPS system consist of: —A barge shaped production. water injection wells TAPS main characteristics and criteria Dimensions 250 m×41 m×25 m depth Displacement (15 m draft) Tank capacities (tonnes) 142773 tonnes Crude oil storage Water ballast Produced water Slops Fuel Crude oil discharge rate: Turret structure 3 500 m3/h 1 100 tonnes 70 000 108 000 11 000 3600 1000 12 8 2 8 7 0 for 100 m depth unit for 100 m depth unit for 100 m depth unit for 100 m depth unit for 100 m depth unit Mass: Diameter: 18 m (300 m unit) 24 m (100 m unit) Mooring: 9×127 m wire cable (300 m unit) 9×4 in. variable deckload: Tensioned (300 m unit) Flexible (100 m unit) 10000 tonnes (in addition to fixed loads such as power generation and accommodation) Accommodation: 130 persons Power generation: Gas turbines 4×3. storage and offloading vessel which is turret moored just forward of midship.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 168 No.3 MW Environmental criteria 300 m unit Waves (Hs×period) Wind (3 s @ 10 m elevation) Surface current 18 m×16 s 55 m/s 1. grade 4 chain (100 m unit) Riser: Max. .45 m/s 100 m unit 14 m×15 s 52 m/s 1.
6. etc. 4. 4. Turret anchor production system. also feasible). multiple passage process and control swivels. The system has been FIG. The first design was for a field west of Shetland in 300 m but the latest design is for a unit for a field SE of Shetland in 100 m water depth. As the number of passages increases.2. Thus much of the development work is concerned with testing sealing surfaces and assessing the effect of different fluid types.Current and future marginal field development concepts 169 —Risers from a seabed template pass through the turret where they are checked and manifolded on the turret before passing through a medium pressure swivel to the process plant. designed for a range of water depths. Swivels are only as good as their high pressure seals.5 Future Development of the Production Tanker Concept The main areas for research and development on tanker based floating production systems are as follows: —High pressure. . A sketch of the TAPS system is shown in Fig. — Export is by shuttle tanker using a tandem loading system (although pipeline export is. —The riser is designed to remain connected to the unit even through the survival storm. the size and complexity of the unit increases and consequently there is a dramatic increase in the size and length of individual sealing surfaces. The swivel is the heart of a weathervaning production system. with additional wells and with gas and water injection facilities. of course. 4.6. pressure and temperatures on the life of seals.
give an . have quite strict depth limitations. jack-up production units have several limitations which may become critical when considering them for duty in severe wave environments: —Jack-up units must. which are designed for drilling.3 CONCEPTS BASED ON THE USE OF A JACK-UP PRODUCTION SUPPORT The basic production system consists. A new class of harsh environment jack-up units have recently entered the North Sea drilling market. However. environmental conditions and operating loads experienced during the life of the unit. are not entirely governed by fatigue considerations due to the variations in water depth. Several fields worldwide currently employ converted jack-up units for production duties (see Chapter 3). These units. The jack-up has several inherent advantages: —The stable platform provided by the jack-up eliminates all the difficulties associated with the heave and lateral motions of floating units. While the cyclic stresses may be high. only one such unit has been used in the North Sea. Thus the jacking capacity has a critical influence on the topside facilities which can be accommodated on the unit. especially in severe wave environments. —The conversion to a production facility can be completed inshore. 4.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 170 —New connect and disconnect systems are being developed to permit operations in iceberg prone areas and to permit tankers to stay on station and to re-connect at much higher sea states. However. as such. a jack-up designed essentially for exploratory drilling will have a shorter fatigue life if it is operated at a single location for a long period of time. by their nature. the number of cycles at any given location on the leg will be low. —Jack-up units do not have any oil storage capability and so require an associated storage/transportation vessel or a pipeline to shore. The unit is understood to have suffered fatigue damage during this—comparatively brief—period. thus avoiding expensive offshore construction and hook-up. —Improved mooring systems and DP systems are being developed to enable tankers to weather the most extreme offshore environments. —Most drilling jack-up designs are based on a combination of maximum wave. not production. Thus. of a converted drilling jack-up unit which houses the production facilities with wellheads situated on the jack-up unit. be able to jack their deck into position above the prevailing waves. —The units may be deployed at short notice and are ideal for early production systems. —Jack-up units. being bottom founded. This is especially true in severe wave environments. This was the Gulf Tide jack-up unit which was deployed on the Ekofisk field between 1971 and 1974. typically. Oil flows to the processing system and thence to a storage facility aboard an adjacent tanker. wind and gravity loads and.
5 m Maersk harsh environmental unit 105 m CFEM T2600C 91 mm Rowan ‘Gorilla’ 100 m . TABLE 4. FIG.9.6 m 81. 4.3 m 90.7 and the main characteristics of these units are shown in Table 4. A sketch of the unit is shown in Fig.Current and future marginal field development concepts 171 indication of the largest type of jack-up which is currently available. Harsh environment jack-up by Hitachi Zosen.7. 4.9 Harsh Environment Jack-up Drilling Units Unit Max water depth Dimensions Length 84.
It is a gravity type structure consisting of a very large steel jack-up attached to a concrete caisson. Doris and Marathon le Tourneau.5 m 4. It is designed to accommodate the necessary drilling/production loads and to meet the fatigue requirements dictated by the application and design.99 m2 13 300 15 800 2820 680 90 90 80 2 500 29. —All necessary equipment.1 m 503 ft 352.×period) 60 s wind velocity Surface current 90. processing and offloading..66 m/s 0.5 knots 4.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 172 Breadth Depth at side Design draft Number of legs Length of leg Spud tank area (each) Hull weights (tonnes) Lightweight (excl. rotary setback Accommodation (persons) Environmental conditions (in elevated conditions) Wave height (max. The Seaplex platform is a hybrid design especially aimed at development of small offshore reservoirs. The design was developed by Seaplex Corporation which is a subsidiary of Combustion Engineering Inc. .5 s ft 84 knots 1. which permits the structure to serve as a storage facility. The main components of the system consist of: —A large jack-up with rectangular hull and four open truss legs. production.15 m 3 130 m 153.4 m/s 82 knots 1.3.56 m× (for 300 ft) 92 17.0 m 9. —A concrete caisson with a 500000 barrel capacity. The steel jack-up is a modified mobile drilling unit with the production processing equipment on and within the hull.9 m 8m 5. ancillary hardware and systems for drilling.8 m 3 156.8 m 262 m 2 93.1 Seaplex Class 500–4 The Seaplex is a design concept which attempts to address the depth and storage limitations of jack-ups.G. C.9 m 2 89 m 9. load of hook. legs) Normal lifting with full variable load Variable load on board Max.
One is the unitised subsea drilling/production template for predrilling wells during the construction stage of the Seaplex. For the North Sea type environment. Jack-up payloads tend to be limited to something less than that usually desired by production personnel. through the application of the oil/water displacement principle. installation and retrieval operations. and the other. When ballasted. However.8. it helps provide the necessary stability for operations in severe environments. 4. by attaching the jack-up legs to the concrete caisson and . During production operations the caisson. a truss type steel tower structure that provides both lateral and vertical support for the risers and well conductors. Seaplex. while during tow. the Seaplex concept incorporates two additional and separate elements for assisting in developing marginal fields. it provides the controlled buoyancy to accommodate the total topside load. is used for storing the produced crude oil. The reinforced and prestressed concrete caisson is the foundation base for the overall structure. including the jack-up.Current and future marginal field development concepts 173 FIG.
including water and gas injection wells.0 knots 50000 500000 4088 m2 18144 tonnes 27215 tonnes 4. 2. This supports all the equipment required for comingling of the well fluids (chokes. —Conventional universal joint with self lubricated bushings and a base connection arrangement designed for diverters actuation.5 s 2. valves. The elevating units may be removed from the structure to provide additional payload capacity or left in place as a possible back-up to the welded connections. See Chapter 2 for further details of this proposal. —A four-legged tubular latticed structure. An integral base/template arrangement is proposed for tanker based systems and a separate arrangement is proposed for a semisubmersible system.10 Seaplex Class 500–4 Typical Specifications Water depth (m) Max. barge or semi-submersible based.10. The system consists of the following elements: —A riser top module.1 Subsea Riser Tower The subsea riser tower is a compliant riser system which can be utilised with any type of floating production vessel: ship. The design has been developed by Foster Wheeler Petroleum Development.10. —The piled or gravity base section. TABLE 4. the Seaplex is able to accommodate a 50– 150% greater payload than the free standing jack-up. A typical application of the concept is shown in Fig. pigging diverters.4. It is designed for severe environment applications. which may include a wellhead template depending on the type of floating production unit. Typical specifications for the Seaplex class 500–4 are shown in Table 4. wave height×period Current Oil production (b/d) Maximum oil storage (bbl) Available deck space Deek load (all fixed and variable) (surface) (bottom) 122 28 m×17. of varied length to suit the water depth. —Four 40-m long buoyancy tanks and two ballast tanks.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 174 by welding off the legs to the hull structure. hydraulic accumulator banks and control instruments) from up to 16 wells.0 knots 50000 500000 4088 m 2 152 31 m×17. —Approximate weight of this module is 250 tonnes.4 CONCEPTS BASED ON ARTICULATED TOWERS 4.72 knots 0.72 knots 0. .5 s 2.
2 MACC—nifold and Control Columns The MACC concept consists of a range of offshore systems based on articulated columns aimed specifically at marginal fields. Taywood Engineering suggest that the following factors have the greatest influence on the decision to adopt a particular development system: —peak production.).9. The availability of the system is equivalent to that of a fixed platform with a capital cost of at least 20% less. —number of drilling centres required for correct well distribution. The most appropriate structure to use for any particular development would depend largely on physical field parameters.3 MACC Moored Semi-submersible Scheme An enhancement scheme based upon the use of a semi-submersible yoked to an articulated column is considered suitable for the following field conditions: —fields requiring a large number of wells. —crude export by pipeline. or a converted tanker. either a semi-submersible.g.Current and future marginal field development concepts 175 The manifold on the riser top module is situated 50 m below the water surface.e. —reservoirs requiring high pressure gas injection.4. a purpose-built barge. —gas/oil ratio. etc. and also on economic criteria. —requirements for gas injection. The topsides production facilities and utilities require some form of support structure.4. The system consists of an articulated column which is used to provide a high integrity fluid path from the well bore to deck level. connect flexible to rigid lines. These systems aim to offer the potential for uninterrupted offshore production including injection. Safety on/off valves remain subsea. The details of a typical development would be as follows: . replace any piece if necessary. The vortex shedding forces are also reduced by the selection of four long slender buoyancy chambers and a lattice type structure. 4. Typical applications of the concept are shown in Fig. It is a concept which has been developed by Taywood Engineering Ltd. By rating all the equipment on this fluid path at full reservoir pressure it is possible to locate all well control valves and chokes on the deck of the column. —reservoirs requiring frequent workover. This depth has been selected to ensure low dynamic excursion of the riser due to current induced vortex shedding. The subsea manifold can be accessed by air divers to accomplish simple and rapid operations (e. —number of wells required. for marginal fields in water depths to 200 m. 4. i. 4. The designers claim that the system is 14 months faster to peak oil production than fixed platform schemes. to be controlled by discrete hydraulics.
4. the semi-submersible will still remain safely moored to the column. The FIG. In the event of failure of the catenary moorings.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 176 —A semi-submersible production facility conventionally catenary-moored using piled anchors.9. . The vessel can thus maintain its position over the wells whilst working over or redrilling. Articulated riser columns with topsides manifold linked to floating production platform and tanker FPSO. and yoked to an articulated column.
0% 49500 Fixed platform 0.11 MACC—Manifold and Control Column Assumed field data Water depth Oil production (b/d) GOR (scf/bbl) CO2 No. .5% 0.0% 0.6% 25.0% 25.Current and future marginal field development concepts 177 TABLE 4.5% 1.5% 49750 Semi-sub with tensioned riser 25% 1% 26% 37250 Down time Weather Repair maintenance Export Total Average daily production Column moored tanker 1.6% 37200 Semi-sub with tensioned riser 0.wells production Gas injection No.4% 48300 Fixed platform (no storage) 0. Subsea valving is restricted to on/off safety valves with control by discrete hydraulics. and future drilling requirements.5% 3.4% 1.0% 26.0% 1. All other wellhead controls (control valves and chokes) are mounted on the deck of the column for easy access.5% 0.wells injection Water injection (b/d) MACC with tanker 119 m 58000 310 — 10 — 8 45000 MACC with Semi-sub Oilfield 158 m 50000 500 — 15 — 10 50000 Gas condensate field 105 m 50000 6000 25% 15 270 mm scfd 13 Total effective down time claimed by designers compared with other systems Down time Weather Repair/maintenance Total Average daily production (b/d) Column moored semi-sub 0. —The wells are assumed to be drilled through a template located close enough to the column to allow wireline workover from the semi-submersible.2% 36900 choice of purpose built or converted semi-submersible would depend on field conditions.0% 0.2% 25.5% 0. such as gas/oil ratio.
