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Subsea Control System
R Neri and K Falk Aker Kværner, Norway
As subsea processing and instrumentation is being added, traditional subsea control systems cannot accommodate the additional data throughput required. Subsea control systems will need to be able to deliver large amounts of data, and will need simpliﬁed connectivity so an increasing amount of sensors and production-boosting equipment can be added to the system. The ability to use these large amounts of data in verifying the condition of the subsea production system is important. Systems will be provided that give assistance, either advisory or automatic, to the operator. This assistance will help monitor the health of the subsea system or assist in optimising the overall subsea system performance. This paper will present next generation subsea systems starting with the current status of subsea processing and boosting systems, including the level of beneﬁts that an operator can expect from these types of systems. The paper will also cover for electrical ﬁeld—or e-ﬁeld—solutions, both the use of data for condition monitoring and the optimisation of production. Speciﬁcally, the paper will show how subsea data can be used to predict failure or maintenance cycles. The ﬁnal part of the paper will identify the changes that have occurred to the control system that makes the delivery of good, timely data achievable. The use of ﬁbre optics and open systems means that third-party devices are able to connect easily to the subsea production system and to deliver consistently the required amount of data so that decisions can be made. The conclusion of this paper will propose a system built with subsea processing to improve recovery. Where the subsea system is closely monitored to ensure it is working 141
Large amounts of data are interpreted to optimise both the production from the well and the uptime of the system.indd 142 04/05/2006 11:54:21 . All of these areas together will facilitate an increased recovery from the subsea well. In addition Aker Kværner Subsea has been awarded the contract for installing two MultiBooster™ subsea pumps at 1800-m water depth at the King Field. It consists of a hydrocarbon-water retrievable gravity separator module with solid removal arrangement and a retrievable liquid pump module.optimally. via an injection well. Each of the phases is transported separately to topside dedicated risers. which will have the bandwidth they require to correctly monitor the well and subsea control system. Subsea Processing and Boosting Depending on the diﬀerent needs for subsea processing. • SeaBooster™ system—subsea raw seawater injection The SeaBooster™ system is the Aker Kværner Subsea Raw Seawater Injection System. The infrastructure required to bring about this monitoring and control will allow the easy connectivity to the subsea control system of devices. Gulf of Mexico (BP). • FlexSep™ system—subsea water separation and re-injection The FlexSep™ system is a subsea process system for separation of water from the well ﬂuid and re-injection of the separated water into a subterranean formation. The SeaBooster™ system operates by ﬁltering the surrounding seawater before pumping it. 142 SCADAbook3. • DeepBooster™ system—subsea separation and boosting The DeepBooster™ system is a subsea processing system for separation of the well ﬂuid into a gas phase and a liquid phase followed by pressure boosting of the liquid phase. Aker Kværner Subsea has successfully installed a MultiBooster™ pump at the Lyell Field (CNR) at 150 m in the North Sea. Relevant process solutions are listed below: • MultiBooster™ system—subsea multiphase pumping The MultiBooster™ system consists of one or multiple MultiBooster units integrated into a subsea process system. into a subterranean reservoir for maintaining reservoir pressure as oil is extracted from the reservoir. or serial for increasing diﬀerential boosting pressure for well ﬂuid across the pumping process system. The pumps will be installed during 2007. The system will accommodate the lifetime changes in hydrocarbon and water production and is especially well suited in applications from mid-deep to ultra-deep water. Aker Kværner Subsea has developed diﬀerent solutions that may be applied during the whole production lifetime or inserted at ﬁeld late life to increase oil recovery and to handle large amounts of produced water. The multiphase pumps can either be arranged in parallel for increasing capacity of well ﬂuid boosting.