The choice between the two will depend on balancing the initial cost savings in purchasing and converting an existing VLCC against the improved fatigue life and motion response characteristics of a purpose built barge. —The production platform would be a conventional large semi-submersible (e.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 178 —The articulated column is a conventional single articulation tower (similar to the Fulmar tower described in Chapter 2) acting as a riser support and mooring for the floating vessel. The MACC also has the advantage of having above-water maintenance of most equipment.4 MACC Moored Tanker Scheme An enhancement system based upon the use of a tanker yoked to an articulated column is considered suitable for the following conditions: —fields requiring a small number of wells in the location of the production facilities. TFL manifolds. 4. on board. by supporting manifolding and control facilities. accommodation.5 MACC in Satellite Field Development Scheme The designers claim that a satellite field using an articulated column has lower capital cost and higher system availability than a UMC in water depths less than 200 m. developed the CONAT (Concrete Articulated Tower) production system for water depths of 300–400 m.6 CONAT Bilfunder & Berger. —The wells are assumed to be drilled through templates set far enough from the radius of the tanker to allow heavy workover by a semi-submersible.g. They are. GVA 5000) for low gas/oil ratio fields. or a purpose built dumb barge. Similar hydraulic well controls are adopted in this application to that of the semi-submersible system. however. The articulated column provides essentially the same function as that used in the semi-submersible development. The vessel can either be a converted VLCC. It is . flare etc.4. The column can be constructed in either structural steel or prestressed concrete depending on comparative costs. For high GOR fields a heavy weight semi would need to be developed to carry the extra equipment required. A typical development would have the following: —An articulated column (steel or concrete) with the control trees.4. The details of a typical development would be as follows: —Tanker production facility yoked to an articulated column. The choice of structure material can again be made on performance and economic grounds. 4. adapted to allow partial TFL work. 4. but free to weathervane about the column. —fields requiring heavy production equipment.4. —fields requiring in-line product storage. —Individual well monitoring prior to manifolding. in cooperation with MAN and Tyssen. —Remote control from the control platform. hydraulic well control package.
supported by PTFE bearings and lubricated by a closed-circuit 100 bar oil flow system with ‘dry run’ capability. CONAT. also sharing the skirt pile principle which is said to simplify installation. The heart of the articulated tower unit is an assembly which consists of a central universal tie joint inside a 1-atmosphere chamber formed by a twin hemispherical shell.Current and future marginal field development concepts 179 built of reinforced concrete. 4. . allowing a movement of up to 20°. with one half sliding within the other and FIG. ensure protection against sea bed erosion and provide a heavy duty base for the ball joint. The weight of the column is taken by the outer shell bearing against the inner. The joint has been tested in the North Sea and offers maintenance free operation with the opportunity for access should any attention be required. The joint maintains the correct hemisphere clearance and prevents rotation.10. Access for maintenance personnel is provided inside the ball and a pneumatic sealing system with multiple inflatable seals provides security.
a secondary shaft 62 m in diameter.5 m with a freeboard of 37.5 m. and offload to a shuttle tanker. and a base with a diameter of 98 m. 4. and control towers. (2) the presence of permanent workover rig capability on the caisson. The following is a selection of some of them. There are currently many concepts in various stages of refinement for developing these fields. even should the joint break.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 180 CONAT designs come in several different forms. Exxon propose to use a clustered well system with the caisson which . yoke towers for production tankers. Other advantages include (1) the ability to maintain subsurface equipment with vertical access tools launched from the caisson. production towers. CONAT is applicable to various offshore requirements including single point moorings and loading terminals. The concept has been developed by Exxon Production Research who claim to have established the feasability of the concept for application in water depths ranging between 300 and 1000 m. wind or current. Obviously fields in very deep waters and in iceberg and icefloe infested areas may be very large by the standards of more hospitable areas and still be in the marginal category because of the technological developments required to produce them or because of the huge cost involved. The present design draft is 120.11 is sized to process 13500 tonnes (100000 barrels) per day of oil with its associated gas and water. It also has a hull form that experiences minimal drilling or production down time caused by severe weather. and (3) independence of pipelines. The vessel is designed to accommodate the drilling equipment employed on a modern deepwater drill ship. 4. producing. The vessel concept depicted in Fig. store 81000 tonnes (600000 barrels) of crude oil. This concept of a caisson vessel has a central shaft with a diameter of 39 m. storage and offloading systems is one of the concepts for development of hydrocarbons in deep water. the tower cannot float away. The caisson vessel has the very large load carrying capability required to accommodate all the drilling and production facilities.5 CONCEPTS FOR DEEPWATER As oil discoveries are made in ever deeper waters new systems to produce these fields are constantly being proposed. including the multi-column offshore production platform (OPP) which exploits the parallel linkage in order to keep the platform level as it moves sideways under the influence of waves.5. The permanent negative buoyancy maintains a downward force on the ball joint and this ensures that.1 Floating Concrete Caisson Vessel The floating concrete caisson vessel incorporating drilling. 4.
.3 Deepwater Gravity Tower/Deepwater Gamma Tower These towers are design concepts which have been developed by C. 4.11. Doris.Current and future marginal field development concepts 181 FIG. can be maintained using their SPS technology. The gravity tower features a concrete floater with a tubular steel truss column supported by a laminated rubber ball joint on a piled base foundation. which was developed by Gulf/Norwegian Contractors. 4.5. Design of the production riser and swivels is similar to current designs for a 1000 m SALM and production risers. Guidelines can be used in shallower waters but will not be used in 1000 m depths. Two risers provide the capability for simultaneous drilling and production.5. Sufficient clearance must be provided to prevent the risers from contacting each other.2 Floating Concrete Monotower This concept. is somewhat similar in concept to the Exxon caisson above. 4.G. Caisson vessel system.
The main characteristics from the preliminary design of a steel tower for 490 m water depth are summarised below: . The gamma tower is designed for areas like the Gulf of Mexico.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 182 FIG. Flexible piles have been incorporated in the gamma tower design as an alternative to the articulation on the fixed piled base which is specified for the deepwater gravity tower. thus eliminating the need for a deepwater sheltered site for mating of the concrete to the steel jacket.12. 4. In the gamma tower concept the concrete floater is replaced by steel buoyancy tanks. Doris deepwater gravity tower.
Doris gamma tower. Water depth Deck weight Quantities Weight of buoyancy tanks Weight of tower Total steel weight Solid ballast Flexible piles 13800 tonnes 27000 tonnes 48800 tonnes 28500 m3 No.18 1600 ft (490 m) 15000 tonnes .Current and future marginal field development concepts 183 FIG.6 Dia.13. 4. 42in Weight 3500 tonnes Shear piles No.
There is little else to the structure. The steel tower is a hexagonal tubular truss frame with six main vertical legs on a 28 m radius. 4.5 m diameter.34 m/s) The design includes six steel floatation tanks 110 m long and 12. In the design which was proposed for the Troll field a horizontal bracing frame is added to aid inshore assembly.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 184 Dia. with another 20000 tonnes of piles. 4. 4. At location the structure is lowered onto a pre-installed driven pile foundation formed by four separate base pods interconnected by a frame. The platform is being proposed for developing the Troll field in 340 m water depth in the Norwegian Trench.2 m/s) 2.5 Tripod Tower Platform (TTP) This is a steel tripod concept which has been developed by Heerema/Aker. The T 300 has a base tripod topped by a single monotower. The Troll T 300 design would contain close to 750 000 tonnes of concrete and would float out with a displacement of 900000 tonnes and a draught of 225 m (see Fig.) Current (surface) 65 ft (19. During tow out displacement would be about 150000 tonnes (see Fig. The structure is commendably simple. A 15 m diameter central column is supported by three 8 m diameter inclined legs.5 s 80 knots (41.92 in.8 m) 13. Weight 3500 tonnes Extreme Environmental Conditions Wave Wind (1 min. Altogether 85000 tonnes of steel would be used in a TTP for the Troll field.6 knots (1. . It is considerably different from previous concrete platforms.5.5. Each of the unstiffened tubular legs.14).14).4 T 300 Concrete Tripod Platform This is a platform concept which has been developed by Norwegian Contractors. would weigh 9500 tonnes. using a very large number of very large diameter structural members constructed using mild steel with low yield stress. which are 8 m diameter and 300 m long. 4. They are located inside the tower with the top end 20 m below the still water level.
and less able to support a programme of delineation drilling. or about half a million barrels. However. in order to ensure that the overall recovery of a reservoir would not be affected by precipitate production. for the extended flow testing of individual wells. albeit in calmer waters than North Sea conditions. An extended well production test can be rapidly deployed: 25 to 30 weeks from commitment to proceed to start if production is feasible. 4.6 EXTENDED WELL PRODUCTION TESTING Extended well test systems (EWT). As discussed above the viability of marginal reservoirs is critically dependent on adequate knowledge of the reservoir and its production mechanism.12. 4. The systems utilise proven and readily available equipment. The systems have produced up to 20000 b/d for up to one year without shutdown. in areas such as the North Sea.Current and future marginal field development concepts 185 FIG. As a result extended well tests in the North Sea have been limited to satellite structures to fields which were already in production. national authorities—who exercise a major degree of control through the licensing process—have traditionally considered that extended well testing should be limited to a period of less than 90 days. . T 300 and tripod tower platform Troll field versions.14. There have been no stand alone extended well tests in the North Sea to date. A typical project schedule is shown in Table 4. This is likely to change in the near future as the fields under consideration get smaller. have been used extensively in Brazil and Spain. The major advantage from the operator’s point of view is the additional reservoir and well productivity information which can only be obtained from extended testing of the reservoir.
Subsea test tree with safety shut-in controls 3.12 Typical Extended Well Test Project Schedule Weeks 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Commit EWT system Install process Deliver subsea tree Deliver mooring Set SPM mooring Well completion Install loading hose Moor tanker Test system Start production × × × × × × × × × × TABLE 4. Layout on drill rig 12. Tubing to surface 4. Semi-sub drill rig 2. Safety shut-in control 11.13 A List of Typical Equipment for an Extended Well Test Equipment 1.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 186 TABLE 4. Manifold 6. Separator (15000 b/d) 7. Surge vessel 8. Gas burner 10. Tanker loading connection Availability (days) 30 45 30 30 45 45 45 30 30 30 30 30 . Surface test tree 5. Pipeline 9.
2. 4. A list of typical equipment for an extended well test is shown in Table 4. tubing and miscellaneous piping/valves. Additional wells could possibly be connected to the extended well test system to make it into an early production system. A schematic of an extended well test system is shown in Figure 4.13. 8. Run BOP. 6. Modify the rented production process equipment and subsea test tree. This information is based on an outline proposal by Sedco Inc. packer.15. 4. Tanker 45 60 40 FIG. 9. 3. 7. Prepare the semi-submersible for floating production.15. Install tanker mooring using work boats. 5. Order flexible hose. Source: Floatech. Fabricate tanker mooring system. using the drill rig Sedco 704. for an extended well production test for a North Sea location (September 1984). Install the rented process equipment and production safety equipment on the semisubmersible.Current and future marginal field development concepts 187 13. tanker SPM mooring. Tanker SPM system 15. connect and test. The proposed period for operation of the system was from a minimum of one year to a maximum of five years. Extended Well Test Scenario 1. Extended well testing scheme. Anchor semi-submersible in position over existing producible wells. Loading hose 14. Contract for tanker. .
the entire facility can be removed. Loading hose connected to tanker mooring buoy will ride out storm. 16. Perforate and test well. After system check out. 22. Flow directly to tanker moored 1. 28. 18. release tanker and take tanker away from storm. Dispose of produced water into ocean after cleaning. Run/set/test subsea test tree and tubing to surface. Use shuttle tankers from tanker mooring system to move oil to the market. When the EWT system reaches economic limit. Riser can be reconnected in 15 ft waves. 27. 14. During steps 8 through 12. Re-enter and complete the existing producible well. Additional wells can be added to the EWT system for reservoir testing or to increase field production during EWT system operations.2 km from rig.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 188 10. Reservoir information (bottom-hole pressure) etc. 26. When storm reaches 40 ft and is projected to 60 ft disconnect and pull riser and ride out storm. During steps 5 through 12. 12. 15. the EWT system can be converted to extend to fixed platform facilities. Tanker is reconnected when sea state drops to 15 ft 24. start production. Place on storm heading. . When sea states are projected to be 20 ft. can be collected since vertical entry to the well is provided. 20. When sea states reach 35 ft shut in production wells. If waves reach 40 ft production riser is disconnected and pulled. tighten system and prepare for shutting in production wells. If the economics of the field justify it. 11. complete the modification installation and testing of production equipment. All the equipment can be reused. and train the tanker crew. 23. 19. and train the production crew. 25. 13. Flow well on a continuous basis and flare gas. complete the installation and testing of loading hose. 17.
However. It is worthwhile taking a fairly close look at the development and operating history of these two fields. It is also instructive to look at how these systems have behaved in practice and the down time and reliability which has been experienced with these systems operating in North Sea conditions. Statistics relating to the Argyll field are shown in Table 5.5% Hamilton Oil Great Britain PLC Hamilton Brothers Petroleum (UK) Ltd RTZ Oil and Gas Ltd Blackfriars Oil Co.2% 25.1 THE ARGYLL EXPERIENCE The Argyll field was discovered in 1971 in Blocks 30/24 and 30/25A. 190 miles south east of Aberdeen. TABLE 5. The field has recoverable reserves of approximately 60 million bbl including the Duncan and East Duncan structures to the west of the main Argyll field.Chapter 5 Construction and Operating History of North Sea Floating Production Systems INTRODUCTION Despite the fact that marginal field technology has been used extensively for many years (see Chapter 3) it is only comparatively recently that these systems have been used in North Sea type environments. The field is situated in water depths of 76 m. Ltd .0% 12. there are currently two floating production systems in the North Sea (Argyll and Buchan) which have been in production now for several years. Both fields illustrate the flexibility and adaptability of floating production systems and give a good insight into the phased development which is possible when using this type of technology.1.1 Argyll Field Statistics Block: Operator: Partners: 30/24 UK North Sea Hamilton Oil Great Britain PLC 28.8% 7. 5. NE Frigg). As yet there is little operational experience of tension leg platforms (Hutton) or underwater manifold and control centres (Central Cormorant.
in fact. 1975–1980 Because of the relative complexity of the Argyll geology.8—1980 0.5% 24.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 190 2.4—from 1975 to end of 1977 0.5—1981 1. it was impossible to predict how the field would produce.2% March 1975 June 1975 43 000 (b/d) (1983) 2.1 First Stage of Development.7—1978 0.7—1983 5 million cubic ft/day Average gas flaring in 1983: The Argyll complex is interesting in that it has undergone a progression of significant modifications since its initial development.8—1979 0. These considerations led Hamilton Brothers to choose a test production facility for the initial . 5. Nor.1.0% Discovery date: Water depth: Sea bed nature: Reservoir depth: Recoverable reserves: (original) Recovery factor: API gravity: Gas/oil ratio: Sulphur content: Platform installations: Production start: Peak production: Oil production in millions of tonnes: August Trans European Co. Ltd Texaco North Sea UK Ltd 1971 (Argyll) 1980 (Duncan) 76 m (250 ft) Clean sand 2 743 m (9 052 ft) Zechstein and Rotliegendes 55 mbbl (Argyll) 20 mbbl (Duncan) 20% 37°–38° 300 scf/bbl 0.0—1982 0. were the full reserve potentials of the area established.
up to a gas-oil separation plant mounted on the deck of a semi-submersible rig. The programme was designed to place the field in production with minimum investment and to yield reservoir information required to determine future development policy. The floating production facility was converted from the drilling rig (Transworld 58) into a production facility in a period of only six weeks. The system for the Argyll field stage I is shown in Fig. Some of the drilling equipment remained but drilling capability no longer existed after conversion.1. Plant layout was checked for weight and centre of gravity. so the vessel’s trim would not be adversely affected. Argyll 1975–1980. The 10 in. nominal diameter central riser member. then through a 7500 ft long. flexible pipe. tapering from 20 in.1. Well fluids flowed by way of a subsea manifold through individual 4 in. . pumps. When Argyll came on stream estimated recoverable reserves were put at ‘between 10 million and 25 million barrels’ and its planned life was just five years. phase of development of the Argyll field. Three subsea completions were initially connected by submarine flow-lines into a riser base system. All available deck space was used for production equipment. Floating hose. nominal bore. 5. meters. 5. Separated gas was flared and the degassed crude pumped back to the sea bed through the 10 in.——. submarine hose which interfaced to a standard deepwater design CALM type SPM.Construction and operating history of north sea floating production systems 191 FIG. line was connected by a pipeline end manifold and 12 in. . to 6 in. At the same time. separators. conveyed the crude from the SPM into export tankers for offloading at United Kingdom ports. submarine sales line. this production test would yield sufficient revenue to assure profitable initial operation of the field. rigid pipe. etc. nominal diameter lines in a production riser assembly. 10 in.
Since then. 3. sales flowline pipe. As the early wells started to produce water. All submarine flowlines laid in the Argyll field were initially heavy wall steel pipe with a coal tar/fibreglass coating incorporating a heavy duty woven outer wrap. The semi-submersible drill rig Ocean Kokuei conducted a long-term drilling programme of a few wells each year. like the downhole safety valve.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 192 The gas/oil separation plant on the Transworld 58 was quite conventional. since it was considered that self burial would occur because of the nature of the sea bed. However. vessels were insulated and heat traced to maintain a minimum operating temperature of 55°F at a designed maximum throughput of 70000 b/d. Other valves in the system provide access to the annulus between the tubing and the casing. The field shuttle tankers have been modified for self mooring and bow loading using a constant tension traction winch and 21 in. The cause has never. Argyll was able to support an almost continuous programme of drilling and maintenance. 5) produced through the system from June 1975. Rig motions were transferred through the tensioning system and export riser to the riser connector on the manifold. As further producing wells were discovered these were completed and tied into the Argyll manifold. Lines were laid directly on the sea bed without trenching or burial. a programme of recompleting wells in the less prolific reservoirs was undertaken. a crack developed in the subsea manifold in the 10 in. An inert gas generator provided the ability to purge the process vessels and pipework with an inert gas blanket whenever production was shut in. and oil production dwindled. Apparently. The maintenance boat is not required to assist the tanker in mooring to the tanker loading buoy. been made public although it was widely rumoured to have been connected with the use of spiral welded carrier pipe. Mooring line and hose remain connected to the buoy when no tanker is on the SPM. The valves of the tree are designed to be diver replaceable. The riser connector was supported on the manifold frame by a short 10 in. Well number 6 was completed in 1976 giving four producers. the crack was caused by cyclical loads acting on the 10 in. The subsea trees incorporate a manual master valve that can be closed by a diver. flowline. However. Three subsea wells (2. All hydraulically operated valves are opened and closed from the semi-submersible. certain features were peculiar to this installation. Above the manual valve is a hydraulically operated master valve and a similar wing valve. they close if control pressure is released. spool assembly which was bolted to the upper frame structure. A special dual burner flare system with water spray cooling was developed to flare gas in normal service and burn off crude pumped out of the process plant in an emergency to achieve extreme storm survival status. In January 1979. Hamilton has made extensive use of flexible pipe. The crack was located just below the upper frame in an area that prevented repair or replacement of the damaged pipe by divers. are failsafe. There is a 4–5 day turn-around of the tanker leaving and returning to the buoy depending on the UK port of discharge. These valves. circumference nylon mooring line. Up to 7 satellite wells were producing at Argyll in the period prior to 1980. in two separate incidents in 1981 two 3 km flowline bundles due to tie in a new satellite well sank during tow to the field from Scotland. Hoses are made fast for loading (after grappling the line) using Cam-Lock connectors. Of the seven wells currently producing only one of them was among the original four wells. These bolts . The purpose of this valve is to give secondary closure of the tubing string in case of cutting in valve seats of automatic valves or to close the tubing for adjustments in the automatic system.
Production was via flexible flowlines to the Argyll manifold (see Fig.——.1. rigid pipe . flexible pipe. A new manifold was designed by Sedco-Hamilton which was lighter and less complex than the original design. It involved the installation of a large subsea base frame and manifold between the Duncan and Argyll fields.2 The Duncan Development In 1980 the Duncan field was discovered 6 km to the west of Argyll.Construction and operating history of north sea floating production systems 193 had loosened causing the 10 in. flowline below the upper frame to flex resulting in fatigue and ultimately a stress crack. Initially the field was subjected to an extended production test from two satellite wells on Duncan.2). 5. Phase I of the Duncan field development occurred in late 1983. connecting four Duncan field producing wells to this manifold by subsea flowlines and transporting the FIG. . 1980–1982 Argyll and Duncan production test. It was installed during the latter part of 1979.2. 5. which necessitated the extension of the system to incorporate Duncan production. 5. Duncan reserves are currently estimated as being 18 million barrels.
Norway. All maintenance on the manifold and wellheads will be undertaken by divers. 5.——. are positioned around the manifold.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 194 FIG. This was partly due to the thermal TABLE 5.3. The Duncan manifold does not include a drilling template. if necessary. All flowlines are flexible pipe. 1974 Water depth: Drilling depth: 1250 ft 25000 ft . Up to 23 modules can eventually be accommodated on the manifold. rigid pipe. replaced by divers.2 Statistics for the Drill Rig Deepsea Saga (prior to its Conversion to Production Platform Deepsea Pioneer) Construction Performance Built by Aker Group Bergen.3). . which control the flow of oil and water to and from the wells. Connection modules containing the valving systems. Autumn 1983: Duncan field development. flexible pipe. combined production stream by a subsea bulk line to the TW 58 production facility which was already processing Argyll crude (see Fig. They are designed as a single unit which can be installed or. 5.
the second and final .Construction and operating history of north sea floating production systems 195 Accommodation Helideck Dimensions 90 persons 84 ft diameter Length: Breadth: Depth: 355 ft 221 ft 130 ft 8500cu.3).1.2 and 5. National 52. The newly converted semi-submersible Deepsea Pioneer is able to handle a peak output of 70000 b/d.5 tonnes @ 30 ft 4 National E-500 Double Windlass 26000 lb Stevin Anchors Honeywell RS 505 Self propelled Source: Ocean Industry Directory of Marine Drill Rigs. ft 1280 bbl 16326 bbl 10200 bbl 2300 bbl Total variable load Storage 2869 tonnes Bulk mud and cement Liquid mud Fuel Water for drilling Potable water Drilling equipment National 1625 DE 3000 HP Pumps: 12-P-lbs Triplex Prime Movers: 4 Berger 8 800 hp Rotary Table: National C495 Derrick: EMSCO 160 ft Cranes Mooring Positioning Remarks 2 No. As well as exchanging platforms at Argyll. avoiding the necessity of burial and preventing oil becoming viscous during the numerous shutdowns which will be experienced. All operations are controlled hydraulically from the Argyll production platform. Duncan is currently (November 1984) producing from four wells. 5. September 1981. In addition. two further production wells and one water injection well are planned for 1985. the new facility has plant for injection of up to 60000 b/d of water at Duncan. 1985 Early in 1985 a new production support was installed on the field (see Tables 5. insulation which can be incorporated into these lines. The flow-line and test line were added to the existing Argyll riser system.3 Third Stage of Development.
—upgrading of firewater systems. Teesside (TW 58) Peterhead Engineering at Invergordon Service Base (Deepsea Pioneer) Loading buoy CALM Buoy by SBM Inc. Duncan (& Innes) Major Contractors Project services Platform Engineering: Bechtel Design: Kerr McGee Corporation Contractors: Dover Oil & Gas. TABLE 5.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 196 phase of work for Duncan called for installation of a new manifold (built by Merpro) beneath Deepsea Pioneer. 1975. The modification of the Deepsea Pioneer for duties as a production installation included the following: —removal of mud pumps and tanks. installed at Argyll October 1982. —retention of derrick (needed for riser handling). . Aberdeen (TW 58) Conversion: Wilson Walton. SBM Rotterdam.3 Argyll. and a flexible riser and flowlines for water injection. Source: Scottish Petroleum Annual. —installation of single separation train and oil water handling facilities. Modified. —upgrading of safety systems.
—installation of two gas turbines for power generation.——.Construction and operating history of north sea floating production systems 197 FIG. flexible pipe.4. rigid pipe.) Facilities on Deepsea Pioneer were arranged so that gas lift equipment could be installed at a later date to enhance flow from Argyll. (See Fig. 5. The finished gas lift module was 6. Over 600 tonnes of redundant material was removed prior to the installation of the process equipment.6 m high and weighed less than 150 tonnes. gas lift and water injection equipment will have 85–90 people permanently on board. installation of new manifold. The gas lift package was installed on the Deepsea Pioneer at the end of May 1985. Heating and ventilation requirements were kept to a minimum by keeping equipment out on deck in the open. —installation of gas lift package.6 for an isometric view of the Deepsea Pioneer production facilities. —installation of flare on top of derrick. . —installation of side flare booms for oil disposal.7 m×12 m×3. 5. . with additional generating equipment. The Deepsea Pioneer. Summer 1984.
The field was discovered in 1983 when well 30/24–24 tested 9600 b/d oil from the reservoir. 5. The development plan proposed the use of the Transworld 58 after a rapid refit as a floating production facility for the field. water injection added. The Transworld 58 refit included new flare booms. Due to the availability of the Transworld 58. A step-out well east of the discovery was water productive. The total shut-down time associated with the installation of the gas lift facility was days to make the main process tie-ins and 19 hours when the process trains were shut down during installation of the compression unit. .4 Fourth Stage of Development—Innes The Innes field is located 11 km north-west of Argyll in Block 30/24. which was replaced by the Deepsea Pioneer at Argyll and Duncan. Based on results of a second production test on well 30/24– 24 conducted in the spring of 1984.——. development of this small reservoir was deemed feasible. oil reserves were determined to be considerably lower than Duncan.5. The single discovery well will be used for production. In the summer of 1984 a one well development proposal was submitted to the Department of Energy for their approval.1. flexible pipe. Autumn 1984. . with TW58 anchored directly over it and connected by a new riser system. rigid pipe. new product crude pumps and upgrading of the fire and gas detection/protection systems. 5. thus establishing that the oil accumulation is very small.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 198 FIG.
18. test separator 1 st stage separator. Layout of floating productions platform Deepsea Pioneer. diving equipment and laydown area. control room. 13. chemical injection skid. This involves a frame-to-transfer FIG.6. oily water separator. HPKO drum. AFFF package. attaching it directly to the subsea tree. 16. instrument air package. 10. 2. 12. flare tip. 15. 6. 5.Construction and operating history of north sea floating production systems 199 A special riser arrangement. 3. 5. fuel . 4. 9. fuel pods. 8. 17. 11. 2nd stage separator and surge tank. access and laydown area. deaeration tower. combined metering unit and prover unit. 1. turbine control units (inside box girder). 7. VAC skid. 14. was adopted at Innes. LPKO drum.
27. 20. firewater pumps day tank and air compressor. 1985-Argyll. helideck with accommodation under. 5. existing diesel tank. 30. coarse and fine filter units. 21. 23. pilot house. 31. 36. riser laydown area. heater and filter separator. rigid pipe. pipe rack.7. flexible pipe. Innes. lubrication oil cooler. 19. laydown area. . (future) gas lift compressors. diesel oil filter coalescer unit. crude dosing package. 37. firewater pumps. hypochlorite injection package.——. power generator. 33. 22. Duncan. 38. export pumps. 28. seawater lift pumps A and S. 29.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 200 gas skid KO drum. FIG. 26. 24.. . 32. seawater injection pumps. batteries and chargers. existing emergency generator. 34. 25. 35.
Further wells may be possible at Innes although no decision has yet been made.8). Production was broken for seven weeks. Significant major one-off events have included repairs to the platform in 1978 and 1980/1981 and to the SBM in 1978/1979. Early in 1978 the platform came into Highland Fabricators dry dock at Nigg for repairs following discovery of a propagating crack in a hull weld. A high number of shut-downs does not necessarily mean poor productivity since the shut-downs may be very short. and SBM faults generally which have caused at least a third of all down time in several years.7). In November 1981 another seven week break in production was started when a weak link in one of the rig’s twelve anchor chains failed TABLE 5.5 The Argyll Continuity of Production Table 5.Construction and operating history of north sea floating production systems 201 riser stressed from the top of the tree to the wellhead below.4 summarises TW 58’s operating history at Argyll. 1978 39 6 19 1979 33 3 16 1980 33 5 22 1981 49 4 21 1982 34 6 17 1983 25 4 38 1984 (22) (1) (14) .4 Argyll Production History Year Total down time (days) Occasions riser pulled Occasions loading shut-down Source: Offshore Engineer. avoiding the need for a separate base to handle the riser. 5. 5. coflexip line. and then piped via a 6 in. The major influence on output is the ability of tankers to moor and load at the SBM. The oil will be processed by TW 58. Waiting on weather typically accounts for around one-quarter of annual down time (see Fig. 5.1. to the Argyll manifold where it will go straight on to the loading buoy (see Fig.
Source: H. The reservoir is a very dense fractured sandstone with recoverable reserves of over 50 million barrels. triggering progressive failure of the rest of the mooring pattern and a two day drift ending 40 km to the south-east.Pass. by conventional . during a storm close to design conditions. 5. Foster Wheeler.8.2 THE BUCHAN EXPERIENCE The Buchan field was discovered in 1974 in a deep reservoir 154 km east-north-east of Aberdeen. 5. Monthly output as a percentage of maximum monthly output for North Sea offshore loading systems (1983).Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 202 FIG.
Also extending into Block No. PLC 4. BP became operator on the Block in May 1977. 1.5 Buchan Field Statistics Block Operator Partners 21/1A UK North Sea.8% September 1980 May 1981 47 000 b/d 0.90% Lochiel Exploration Ltd 12.54% Goal Petroleum PLC 12.14% Charterhall Oil Ltd 0.71% Transworld Petroleum (UK) Ltd 5.5° 300 scf/bbl 0.71% Clyde Petroleum PLC 12.9—1981. 1. BP Petroleum Development Ltd 24. 20/5A which is 100% licenced by Texaco North Sea UK Ltd.58% BP Petroleum Development Ltd 12.76% Tricentrol Oil Corp. 118 m (390 ft) Thin varying sand 2 900 m (9 600 ft) 3 200 m (10 500 ft) 58 million barrels (original) 29 million barrels (remaining) (31/12/83) 10–30% 33.4—1982.71% Sulpetro (UK) Ltd 4.23% Texaco Discovery date Water depth Sea bed Reservoir depths Recoverable reserves (original) Recovery factor API gravity Gas/oil ratio Sulphur content Platform installation Production start Peak production Oil production.71% Charterhouse 9. in millions of tonnes Average gas flaring in 1983 Source: BP August 1974.Construction and operating history of north sea floating production systems 203 TABLE 5.6—1983 9 million cubic feet/day .
5 m 34.6 The Buchan Installations Platform (Light) displacement Overall height Drill deck to base of pontoons Lower deck to base of pontoons Normal draught Survival draught Operational displacement Deck area Pontoon size Anchors Number of anchors Length of mooring wires Diameter of wires Min.3 m 17.22 m 18 m 19.67 km 128 m 4.3 m 45.8 m 1.57 m 15 m 506 tonnes 6 400 m 69 m 2.5 km 10. breaking load (new) Subsea Height of wellhead Dimension of template Distance of template to wells B7 and B8 B4 CALM buoy Distance from platform Length of underbuoy hose Height of buoy Diameter Displacement Number of anchors Length of anchor chains Length of mooring hawser 1.6 km 10 3400 m 70 mm 340 tonnes 13000 tonnes 94.8×14.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 204 TABLE 5.404 tonnes 2 326 m 22 m dia.×7.8 m 20.5 m deep .
and the requirement to commence production as quickly as TABLE 5. 1985. a floating production platform with subsea wells drilled before the arrival of the platform. Stornaway Modification for gas lift—Howard Doris.7). BP Sedco Hamilton Production Services Platform Template CALM Topsides Steel Installation Hookup/commissioning Production services Source: Scottish Petroleum Annual. at the end of the field’s life. There were only two realistic options to be considered. Loch Kishorn Design and fabrication—William Press Production Systems Design and fabrication and installation—Press IMODCO/Comex Houlder Design—Matthew Hall Fabrication—Aker etc. BSC Template—Wharton Williams Flowlines—Santa Fe Marine Operations Aker Offshore Contracting. possible. The second method had the advantage of low construction costs. the relatively small amount of recoverable oil. the high probability that the field would have a relatively short life-span.Construction and operating history of north sea floating production systems 205 Tankers Length Dead weight Capacity Source: BP 271 m 100700 tons 76000 tonnes methods. The field is situated in water depths of 112–118 m (see Tables 5.5–5. First. of being able to go into production as soon as the platform was on station and. low abandonment costs. Pentagone design Conversion—Lewis Offshore. Second.7 Buchan Major Contractors Project services Matthew Hall D&S Petroleum Consultants Worley Engineers Ltd Design—semi-sub Drillmaster. the conventional method of a fixed production platform with wells drilled after installation. plus an additional 8–10 million barrels by gas lift. The key factors which influenced the development for Buchan were the complexity of the field’s geology. .
six drilled through a steel template measuring 8×15 m. second. —A subsea manifold on the template linking the flowlines to the riser system. (See Chapter 2 for details of the riser system. an offshore tanker loading system. An eighth well completed in 1980. . the whole bundle to be supported from the platform by an adjustable tensioning system to prevent buckling. 2. 5. production risers and two 4 in. The umbilicals to operate the wellhead valves. One of the flowlines to carry oil and associated gas.5 km to the west in block 20/5A.) —Seven producing subsea wells. export riser surrounded by eight FIG. a pipeline connection from Buchan to the Forties pipeline system 46 km away or. —Two 4 in. and one satellite well 1. Cost was the determining factor in this choice and the tanker system was selected. flowlines and associated hydraulic control umbilicals connecting each satellite well to the template. the second to carry lift gas at a later date. Again there were only two real options: first. —A 15 m diameter catenary anchor leg mooring (CALM) buoy. service risers.9. The development comprises the following installations: —A floating oil production platform converted from Pentagone design semi-submersible exploration rig. 4 in. —A production/export riser system to carry the oil to and from the platform consisting of one 12 in.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 206 The other major choice was in the method of transporting the oil from the field. Buchan field.6 km from the template.
load capacity and available space. 5. the separated water passing through an effluent control system before being discharged overboard. two flare booms. The buoy is connected to the export line manifold by means of a flexible hose.1 Buchan Alpha A semi-submersible Pentagone design drilling rig. Statutory regulations had changed since Drillmaster had been built and extensive modifications were required. floating hose. The condition of the existing utility systems aboard Drillmaster. especially modified for bow loading and dedicated solely to off-loading from the field. handling and tensioning systems for the production riser and a wireline riser. of the ‘Lazy S’ design. The PLEM is connected to the buoy by a flexible hose.9 km long from the manifold on the template to the pipeline end manifold (PLEM) under the CALM buoy. To add to these complications. An extensive independent structural review led to a large amount of non-destructive testing of the structure and a number of minor modifications to the sub-structure. an extra two months delay and additional expenditure of £8 million were incurred as a direct result of the disaster which struck a rig of identical design. was selected for conversion to the production platform on the criteria of stability.2. submarine pipeline. Tankers moored to the CALM buoy by a 21 in. The integrated Pentagone design made such changes difficult and in some cases involved cutting through decks and bulkheads. Drillmaster. with a buoyancy tank 21 m above the sea bed. the conversion proved to be more complex and involved more extensive rebuilding than had been anticipated. the Alexander Keilland. diameter hawser. which meant equipment had to be moved or removed. All of these factors caused delays and increased costs. compressed air and the ballasting system.2. measuring 15 m diameter with chains 400 m long. Water and gas are separated from the crude oil. Power generation is by diesel generators.3 Process and Export Systems Oil and gas from the wells pass through a three-stage separation process. 5. a metering skid for crude oil measurement. Oil loaded through a 12 in. It was the largest of its type ever produced. such as fire mains. an oil/water treatment plant. All the gas produced is either flared or (from 1985) used for gas lift. The semi-submersible turned out to be 100 tonnes heavier than had been originally calculated. was found to be unsatisfactory which meant unplanned upgrading was required. fabricated and installed by Press-Imodco Offshore Terminals Ltd. cooling water.Construction and operating history of north sea floating production systems 207 —A 12 in. —Two 100000 ton tankers.2.2 The CALM Buoy and Subsea Installations The buoy was designed. . The conversion was scheduled to take eleven months and involved installing a gas/oil separation plant. 1. full saturation diving facilities and provision for the eventual installation of gas lift facilities. For various reasons. 5.
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 208 Cooled. 5. reconnection may not start until heave is less than 0.4 Production History In general the system has operated well. and the need to improve the reliability of critical components is emphasised.5 m. In practice BP shut down production and recover the production risers on a deteriorating forecast of wind and sea conditions of worse than 35–40 knots and of seas up to 12 m maximum. the maximum tension on the windward winches was 66 tonnes. BP say that the best they can expect to achieve from the existing system is about 62%– 63% operational efficiency. a maximum of up to 90% during June. CALM buoy access for maintenance and the statutory safety/standby role. The specially modified tankers are fitted with SPM mooring equipment and bow loading units. in practice. During the first years of operation BP pulled the production riser five times due to adverse weather and the export riser only once. Therefore. The export riser is not unlatched. until the platform heave reaches 5 m. i. The platform itself has proved to be even more stable than was predicted. it would take a week to fill each of the 100 700 ton tankers (their capacity is reduced to 76 000 tonnes by their having segregated ballast tanks to eliminate the risk of pollution from discharge of oily ballast water). In November 1981. During the first year (May 1981–May 1982) the field was in production for 52% of the time as against the 67% which had been predicted.e. processed oil from Buchan Alpha is delivered to a tanker via the export riser to the export pipeline. The buoy has contributed rather more to lost time. There were fears that the riser system would pose problems due to its complex nature but this has not proved to be so. July and August and 45% during December. and via a floating hose to the moored tanker. especially in the early life of the system. A converted anchor handling tug/supply vessel is on station to provide marine support. in a storm with seas at knots. The anchor pattern and winching system has been able to keep the platform in position even in severe and winds gusting to 111 weather.2. In the second year the field was in production 51% of the time. considerable care and judgement has to be used in deciding the timing of maintenance work. Routine maintenance or replacement of worn parts can only be carried out in seas of 2 m or less. Figure 5. . However. January and February. If these periods are discounted the efficiency improves to the high fifties for the two years.8 clearly shows the susceptability of loading buoys to weather down time in North Sea environments and supports BP’s opinion that if they were designing the Buchan field again they would probably opt for a pipeline export system. Loading at the maximum rate of 70 000 b/d. through the pipeline end manifold (PLEM) and underbuoy hose to the CALM buoy. which are relatively rare in winter. These figures are to some extent distorted by shutdowns for buoy repairs during January/February 1982 and for weather effects on wireline works in December 1982 and January 1983.
e. developed by one of the following options: a. —A mobile platform with offshore loading or pipeline to shore. the recovery of more oil. defines relatively clearly the smallest economic field that can be developed in isolation from existing installations (i. in terms of cost they fall broadly into the following order of decreasing cost. using a mobile semi-submersible production platform or tanker and subsea completions. Before looking at costs in detail it is worth emphasising that the figures here are all in mid-1985 US dollars unless otherwise indicated.Chapter 6 Marginal Field Economics and Costs No review of marginal field technology would be complete without some discussion of the costs of the various development options. While the figures presented in this chapter have relevance to all the options presented above we intend to concentrate on the mobile platform with offshore loading or a pipeline to shore. are well known to the industry. In this chapter we intend to review the question of capital and operating expenditures for small oil accumulations (i. Such a system. They have been compiled from a variety of industry sources—contractors. Only when new technology is considered as a possible solution to the problem are the decisions not quite so easy. designers and oil companies. The value of a pipeline to shore versus offshore loading or the development of a field with one or two platforms is normally fairly clear. in water depths between 70 m and 150 m and with a production potential of up to 60000 b/d. or the recovery of reserves at a faster rate. 50–100 million barrels recoverable reserves) in a North Sea type environment. The satellite option is currently the most common method of development of North Sea marginals. Fortunately for operators. not as a satellite). c. —A satellite to an existing production complex. the decision to follow a particular development option is not difficult. satellite developed with fixed platform.e. —Single fixed platform with export via pipeline to shore. satellite developed with subsea system. Clearly no operator wishes to go to a level of expense greater than required. Once the field development option has been fixed the operators must look for the potential in cutting costs wherever possible within that option. The need for more expensive equipment results from environmental limitations. as discussed in the earlier chapters. . b. satellite developed with mobile platform. —Single fixed platform with offshore loading. —Multi-platform development using fixed platforms with export via pipeline to shore. The options for offshore development.
Indeed several of the largest recent projects have been completed on schedule and within budget. TABLE 6. first est. .Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 210 6. 1974 Early 1973 Sept. for Brent) Date May 1972 July 1973 Sept. These major cost increases were due in large measure to the innovative developments which were required by the harsh North Sea environment.1 COST PARAMETERS: THEIR RELATIVE IMPORTANCE AND THEIR SENSITIVITY 6. Such cost increases would be currently quite exceptional in the North Sea. the operator of a marginal offshore field will expect to break some new technological ground.1 Uncertainties Uncertainty is the great enemy of marginal field developments.1 and 6. Uncertainties occur in the area of costs and in the type and level of reserves and productivity. Project cost increases of this magnitude are not unexpected when innovative technology is being developed. Note: numbers in parentheses refer to revised cost eStimates. This can create a problem since it is difficult to justify costly delineation drilling and data collection on a reservoir which is clearly in the marginal category. Such pioneer work can be expected to be associated with some cost over-run. Such levels of over-expenditure cannot be tolerated in a marginal field development. It is reflected in the statistics of the early North Sea developments where dramatic capital cost over-runs were commonplace (see Tables 6.1. Innovative technological developments for marginal field applications would be expected to experience some cost over-runs initially.1 Cost Increases (excluding Drilling) for Some Early North Sea Developments Projects Forties Brent Beryl Ninian Buchan Sum (incl.2). Despite industry’s determination to use proven technology where possible. Likewise the degree of confidence in recoverable reserves and productivity levels is more critical in a marginal field than in larger and more profitable fields. 1975 June 1977 March 1978 Start estimate £000000 296 148 (393) 70 585 129.7 (135) 1228 Costs £000000 715 1140 161 1048 225 3289 Cost increase 142% 670% (190%) 130% 82% 73% (66%) 168% Source: SINTEF. nor indeed should they be expected on quite that scale.
In any reservoir the major uncertainties lie at the periphery of the reserve. Only if severe changes in well productivity are expected over the relatively small area of a marginal field can drilling to establish well productivity . Weakness in project execution Increased operator requirements New government requirements Unforeseen inflation Under estimation Start estimate 6. Well productivity should properly be established by means of a well testing and logging programme. 3.1. In a marginal reserve this peripheral area is almost always a relatively large fraction of the total. This general uncertainty increases the down-side risk (the danger of less reserves or low rates of extraction) with a consequent reduction in expected rate of return.Marginal field economics and costs 211 TABLE 6.2 Major Causes of Cost Increases Based on Cost Analysis of North Sea Oil and Gas Developments in the Early 1970 s Carried Out by SINTEF for Norwegian Petroleum Directorate 6. the definition of reserve size must be expected to be poor. The limited number of delineation wells also prevents an understanding of lithological and stratigraphic trends in the vicinity of the reserve. The difficulty. however. not by drilling a multitude of wells. 5. in particular. In order to achieve this the operator requires a good understanding of the reservoir drive mechanisms and the need for artificial lift and secondary recovery. 4. is that.2 Recoverable Reserves One of the most striking features of marginal field economics is the necessity for a very high production-to-reserves ratio to enable rapid depletion of the field. 2. 1. If the volume of reserves and the levels of production can be relied on. at a low level of reserves. Thus it is vital for an operator to have an accurate prediction of the productivity of the wells and. the ability of the field to attain the required level of production in the early years of its life. then this characteristic is not necessarily a problem.
The costs of logging. during producing stage. A disadvantage could be a delay in field development due to the extended test itself. Excludes rig time for well completion costs and based on rental. Thus many uncertainties associated with recovery factors and productivity could be resolved at little cost beyond the delineation well.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 212 TABLE 6. be justified. a Based on North Sea labour costs. However.3 and 6. test tree and production process equipment. particular cases where not only is productivity a problem but where recovery factors are in doubt or where reservoir limits are best established by an extended well test. the technology is available and floating production/storage facilities will be available shortly for North Sea duties. 6. coring and production testing is always minimal when field development decisions are to be made. Source: Sedco Inc. Operation costs for an extended production test facility are considered in Tables 6.3 Budget Estimate of Rental While Operating Item Rig w/people Process equipment Subsea tree Tanker and mooring System maintenance Miscellaneous Total $/day 38000a 2700 500 9300 3000 1500 $55000 Note: Operator to provide boats/helicopter/fuel/well maintenance etc. There are. As discussed in Chapter 3 this method of production is not currently operational in North Sea type environmental conditions. however. Thus thorough programmes for well data acquisition are normally undertaken as a matter of policy by operators. On the basis of the figures projected for such a scheme a sustained production of as little as 3000 b/d could be self financing on a day-to-day basis.4.2 COST ELEMENTS FOR MARGINAL FIELD PRODUCTION SYSTEMS . The most promising route for reducing capital costs significantly would probably involve the use of floating production/storage/export facilities instead of separate semisubmersible production and floating storage units.
. Tanker loading equipment Loading hose Tanker mooring Tanker modifications C.4 Budget Estimate of Capital Investment Item A. Source: Sedco Inc. interest rates etc. Therefore it is futile to project general costs for development of a particular size or type of reservoir. test tree and production process equipment. Prepare rig for process equipment and subsea test tree Equipment mobilisation Rental services Pipe/valves Miscellaneous equipment Labour Safety gear Miscellaneous contingency Subtotal B. —total recoverable reserves. composition and depth. —ater depth and environmental criteria. size. as well as the various economic uncertainties such as changes in the real price of oil.Marginal field economics and costs 213 In attempting to indicate orders of costs for different offshore developments. —the exact geological formation. structure. —istance from shore. —reservoir drive mechanism. the inflation rate to be assumed. —oil/gas ratio and hydrocarbon composition. naturally it is necessary to specify the exact development type proposed. System abandonment Total capital $1 000 000 600 000 100 000 $1 700 000 $1 000 000 $3 700 000 500 000 100 000 40 000 100 000 100 000 80 000 80 000 $1 000 000 $ Note: Excluding rig time and well completion costs and based on rental. In order to indicate orders of costs for various development schemes. As indicated earlier each development is field specific and is dependent on such physical parameters as: TABLE 6.
This in turn is dependent on the depth of reservoir and the amount of deviation required. The other main cost element for any offshore development is the annual operating expenditure. —export system.0 m 60 000–75 000 per day Unit costs ($) 6.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 214 the costs of each separate element is provided. TABLE 6.2.1 Drilling and Associated Costs Costs for drilling and completion of deviated wells from floating production units vary in proportion to the number of days required to drill each well. .0 m 5. In any offshore development the main capital expenditure elements are: —drilling and completion of production and injection wells.0–4.7–1. Let us now consider each of these costs in turn. manifold and riser.3–0.0 m 0.0–13 m 16–20 m 3. See Table 6.0 m 4. subsea template.0–6.5 Drilling and Completion Unit Costs Item Template tree Satellite tree 6 well template 10 well template 20 well template 8 bore rigid riser 20 bore rigid riser 8 bore flexible riser 20 bore flexible riser Wellhead (18 3/4 in. a total cost can be derived. By selecting the required options for a field scenario and summing this. —flowlines.5 m 4.0 m 2.0 m 2. —dismantling costs at end of field life.2 m 7.9–1. —offshore production facility with associated equipment.0–11 m 9.×10 000 psi) Control system Workover system Drilling cost (45–60 days per well) 0. If a number of wells are required the drilling and associated costs could be a significant percentage of the total cost of an offshore development.0 m 0.5 for drilling and completion unit costs.
Marginal field economics and costs
6.2.2 Cost of Production Support and Associated Equipment There are two options open to a developer when faced with a decision on the type of production support to be employed.
Option Go for a purpose-built, latest generation of production supports of the type described in 1 Chapter 4. Option Purchase outright or lease an existing drilling unit and convert it for production? 2 Alternatively it may be possible to acquire an existing unit which has already been converted for production.
Let us now consider the cost implications of each option. Option 1: Build a New Generation Production Unit The following are costs and construction periods for some possible production supports. See Chapter 4 for typical performance details of these units. —SWOPS: The fabrication contract for this vessel was awarded to the Harland & Wolff shipyard in August 1984. The reported construction cost is £70–75 m with a further £40 m expected for subcontracted subsea equipment. —Petrojarl Production Test Ship: The reported construction cost of this vessel was £52 m (sterling, 1985). It is interesting that it was built as a speculative venture. The vessel did not have a definite work programme when the construction contract was placed. The reported day rate is approximately $85 000/day. —Highlander 6000: The cost of construction is estimated at £100 m (1985) excluding risers, subsea manifold and some mooring. Construction period from order to completion—21 months. —IMFP 300: The cost of construction is estimated at £80 m (1985) excluding the flexible risers and subsea equipment. —Floating Oilpatch: The cost of construction is estimated at £92 million (1984) including flexible risers and subsea tower and manifold. Construction period from order to completion—17 months. —TAPS System: The cost of construction is estimated at £220 million. Construction period from order to completion—26 months. —GVA 5000: The cost of construction is $80 m, approximately. Option 2: Convert an Existing Drill Unit A newly built harsh environment jack-up drilling unit (e.g. Rowan ‘Gorilla’ class) costs approximately $65 million to build. Current (mid-1985) day rates for these units are about $40 000. Older jack-up units have restricted available deck load capacity and water depth capability. Jack-up units, generally, have low fatigue endurance when considered for a semi-permanent production function. A newly built third generation semi-submersible (e.g. GVA 5000) costs approximately $80 m to build. Current (mid-1985) day rates for these units is about $50 000. Older
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields
semi-submersible drilling units, with their more restricted deck load capacity and less stable motion characteristics, are obviously considerably cheaper to purchase or lease. The drill rig Deepsea Saga, an Aker H3 design built in 1976, was purchased in 1983 by Hamilton Bros Oil & Gas Ltd for production duty on the Argyll field (See Chapter 5) for a reported £19 million. Order of magnitude costs for the production and process equipment and for power generating equipment for installation on the drill unit are shown below. Clearly these costs are closely related to the amount of processing required, the reservoir parameters, power requirements for water injection and the suitability of the associated gas for power generation. Whether new equipment for power generation, life saving, safety, flare, utilities, etc. is required will depend on the age and condition of the equipment which is already installed on the unit. The Transworld 58 (Innes field) and Buchan Alpha (Buchan field) production units still use their original diesel generating equipment. A typical SPM arrangement for harsh environments would consist of (1) an export line from the production unit to the SPM; (2) one of the following SPM options: a CALM buoy, a SALM, an ELSBM, a SPAR or an ALP; (3) a shuttle tanker arrangement to transport the stabilised crude to shore. Unit costs for each of these items are given in Table 6.7. The Deepsea Pioneer (Argyll field) production unit had new gas turbines installed. The gas lift package installed on Argyll in June 1985 cost a reported £5 m. See Table 6.6 for process and power equipment estimating costs. Modification costs are notoriously difficult to predict despite the considerable numbers of units which have already undergone conversion. Cost over-runs are generally not due to the new process or generating equipment; they relate principally to the difficulties which are encountered if the rig is not exactly as shown on drawings etc. or if the condition of part of the structure or equipment requires unforeseen alterations to be undertaken. Modification costs and durations can be
TABLE 6.6 Process and Power Equipment Costs
20000 30 000 60000
Production equipment ($ million)
18.0 25.0 39.0
Generating equipment if required ($ million)
5.0 9.0 14.0
optimised by careful selection of the rig in terms of rig power, variable deck load and deck arrangement. —Sedco Hamilton, who designed the conversion of the drill rig Transworld 58 for use on the Argyll field, claimed that the installation of the modularised process equipment on the units’ deck, in 1975, took only six weeks.
Marginal field economics and costs
—The conversion of the drill rig Drillmaster for the Buchan field took 22 months (see Chapter 5). However, that conversion included several major delays that would not be typical or expected. —The conversion of the drill rig Deepsea Saga for use on the Argyll field took six months during 1984. This timescale would be considered to be a realistic estimate for most conversions. —The cost of installation of gas lift on Buchan Alpha, plus inspection and maintenance of that Pentagone semi-submersible, cost a reported £11.8 m in April 1985. Costs of towage to site and installation costs depend on distance and duration of tow as well as any special installation operations which may be required. Transworld 58, Buchan Alpha and Deepsea Pioneer employ a conventional and unmodified anchorage system. Many of the newer
TABLE 6.7 Unit Costs for Typical SPM Options in Harsh Environments
10 in. Export line to SPM Item
Cost of line Lay cost Survey Umbilical
66/km 154/km 45 300
CALM buoy Item
Buoy Install Piled anchorage (if required) Note: Piled anchorages are not employed in the Argyll or Buchan fields.
6 5 4
designs (see Chapter 4) provide for piled anchorages which would be considerably more expensive to install. 6.2.3 The Export System The options for offshore export systems are either a separate pipeline to shore, or to connect into an existing pipeline, or to use a single point mooring system (SPM) as described in Chapter 2. SALM
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields
SALM for operation in a North Sea type environment would be dependent on the size of tanker and water depth. See the description of the Fulmar SALM in Chapter 2. Costs would be of the order of $60–$80 m/unit for a Fulmar type SALM/yoke installed. A Thistle type SALM would cost $20–$25 m installed. ELSBM and SPAR These units are large, complex and site specific (see Chapter 2). Their costs would be in the order of $35–$50 m for an ELSBM and $85–$115 m for a SPAR installed, depending on storage capacity. ALP Articulated loading platforms are large steel or concrete units (see Chapter 2) which are site specific. Cost estimates for these units would be of the order of $60–$80 m. Shuttle Tankers The size and type of tanker employed would depend on —daily production rate, —time to shuttle to and from offloading points, —environmental conditions at the SPM. The number of tankers employed will depend on the type of SPM used. Two dedicated shuttle tankers are normally used for CALM, SALM, ELSBM and ALP type offloading systems. A single tanker can be used for SPAR and SALM/yoke type systems. The options are to refurbish existing tankers or build new vessels. Cost of refurbishment, survey and adapt for shuttle duties would depend on the conditions of vessels purchased. Assume a five-year-old vessel costing $6–$7.5 m plus $2.2 m conversion costs.
FIG. 6.1. Pipeline diameter versus oil throughput.
Marginal field economics and costs
6.2.4 Pipeline Size and Unit Costs The variation of pipeline diameters with crude oil throughput is graphed on Fig. 6.1. Typical pipeline requirements for various oilfield developments in North Sea type environments are shown in Table 6.8 with associated procurement and installation costs. 6.2.5 Decommissioning and Abandonment Costs Platform abandonment costs are still relatively unknown and any estimate of costs involved is necessarily very tentative at this stage as national and international regulations, governing the requirements for field abandonment, still remain to be drafted in many instances. The projected costs associated with the complete removal of fixed platforms have been projected by the Oil Industry International Exploration and
TABLE 6.8 Pipeline Size and Unit Cost Estimation
Field reserves Peak oil Pipeline (millions of bbl flows internal dia. of oil) (b/d) (in.)
25 50 150 300 600 15 000 20 000 50 000 120 000 170 000 8.0 12.0 18.0 26.0 30.0
Pipeline costs, procurement, installation ($/inch mile)
140 000 140 000 140 000 140 000 140 000
Pipeline costs, procurement, installation ($/mile)
1 120 000 1 680 000 2 520 000 3 640 000 4 200 000
TABLE 6.9 Projected Cost of Complete Removal of Fixed Platforms
Water depth (m)
0–40 40–75 75–150 150–250 250 N/A 75 1–4 1–4
Average cost ($m, 1983) Mild environment Severe environment
8 20 180 200 N/A
Source: E&P Forum—Paper OTC 5076, 1985.
2. —abandon the mooring system. —diving costs.9. $60 000/day Materials (mud. annual offshore field operating costs are generally TABLE 6. As a rule of thumb. The unit costs for these operations are suggested in Table 6. 6. —personnel costs.11 m $2. —shore base costs. —abandon the riser system. —fuel and chemicals. —insurance.10 Well Abandonment Costs. templates etc. A marginal field abandonment operation would involve the following activities: —abandon and decommission each well.6 m .6 Field Operating Costs Operating costs for a marginal offshore oilfield include the following items.20 m $0.) Contingencies Total per well Cost $1. cement. $60 000/day Semi-submersible. $60 000/day Semi-submersible.36 m $0. The cost of decommissioning marginal field developments will clearly be considerably less than that of removing fixed platforms—a considerable advantage when considering marginal field economics. chemicals. as shown in Table 6. —well maintenance and workovers.15 m $0. etc. —abandon the flowlines. 6 days weather down time. umbilicals. Per Well Item Semi-submersible. —supply vessels.00 m Other Field Abandonment Costs Item Abandon flexible riser system Cost $0.Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields 220 Production (E & P) Forum. —helicopters.10. 3 days transit time.18 m $0. in their approximate order of importance: —maintenance of the production platform. —maintenance of the SPM and riser. 20 days. standby vessels/anchor handling vessel.
Marginal field economics and costs
Abandon moorings and tendons Abandon flowlines, umbilicals and template Abandon SPM and pipework Contingency and bargework
$3.0 m $3.0 m $3.0 m $3.0 m
10%–12% of the field development costs, excluding the export system. However, this may not be the most appropriate approach for a floating production system. An alternative, showing suggested operating costs excluding the export system versus oil throughput, is shown in Table 6.11. Current operating costs for the Buchan field are reported to be £24 m (1984). This includes the cost of leasing and operating shuttle tankers,
TABLE 6.11 Operating Costs for Floating Production Systems
Oil production (’000 b/d)
10 20 40 60 80
Annual operating costs ($m)
25.0 27.0 33.0 36.0 38.0
Operating costs excluding the export system (i.e. costs of shuttle tankers).
£6.5 m. Ongoing capital costs have averaged £6.5 m/year excluding the major modifications which were undertaken in 1984/1985 which were associated with the installation of gas lift equipment on the installation. 6.2.7 Order of Magnitude Cost of an Extended Well Test in Severe Environments An extended well test as described in Chapter 4 could be an ideal method of delineating marginal reservoirs in severe environments. An extended well test system can be installed with minimum capital investment by using rented equipment. The following cost estimate is based on information supplied by Sedco Inc. for an extended well test in the North Sea based on using the semi-sub Sedco 704 (September 1984). It excludes rig time and well completion costs and is based on rental, test tree and production process equipment. Sedco claim that the cost estimate reflects the cost of previous similar installations. The proposal was for a minimum period of operation of one year.
Technology for developing marginal offshore oilfields
6.2.8 Equipment to be Leased on a Day Rate Basis —semi-submersible drilling unit (complete with people, insurance, catering, etc.); —production process equipment (complete with people, insurance, safety shut-in etc.); —subsea test tree (complete with safety shut-in controls); —storage tanker (complete with crew/mooring and loading hose connection). See Table 6.3 for a budget estimate for these items. 6.2.9 Equipment to be Purchased—Capital Investment —mobilisation costs of semi-submersible etc.; —installation/testing of production process equipment; —installation/testing of tanker mooring/loading hose; —tanker mooring/loading hose. See Table 6.4 for a budget estimate for these items.
Carneiro, F.L.L.B., Ferrante, A.J. and Brebbia, C.A. Offshore Structures Engineering, Pentech Press, 1977. ‘Development of the Oil and Gas Resources of the United Kingdom 1984’, UK Department of Energy, HMSO. ‘Early Marginal Field Production Systems’, Fluor Corporation Report, July 1984. ‘Esso Offshore Technology’, Exxon Production Research Co., 1984. ‘Floaters Stage a Comeback in Cost Conscious Climate’, Offshore Engineer, May 1984, pp. 50–55. Floating Production, Veritas Offshore Publication, DnV 1985. Harris L.M. An Introduction to Deepwater Floating Drilling Operations, Petroleum Publishing Co., 1972. History of Petroleum Engineering, A Publication of the API, 1961. ‘Marginal Field Development—A Discussion Paper’, John Brown Engineering and Construction, July 1984. Parkinson, S.T. and Saren, M.A., ‘Offshore Technology: A Forecast and Review’, Financial Times Business Information. Ratzer, J.P.L., ‘The North Sea—The Future Outlook’, RINA Conference on Developments in Floating Production Systems, London, 1984. Shell Briefing Service, ‘The Offshore Challenge’. Snowden, D.P., ‘Floating Production Systems for North Sea Marginal Fields’, Offshore Technology Conference, May 1984. ‘The North Sea and British Industry: The New Opportunities’, The Economist Intelligence Unit, April 1984.
Chapter 2 Production Supports
Biess Haar, A., ‘The Design Aspects of Production Facilities on Floating Production and Storage Units’, Proceedings of Marginal Field Conference, London, 1983. Booth, D., ‘Extending the Margins’, The Oilman, March 1983. Booth, D., ‘The Gorilla is Born’, The Oilman, November 1983. Carter, J.H.T. and Foolen J.A., ‘Tanker Based Floating Production Systems for Deep Water’, Deep Offshore Technology Conference, 19–22 October 1981, Palma de Mallorca. Carter, J.H.T. and Foolen, J.A. ‘Evolutionary Developments in Advancing the Floating Production Storage and Offloading Concept’, Journal of Petroleum Technology, 35(4), 695–700, April (1983). Eykhout, F. and Foolen, J.A., ‘An Integrated Floating Production Storage and Offloading— SALS—in 380 Feet Water Depth’, SPE 3142, Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, Texas, 1978.
‘Floaters Stage a Quick Comeback in the Cost Conscious Climate’, Offshore Engineer, May (1984). Klein, P.J., ‘The Development of the SALS Floating Storage Cum Production Facility Offshore South East Asia’, Conference, 21–24 February 1978. McCloud, W.R. and Smulders, L.H., ‘An Analysis of Tanker-Based Floating Production Systems for Small Offshore Fields,’ Journal of Petroleum Tech., 34 (8), 1871–9 (1982). Magni, M. and Poldervaart, L., ‘SALS Unit for NILDE field’, Offshore, December 1979. Montoya, L.S. and Lopex-Fanjul, G.M., ‘Dorado Field Production System—A solution to individual permanent vertical access to several wells from a semi-submersible’, October 1981, 4041. Morrison, D.G., ‘Guyed Tower with Dynamic Mooring Properties’, Journal of Structural Engineering, 109 (11), November (1983). ‘Multi-well Tazerka Raises Marginal Development Hopes’, Offshore Engineer, March 1983. Perrett, G.R., ‘Floating Production Systems’, The Oilman, January 1983. Patel, M.H., ‘Technical Assessments of Floating Production Systems,’ Marginal and Deepwater Oilfield Development Conference, London 1984. Quintela, C. and Smulders, L.H., ‘Single Anchor Leg Storage/Production Terminal Offers Attractive Alternative to Production Platforms Offshore. Brazil’, 1978. Remery, G. and Beare, A., ‘Tanker Based Production’, The Oilman, January 1975. Smulders L. and Klein, P.J., ‘Castellon Sea bed Wells Flow to Process and Storage Tanker’, Oil and Gas Journal, 1 January 1978. Smulder, C.H. and Remery, G.F., ‘The Mooring of a Tanker to a Single Point Mooring by a Rigid Yoke’, OTC 3567 Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, Texas, 1979. Van Dam, J., ‘Alternative Production Facilities for Offshore Development’, Offshore North Sea Technology, Stavanger, 6 September 1978. Vosper, K.W. and Stevens, B.G., ‘Development Options for Small Gas Fields’, EUR 344 European Petroleum Conference, London, 25–28 October 1982. Williams, L.H. and Smulder, C.H., ‘The Cadlao Floating Production Storage and Offloading System (FPSO): A New Concept in Offshore Production’, Offshore South East Asia— Conference, 9–12 February 1982. Williams, L.H. and Pierce, D.M., ‘FPSO 11—A Second Generation Floating Production System for Offshore Philippines’, October 4274 Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, Texas, 1982.
Cornelson, D.J. and Lawson, J.E., ‘New Approach to Riser Couplings Could Turn Weakness into Strength’, Offshore Engineer, March 1981. Dareing, D.W. and Huang, T., ‘Marine Riser Vibration Response Determined by Model Analysis’, Petroleum Engineer International, May 1980. Dumay, J.M. and Bouvard, M., ‘Introduction to the Concept of Flexible Risers’, Coflexip publication. Dumazy, C., ‘Articulated Column as a Production Riser in 300–400 m Water Depth’, The Oilman, September 1984. ‘Flexible Risers’, The Oilman, September 1984. ‘Flexible Steel Pipe for the Oil and Gas Industry’, Coflexip publication. Muller, D., Castela, A. and Schawann, J.C., ‘Production Riser is Key to Deep Sea Operations’, Oil and Gas Journal, 5 May 1980. Pettanati, C. and Dumay, J.M., ‘Flexible Dynamic Riser for Floating Production Facility in the North Sea’, Offshore Europe, 6–9 September 1983. Wybro, P.G. and Davies, K.B., Journal of Petroleum Technology ‘The Dorada Field Production Risers’, 34 (12) (1982).
Arendt, H. and Brands, K., ‘Subsea TFL Systems—A Technological Update’, Offshore Technology Conference, 1979, OTC 3449. Booth, D., ‘Extending the Margins’, The Oilman, March 1983. Brands, K.W. et al., ‘The Insert Tree Completion System’, Offshore Technology Conference, 1981, OTC 4043. Burkhardt, J.A. and Anderson, R.E., ‘Submerged Production System—Progress Report of Offshore Pilot Test’, Offshore Technology Conference, 1977, OTC 2823. Calder, I.D., ‘Subsea Equipment Design to Enable Completion to a Floating Production Platform’, OE 1981, SPE 10398.1. Coltharp, E.D. and Coffelt, D.E., ‘Experience with Subsea Well Control Systems’, Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 1981, OTC 4038. Ladedcy, V.H. et al., ‘Grondin Experimental Station—Diverless Experiments’, Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 1981. ‘Le Champ Frigg Nord-Est’, Elf publication. Morton, A.W., ‘New Concepts Used in the Murchison Field Submerged Production System’, Offshore Technology Conference, 1981, OTC 4040. ‘N.E.Frigg—Subsea Production Nears as Column Floats Out’, Offshore Engineer, July 1983. Reimert, L.E., Gray, D.J. and Machado, Z.L., ‘A Ten Well Subsea Production System for the Enchova Field’, Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 1979, OTC 3448. ‘Shell Looks to 600 m’, The Oilman, September 1984. ‘Subsea Completion’, Vetco publication. ‘Subsea Production Systems’, Vetco publication ‘The N.E.Frigg Project’, Elf publication. ‘The Skuld Project’, Elf publication. Wilson, R., ‘Subsea Satellite Wells Development and Practical Operational Experience in the North Sea’, Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 1980, OTC 3731.
Buyzen, J.P.M., ‘Operational Experience with the Offshore Loading Units AUK—ELSBM and BRENT—SPAR’, Offshore Europe, Aberdeen, 1979, OE-79 SPE 8175.1. Chauvin, J.M., ‘Single Point Mooring Systems’, China Oil, 1983. Chauvin, J.M., ‘EMH Single Point Mooring Systems’, Offshore Australia, October 1984. Dallas, M., ‘Offshore Loading Systems Shuttle Tanker Installation’, European Offshore Petroleum Conference, London, 1980, EUR 209. Dupont, B. and Simon, J.M., ‘Packaged SPM and FPSO Units’, EMH 165. Eylshourt, F. and Foolen, J.A., ‘An Integrated Floating Production Storage and Offloading System—SALS in 380 ft Water Depth’, Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 1978, SPE 3142. Gahtani, B.M. et al., ‘Five Years Optimising and Problem Solving at Saudi Arabia’s Tu’aymah SPM Terminal’, Offshore Technology Conference, 1979, OTC 3563. Gruy, R.H. and Kidg, W.L., ‘Marginal Field (Early Production): Options for Offshore Loading’. Gruy, R.H. et al. ‘The Loop Deepwater Port: Design and Construction of the Single Anchor Leg Mooring (SALM) Tanker Terminals’, Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 1979, OTC 3562. Hays, D.L. et al., ‘Operation of an Articulated Oil Loading Column at the Beryl Field in the North Sea’, Offshore Technology Conference, 1979, OTC 3563. Klein, P.J., ‘The Development of the SALS Floating Storage Cum Production Facility’, Offshore South East Asia, Singapore, 1978.
October 1978.F. ‘Design. 282. Hart... and Poldervaart. OTC 4014. 1979. J. and Guillaume. Magni. Houston. .H. ‘Floating Production Services’. Ocean Industry. Schultz.J. Offshore Technology Conference. Conference on Marginal and Deepwater Development.J.H. D. Houston. and Smulders.A. ‘The First Yoke Mooring for a VLCC in Open Ocean’. R. ‘First Floating Production Facility—Argyll’. Offshore Technology Conference.. Offshore Technology Conference.. ‘The First Single Anchor Leg Storage/Production Terminal System’.R. London.J. December 1979. London. Oil and Gas Journal.H. J. EPM/Technique 2000. October 1980. ‘Castellon Seabed Wells Flow to Process and Storage Tanker’. R. J. ‘Floating Production System for Deep Hostile Environment’. ‘SALS Unit Tapped for NILDE Field’.. M. Schneider. ‘Fulmar. Dublin. Chapter 4 Abbot. Maari. and Seery.F. and Klein. G. L...L.. J. Gillespie. 1980. L.A. Hammet. ‘IMFP 300—A Second Generation of FPSO’. Marcello. Smulders. The First North Sea SALM/VLCC Storage System’.C. Houston. J. OTC 3806.Brown Associates publication. OTC 3564. ‘The Economic Evaluation of Hull Forms for Floating Production’. Offshore Philippines’. Tulurea. R. ‘A New Type of Single Point Mooring Developed and in One Year’. Poranski.F. Houston. 1980. Mack.F. L. M. August 1985..Bibliography 226 McNamara. ‘Cybele Semi-Submersible Production Platform’... April 1985. Journal of Petroleum Technology.A...M. Quintela. Smulders.. Carter. Offshore. ‘The Highlander 6000 Floating Production Vessel’. April 1981.L. New Technology and Offshore Oil. T.. 1984... ‘A Compliant Riser System for Floating Production Platforms’. J. June 1983. and Flory. Offshore Technology Conference. Behan. Hughes.. I. J. and Worley. and Foolen. D. Houston. Paper SPE 13154 1984. Installation and Field Operations of Offshore Tandem Loading System—Nido Field. ‘The Mooring of a Tanker to a Single Point Mooring by a Rigid Yoke’.H. ‘Offshore Mooring Terminals’. Pinto. 1981. Houston. Offshore Technology Conference..C. 1981.. J.J. London. L. R. Vilain. Offshore Technology Conference. P. ‘Evolutionary Developments Advancing the Floating Production.I. L. Conference on Marginal and Deepwater Oilfield Development. SPE Technical Conference. April 1983.S. R. Storage and Offloading Concept’. 1977. J. Houston. The Oilman. A.S. ‘Offshore Export Systems’. ‘Single Anchor Leg Storage/Production Terminal Offers Attractive Alternative to Production Platforms’. C.M. Reber. Offshore.R. J. and Johnson.. and Hashins. P.H. Montgomery.H. H. April 1983. Conference on Marginal and Deepwater Oilfield Development.S. 1985. R..T. Miller. J. P. OTC 3802.A. Rees.. Smulders. R. January 1978. 1979. J.. OTC 4012. Houston.H. ‘SPM and Floating Production System Technology Aids Marginal and Deepwater Developments’. and Dyer. and Remery. OTC 3567. ‘Dorada Hosts Unique Subsea Unit’.. Offshore Technology Conference. Moscow Symposium.E.. Denise. A. 1981. et al. ‘First Year’s Operation Experience of the Deepest SPM in the World’. and Smulders. Offshore Technology Conference.T. SBM Inc. OTC 3561. D. 21–24 February 1978. and Brown.P. ‘Advanced Concepts are Tailored to the Task’. OTC Paper No. ‘Tenth Anniversary Report—Single Anchor Leg Mooring Technology’. L. Offshore South East Asia. April 1983. V. Det norske Veritas.. M. August 1980.
and Foster. C. B. 8/22/23. November/December 1984. Offshore Engineer. May 1984.. Also SPE 12986 European Petroleum Conference. J.G. London. ‘Sedco—Marginal Field Development Contractor’. Petroleum Engineer.A. September 1984. 1975. Offshore Engineer. Seminar on Design and Operational Aspects of Floating Production Systems.A. Designed with IFP. . 1982. and Montgomery. M. 1984.I. January 1975. World Oil. October 1984. November 1975. ‘The Argyll Field after a Decade of Production’. Chapter 5 Argyll Field ‘Argyll. ‘Argyll’s Innovative Production Riser System’. November 1983. 39. ‘Severe Weather Jack-up’. October 1975. ‘Producing Oil from a Semi-Submersible’. P. Haggard. Petroleum Review. E. ‘Petrobras Experience in Offshore Early Production Systems’. Ocean Industry. ‘Argyll Field Development’.E. ‘The Production Riser for the Argyll Field’. 1985. London. Conference on Marginal and Deepwater Oilfield Development. Offshore Engineer. ‘Floating Units Cut Production Costs’. Rio de Janeiro. H. A. ‘Nippon Kokan Wins Contract for Offshore Oil Production Tanker’.. ‘SWOPS Considered for Norwegian Sector’. ‘Penta 7000. p.P. Buchan Field ‘Buchan “Experiment” Termed Worthwhile’. pp. May 1975. pp. Integrated & Modular. May 1983. September 1983.. September 1983. September 1984. 59–64. J. Sedco Inc. and Johnson. 1985.J... ‘A Tanker Based Development Scheme for the Central North Sea’. Ocean Industry. Worley. 323–7. K. OTC Paper No. 1984.R. 84–6.. 20 February 1976. Homer. March 1984. ‘The Gorilla is Born’. and Smith. June 1984. Floating Production Platform’.. Scottish Petroleum Annual. Offshore Services.S. A.. ‘Sea Plex Retrievable Production Platform’. Sea Plex UK Ltd. Offshore. London. May 1975. J. Hamilton Adapts to Exploit UK’s First Oil Field’. Veritas. Jones. ‘T 2005-C Mobile Jack-up Drilling Platform’. The Oilman. ‘Sea Plex Class 500–4 For Hostile Environments’. ‘The Development of a Mobile Production System Incorporating a Compliant Production Riser’. Offshore Europe. Bifani. 1984. London.. Smith. International Meeting on Early Production Systems. ‘IMFP 300—A New Concept of Proven Technology’. P. R. ‘Barge Mounted Production Systems for Floating Production Units’. K. The Oilman.. ‘A New Concept in Floating Production Systems’. Sea Plex Corporation. 2327. Kirkland. Machado.. The Oilman. and Jordan. Oyez Seminar. July 1984. CFEM. pp. Drilling Contractor. ‘Semi Platform Planned for Balmoral Field’. January 1984. Elwes. Pass. ‘Argyll SBM Production’. Seminar on Design and Operational Aspects of Floating Production Systems. London. ‘Santa Fe’s Deepwater Floating Production Systems’.Bibliography 227 Haynes. CFEM. Petroleum Times. M. pp. Offshore.
C. 21 North Sea Field Development. D.. ‘Conditions for Development of Smaller Discoveries in the North Sea’. Paper EUR 277. A Forecast and Review. Parkinson. E. and Saren. A. ‘The Buchan Field Development’. Smith. European Petroleum Conference 1982. Offshore Technology Conference. and Cox T. J.Bibliography 228 Darnborough. Financial Times Business Information. European Petroleum Conference 1982.. Mieras. and Jolliffe. Offshore Gotenburg Marine Technology Conference 1981.. March 1980 p. ‘Operational Experience of the Buchan Field Floating Production and Offshore Loading System’. 5th Offshore South East Asia Conference 1983. Offshore. Moe. Conversion Techniques—Enhancing Recovery and Profitability of Marginal Offshore Fields. BP Petroleum Development Ltd. S.A. Kemp.R. Montague Smith. Williams. Finance for Marginal Oilfield Development—Enhancing Recovery and Profitability of Marginal Offshore Fields. ‘Buchan Development Project—Conversion of a Drilling Rig into a Floating Production Platform’. P. 51. 61. .. Paper OTC 3958.G. ‘Buchan—The First Nine Months’. B. Marginal Oilfield Development Conference 1983. J. Scottish Petroleum Review Annual. ‘North Sea Tax and Economics’. M. E. Logan.. ‘The Buchan Oil Field’. Paper EUR 230. 1985. Marginal Oilfield Development Conference 1983. Offshore Technology. J. Morrison. A.D.. D. 1980. p. Offshore. Enhancing Recovery and Profitability of Marginal Offshore Fields. Paper SPE 12433. 1979.T. V.W. D. and Rose... 1982... Hall. The Economics of Wet and Dry Subsea Completions. Carruthers R.F. Noroil August 1982 p. and Rothwell.H. Marginal Oilfield Development Conference 1983. European Offshore Petroleum Conference..G.D. Noroil July 1982 p. Technological Development and Cost Uncertainties. 1981. Chapter 6 Bayly.A.L.A. North Sea Economics Revised—Petroleum Economist April 1982.. 67 UK Field Development. Economical Marginal Fields.. European Petroleum Conference.
3 1 m3=35. Length: 1 mm=3.102×10−2 in.306×10−1 miles (nautical) Area: Volume: 1 mm2=1.76 ft2 1 cm3=6.0 gallons (oil) Mass: 1 kg=2. 1 m=3.937×10−2 in.55×10–3 in.Appendix 1 Conversion Factors The units of measurement used in the text reflect the amalgam of oilfield and engineering units which constitutes the accepted usage in the offshore industry.31 ft3 Barrels (oil)=42.205 lb 1 tonne=1000 kg=0.281 ft 1 km=6.214×10−1 miles (statute) =5.2 1 m2=10.984 imperial ton Approximate equivalents: 1 tonne oil=425 therms 1 tonne= barrels crude oil 5 million tonnes of crude oil per year=100000 barrels a day 100 million ft3 a day natural gas (mmcfd)=375 million therms per year 100 million m3 a day natural gas (mmcmd)=130 million therms per year .
hoses. many occasions arise when it is necessary or advantageous to drill at an angle from the vertical.5/specific gravity at 60°F)−131. . Blowout An uncontrolled flow of well fluids from the wellbore either at the wellhead or into the formation. or tubing leading from platform controls to remote actuating units. during well logging etc. The motors respond constantly to any changes in the wind. Bundle A group of several parallel cables. Bottom hole assembly (BHA) The lower end of the drill string comprising the drill bit. while downhole equipment is being changed.5. Blowout preventers enable the driller to prevent damage at the surface while restoring the balance between the pressure exerted by the column of drilling fluid and formation pressure. API gravity The universally accepted scale adopted by the American Petroleum Institute for expressing the specific gravity of oils: API gravity=(141. pipes and fittings—usually high pressure—used to control flow of oil and gas from the casing head. Christmas tree The assembly of valves. heavyweight drill pipe and ancillary equipment. Dynamic positioning The method of maintaining a floating offshore structure on location over the well by means of computer-controlled thruster motors. lines. Bumper sub A unit placed in the drill string of a floating rig to compensate for heave or vertical motion. Directional drilling Although wellbores are normally planned to be drilled vertically. currents. The use of connectors reduces the need for diver assistance. waves etc. thus obviating the need for anchors and allowing production in water depths too great for anchoring. Connectors Hydraulically controlled clamps to mate and secure marine riser segments. Down time Time during which no production is possible due to adverse weather conditions. Downhole safety valve A valve fitted to the production tube of a well some distance below the sea bed in order to permit flow to be stopped in an emergency. to maintain the unit in a constant position. One connector joins the lower ball joint of the marine riser to the BOP stack. Choke A gauged restriction inserted into a fluid flowline in order to restrict the flow rate. and choke and kill lines. drill collars. Controlled directional drilling makes it possible to reach subsurface points laterally remote from the point where the bit enters the earth. and another secures the BOP stack to the wellhead. Dry tree A subsea wellhead where the equipment is enclosed in a watertight chamber. Compensators Hydraulically operated equipment that compensates for the upward and downward motion (heave) of a floating installation.Appendix 2 Glossary of Terms Anchor buoy A floating marker used in positioning each anchor of a spread mooring pattern for a semi-submersible or drill ship.
see Flaring.g. multiphase flow is relatively inefficient. etc. also called treatment or separation plant. Module The box or ‘package’ containing equipment for installation on a production platform. The choice depends on the height to which the liquid is to be pumped (delivery head). the flow rate of a mixture of oil and water is less than it would be with either alone (assuming similar viscosities). thus increasing recovery from an oil reservoir.g. Heave compensation Counteraction of vertical movement of the riser string. drilling platform or production platform to a subsea wellhead or subsea pipeline during drilling or production operations. The aim is to maintain production rates. Proven reserves The estimated quantities of hydrocarbons which geological and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty to be recoverable in future years from known oil and gas reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions. generator module etc.) and availability of prime movers (electric motors. for technical or economic reasons. Pumps Mechanical devices to transport liquids or gases from one vessel to another along pipelines. Pig A piece of equipment that is inserted into a pipeline and is carried along by the flow of oil or gas. Manifold centre An arrangement whereby production from several wells may be combined in any way desired for forwarding through one or more pipelines. each one serving a specific purpose. Pressure maintenance Injection of gas or water into a reservoir in order to maintain pressure. quantity and nature of the liquid (viscosity. used to clean or monitor the internal condition of the pipelines or to mark an interface between two different products. Hundred year storm A combination of storm conditions (wave height and sustained wind speed) that should. or other purposes. water) in the same flow channel. Flaring Burning off of gas produced in association with oil which. turbines. are constructed ashore and installed as self-contained units on the structure. cannot be re-injected or shipped ashore. corrosive nature. Flare stack The steel structure on a rig or platform from which gas is flared. Offshore structures are designed to withstand such storms. see Flaring. control module. These modules. They are commonly used offshore in order to minimise the length of individual well flowlines while permitting the selection of individual wells for testing. gear and centrifugal. only occur once every hundred years in a particular area. whether pipeline. etc. Processing plant Special plant installed on a production platform or at a pipeline terminal to separate gas. Heave compensators have a typical stroke of 5. Multiphase flow Simultaneous flow of two or more fluid phases (e. well tubing or reservoir rock. with a given pipe and pressure difference.g. which may weigh up to 2000 tons each. Gas-to-oil ratio (GOR) The volume of gas at atmospheric pressure produced in association with a unit volume of oil. gas. . Marine riser The pipe which connects an exploration rig. segregation of different types of oil. e. on average. e.5 m.Appendix 2 231 Flare An open flame used to burn off unwanted gas. There are a wide variety of pumps of three general types: reciprocating. crew module. although the fluids injected often sweep additional oil to the wells.). Because of the pseudo-elastic interfaces between phases. oil. oil and water from a mixture containing some or all of these components.
tanker between 160000 and 319 999 dwt. Shuttle tanker An oil tanker which makes regular round trips between a producing field and an onshore terminal or refinery. Particularly used for furnace linings. so that in the event of weather conditions temporarily preventing tanker loading. platform jacket with well slots. control panel. Subsea completion (sea bed completion) A method of completing a well or wells whereby equipment controlling oil-flow. incorporating storage facilities. Template A design pattern with built-in guides for specific equipment and structure to assure their usefulness. normally mounted in a surface platform. Thruster propeller A small propeller mounted underneath a floating structure or vessel to enable it to change or maintain its position. Significant waves Wave heights observed and recorded by experienced seafarers. Heave compensation is accomplished through air pressure vessels.e. Saturation diving Diving for a length of time which results in a diver’s body absorbing a maximum of inert gases used in breathing at a given pressure level. The vessel can be revolved 360° around the mooring plug by the bow and stern thrusters. A continuous monitoring of individual line loads and automatic adjustments in tension increase the effectiveness of this station-keeping system. air dryer units. guide lines. A significant wave is equal in height to the average of the one-third highest waves under the same sea conditions. VLCC Very large crude carrier: i. Pretensioning of anchor lines determines the initial line loadings. and applications of wire and control lines on floating vessels. . The principle is that the tanker can moor to load oil whatever the direction of wind or current and swing at its mooring to present the least resistance to the prevailing conditions. Reservoir pressure The fluid pressure in an oil or gas reservoir.Appendix 2 232 Refractory Materials which can stand high temperatures and resist corrosion and abrasion. Semi-submersible rig A floating drilling platform that is supported by underwater pontoons. drill string. is housed in a special construction on the sea floor. generally used for exploration purposes but may be used for production. ELSBM stands for exposed location single buoy mooring: a large SBM specially designed for exposed locations. waves and winds. Subsea wellhead A wellhead installed on the sea floor and controlled remotely from a platform or floating production facility or from land. Turret A roller-mounted structure beneath the derrick of a floating drilling vessel to which anchor lines are attached. Decompressing time and equipment are required. Also sometimes called single point mooring (SPM). guides. Tensioners Equipment used to maintain tautness or constant pulling stress on marine risers. SPAR A type of single buoy mooring developed by Shell. and idler sheaves. Reservoir A stratum in which oil or gas is present. sleeves for installation of piles. SBM Single buoy mooring. production need not be shut off. Examples: template for installing well-conductor pipe. used for loading oil into tankers in the open sea. Spread mooring A system of multiple anchors and lines distributing the loads imposed by currents. subsea production system with spacing to accommodate the wells it will produce. air compressor.
Wellhead cellar In sea bed completions. enabling a highly detailed picture of the strata to be built up. e. steel structure enclosing the wellhead. and any necessary cleaning. Workover The process whereby a completed production well is subsequently re-entered.Appendix 2 233 Water drive A recovery process in which oil or gas is driven out of a reservoir by the pressure of underlying water. retrieve or operate ‘wireline equipment’. To service the equipment. Electric wirelines are normally used for surface recording instruments. Wax Solid hydrocarbon which is present in some crude oils. which docks with the cellar. Wet tree A subsea wellhead where the equipment is exposed to the sea. a dry. especially in paraffinic crudes. Wax deposits in pipelines and equipment can cause mechanical problems. The engineers can work in the cellar in shirt-sleeve conditions with fresh air and electrical power supplied by umbilical cord from the support vessel. those used for making electric logs. blowout preventers. e. engineers are lowered in a capsule from a support vessel (the capsule also at atmospheric pressure). Two types are usually distinguished: piano and electric wireline. valves.g. Weather window The part of the year when the weather can normally be expected to be suitable for carrying out offshore operations such as pipeline laying or platform installation. . repair and maintenance work done. etc. The former is a thin single-strand line of high tensile steel used to lower instruments or tools into a well. Wellhead The control equipment fitted to the top of a well casing. Water injection A process whereby treated water is pumped into the reservoir rock in order to maintain the reservoir pressure. The inside of the structure is at atmospheric pressure. Wireline Any line of wire or cable used for downhole operations. and/or to install. failsafe safety valves installed in tubing.g. Well logging A comprehensive record of all data collected during the drilling of a well. incorporating outlets.
259. 260. 191. 231–44. 46 Articulated column. 36–7 risers. 261 towers. 259. 75. 242–4 stages of development 1 st (1975–80). 51 Argyll field. 52 Barge based production support. 73 turret anchor production systems (TAPS). 238–40 4th. 244 riser system. 53 storage systems. 24. 100. 244–50. 142. 50. 140 Bonito field. 162 Bicudo field. 260 production continuity. 215–22 Auk ELSBM. 254. 260 CALM buoy. 262 Alexander Keilland. 30 Alfortunada. 249–50 statistics. 29. 110 Balmoral field. 122. 81–2 Buchan Alpha. 33. 74. 103. 232 Argyll riser system. 191. 246 process and export systems. 248. 246–8 major contractors. 47–9 Budget estimate. 264 installations. 245. 158. 32–3 storage systems. 240–2 statistics. 232–5 3rd (1985). 208–10 Bekapi field. 80 Badejo field. 24. 249 production history. 146 Brent SPAR. 89–91 loading platform (ALP). 255 . 100. 73 loading column (ALC).Index Abandonment costs. 30. 192 riser system. 79 field.
75–9. 223–4 gravity tower. 67 Conversion factors. 1 CONAT (concrete articulated tower) production systems. 51 Capital costs. 238. 132 riser system. 64–5 Christmas trees. 220–2 Concrete gravity platforms. 148 Cost(s). 59. 23 Control systems. 260 Deepwater gamma tower. 252–6 process and power equipment. 58 Commercial fields. 22 Dorado field. 237. 164 FPSO. 255. 263–5 increases. 253 parameters. 14 Development options. 262 Deepsea Pioneer. 178 underwater manifold centre (UMC).Index 236 Cadlao field. 258. 257 elements. 96 SALS. 222–5 Denmark. 259. 241. 91 Catenary Anchor Leg Rigid Arm Mooring (CALRAM). 240. 259 production support. 28 Decommissioning costs. 30. subsea. 251 Deviated drilling. 92–3 Central Cormorant field. 51–2 Castellon field. 265 Casablanca field. 128 . 255 investment. 87–9 Catenary anchored tower (CAT). 255. 249 Campos Basin riser system. 257 Dan Duke. 256–65 field operating. 31. 95 Caisson vessel. 28 Cayo Arcas fixed tower. 223–4 production concepts. 168 process. 251–65 drilling and completion. 260 Deepsea Saga. future fields and prospects. 222–3 CALM (catenary anchor leg mooring) buoy. 275 Corvina field. 248.
30. 251–65 Ekofisk field. 103 Leste I. 94 Frigg North East field. 114 Exploration drilling. 255 well test systems (EWT). 260 Duncan field. 229–30 severe environments. 261 Extended production test facility. 203 237 Economics. 19–25 treatment and disposal. 248. 25. 85–6 Garoupa field. 47 Drilling costs. 48 Equipment leasing. 182 Fulmar SALM. 71. 27. 235–8 Dynamic positioning (DP).Index riser system. 258 Flowlines. 130 subsea production system. 67 Emilio field. 261 Exposed location single buoy mooring (ELSBM) system. 36. 91–3 Floating concrete caisson vessel. 96 Gathering system (manifolding). 126 riser system. 176 Enchova field. 75. 257 Drillmaster. 21 oil patch. 212 . 227–30 general scenario. 27. 258 Grondin subsea experimental station. 100. 37. 68 North field. 16–17 Export system. in. 3. 63–4 Fixed production platforms. 60–2 Garoupinha field. 106. 62–3 Gulf Tide. 191–2. 124 Leste II. 265 Espoir field. 144 Gas production. 205–7. 80. 265 Exxon submerged production system (SPS). 24. 223 drilling techniques. 222–3 concrete monotower. 212 Electrical control systems. 22–4 tower. 64. 28. 94–5 Gotaverken Arendal GVA 5000 semi-submersible.
73. 67 IMFP 300 semi-submersible production concept.Index Guyed tower. 26–96 maximum flexibility for offshore operations. 196–8. 1–25 current and future development concepts. 192–5. 97 early production. 71. 24. 216–18 moored semi-submersible scheme. 240–2 Ireland. 220 Manifolding. 1 challenge of. 258 Innes field. 90–1 . 74–93 design considerations. 97–187 fields utilising. 4 existing. 180. 164 Harsh environment jack-up units. 218–19 tanker scheme. 193 Hydraulic control systems. 24. 103 technology characteristics of. 102 reduced capital investment. 188–230 data sheets. 27–9. 186 Historical perspective. 174 LENA field. 100 Loading systems. 15–25 Hutton field. 75–6 MACC (manifold and control columns) concept. 99–100 elements of development scheme. 3–15 Maureen articulated column. 24 Lewis offshore yard. See Gathering system Marginal field(s) acceptable returns. 100 reservoir performance test. 15 Jack-up production support. 219–20 satellite field development scheme. 102 what is meant by. 101 maximum return on investment. 100–1 minimum abandonment costs. 1 development criteria. 104 definition. future fields and prospects. 212 Highlander 6000 floating production vessel. 36. 258 Highlander field. 98 proven. 211–15 Lavinia field. 37–9 238 Handil field.
40 costs. 19–25 Operating costs. 65. 262 end manifold (PLEM). 94 support. 65–6 Processing facilities. 190–8 tanker based. 67–8 239 . 23 Pipeline(s). 262 Pirauna field. 41 jack-up. 254 Repair and maintenance. 25 diameter versus throughput. 208–10 characteristics of. 200–2 headers. 255. 137 Parati field. 231–50 Norway. 11–13 Ocean Kokuei. 154 Phillips Enterprise. 211–15 semi-submersible concepts. 28 Piled steel structures. 39–41 factors affecting choice of. 166 North East Frigg field. 234 Oil production. See Frigg North East field North Sea floating production systems. 161 Netherlands. 26–41 barge based. future fields and prospects. 95 Rental. future fields and prospects. 252–6 Remote maintenance vehicles (RMV). 68 operated vehicles (ROV). 27–9. and. 249 Poseidon concept. 31–2. 263–5 Pampo field. 254.Index Modification costs. 150 PLEM (pipeline end manifold). 255 Recoverable reserves. 259 Monohull based systems. 13–14 Nilde field. 249 size and unit costs. 32–3. 257 design criteria for. 30. subsea equipment. 210 Productivity. 93–6 Production test ship (PTS) Petrojarl/Golarnor. 136 Linguado field. 30. 198–210 future development of. 68. 112 RJS-194.
261 Single anchor leg storage (SALS). 82 point mooring (SPM). 265 Semi-submersibles (SSM). 184 Seaplex class 500–4 design concept. 43 connection package (RCP). 42 catenary flexible with subsea tower. 195 production support concepts based on. 74. 84–9.Index Riser(s). 81–2. 190–8 Separation system. 261 Storage systems. 44 tower. 249 Skuld concept. 67–8 technical progress in. 118 RJS-236 field. 44 definition. 45–9 ribbon. 43 operational requirements and systems. 69–71 . 42 design criteria. 31. 41–56 alternative designs. 52–3 stand. 53 bundle. 43 lines within system. 65 SPAR storage systems. 156 RJS-150 field. 121 current production designs. 72–3 Subsea control systems. 56–71 repair and maintenance. 81–2. 43 test stump. 29–31. 52–4 articulated column. 73 barge based. 74. 95 Severe environments. 32 buoy storage (SBS). 71–4 articulated column. 213–15 Sedco-704. 45. 20. 265 Ship shaped units. 108 Scapa field. 261 tanker based. 215–16 RJS-90 Viola field. 44–5 flexible. 31. 54–6 composite systems. 75. 152 240 Saleh field. subsea. 73 SPAR. 54 comparative assessment of. 67 equipment. 49–52 joint. 116 SALM (single anchor leg mooring). 31. 48. 31. 261 Saltpond field. 20 Shuttle tankers.
70 riser tower. 58. 69 Yoked tower. 259. 258 T 300 concrete tripod platform. 91 . future fields and prospects. 24. 32. 24. 60 production technology. 33–6 Through flowline (TFL) method. 252 Uncommercial fields. 83–4 241 UK Continental Shelf. 4 UK offshore discoveries and development prospects. 58 West European offshore discoveries and development prospects. 215–16 template. 24. 21. 234. 198–210 future development of. 25 Wave design criteria. 14 Wireline operation. 258 Tazerka field. 69 Transworld 58. 170 Tension leg platforms (TLP). 208–10 moored tanker concept. 225 Turret anchor production system (TAPS). 188 Well intervention methods. 72–3 TAPS system. 210 storage systems. 260 Tripod tower platform (TTP). 134 SWOPS oil production system. 83–4 production support. 68–9 Wells and wellheads. 5 West Germany. 202–4. 1 Water depth records. 31–2. 5 Uncertainties. 225 Tanker based loading systems. 240.Index manifold. 57–8 Sul del Pampo field.
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