indd 143 04/05/2006 11:54:21 . 1. E-Field Model The Aker Kværner e-ﬁeld products are developed in four consecutive steps: surveillance. which spans from estimating the performance of a single piece of equipment to online ﬁeldwide multiphase ﬂow simulations. In the second stage the measurements are used intellectually (e. Optimisation and advanced control—intervention in real-time • Closed loop or man-in-the-loop implementation of optimal operational actions based on data or processed data 4. Remote operations—innovative business solutions • Transform the way we operate • Use of innovative technologies. This stage includes for instance soft-sensoring. Analysis—information in real-time • Validate and visualise data • Analyse data in (near) real time to move from data to information 3. combined with other initiatives. in a model) to provide new pieces of information. Solutions that enable this fall into the fourth category. All of this work. measurements are viewed directly. new processes and virtual teams The logic behind the above classiﬁcation is that in the ﬁrst stage. 143 SCADAbook3. Typical for e-ﬁeld solutions is that the information and the access to systems need to be made available remotely since there is a strong drive towards less manning and expertise at the actual plant. Solutions that give advice on set-point values. analysis. The widely used terms condition/performance/asset monitoring typically fall into the ﬁrst and second category. These four steps are directly linked to the e-ﬁeld stage model commonly used by operators in the industry. builds up into the Aker Kværner e-ﬁeld strategy. Surveillance—instrumentation • Obtain real-time data to improve day-to-day asset management • Install the right data infrastructure and instrumentation to collect suﬃcient data in real time or near real time 2. or that give set-point values in a closed loop.All components in the MultiBooster system are qualiﬁed for subsea use. and remote operations. During the autumn of 2005 a major survey of our customers allowed us to build an e-ﬁeld strategy that is described in the following section. fall into the third category.g. optimisation and advanced control.
indd 144 04/05/2006 11:54:23 .Figure 1: MultiBooster System Figure 2: E-Field Solutions Applications 144 SCADAbook3.
several e-ﬁeld solutions are contributing to a more environmentally friendly development of oil and gas ﬁelds. Figure 3: Operation Condition Monitoring at Aker Kværner Oﬃces via DM2000 145 SCADAbook3. E-ﬁeld solutions may increase production directly. and leakage detection. Cost-Saving Potential The main driver behind most e-ﬁeld solutions is to increase production to make the ﬁeld more proﬁtable. With an increased production rate the ﬁeld stays proﬁtable for a longer time and hence the recovery factor can be increased. or indirectly. which prevents leakages of environmentally unfriendly gases and liquids to the sea. new challenges occur that are related to diagnostics. Safety and Environment (HSE) Improvements In terms of environmental impact. Health. for instance by optimising well rates.indd 145 04/05/2006 11:54:23 . Example with Condition Monitoring for Subsea Boosting As pumps and other rotating equipment are being installed subsea. Typical examples are hydrate estimation. and Aker Kværner Subsea has strong subsea control system solutions that allow interaction with a variety of e-ﬁeld solutions. which enables less use of chemicals. residual life prediction and early fault detection. for instance by monitoring equipment to prevent downtime.Solutions in all categories require interaction with the control system.
for example through vibration measurements. This expertise comes via the use of the DM2000 system at the facility in Tranby. The data must be coded into the proprietary control system language to be sent to the surface. Facilitating Increased Recovery from Reservoirs Requirements In order to facilitate increased recovery from reservoir the subsea control system architecture needs to fulﬁl new requirements. whereas a booster can be replaced at a relatively low cost if done as part of a planned shut-down. the question of whether there is enough information in the signals to enable residual lifetime estimates will be investigated. SKF and IBM through the ASTI project ‘Concepts for Safe and CostEﬃcient Operations of Facilities’. ABB. as tree valves and tree sensors. observing the pumps and other equipment. Within the ASTI project. One of the focus areas in this project is condition and performance monitoring. Subsea Control System Architecture The architecture of the subsea control system needs to change to be able to accommodate the update rate and levels of data that will be required from a subsea control system if the full beneﬁts of subsea processing and e-ﬁeld are to be realised. in other ways. operators have inspected topside rotating equipment by looking. Aker Kværner Subsea has already installed vibration sensors on a subsea booster.indd 146 04/05/2006 11:54:24 . There are huge costs.Traditionally. and has keyed the competence for analysing the measurements. The majority of the subsea communications bandwidth is used for operation and monitoring of traditional subsea equipment such. if a booster breaks down at an inconvenient point in time. in addition to conventional subsea equipment. Aker Kværner is currently involved in research and development (R&D) activities with Statoil. 146 SCADAbook3. feeling and. such as sand detectors or downhole gauges. This system allows an expert to access remotely data from a number of surface pumps in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. For instance. and Aker Kværner is speciﬁcally targeting monitoring of subsea pumps. Third-party sensors. there is a need for alternative means for observing the equipment. diagnostics and residual life estimation. This is an excellent example of the use of expertise onshore to solve problems oﬀshore. The data rate to these devices is typically at a baud rate of 9600 and must be shared along with the process data. Current Subsea Control Systems The current subsea control system architectures do not allow for a large amount of data to be transferred on a routine basis. The goal is to do early fault detection. are also monitored by the subsea control system. rough waters during winter time may make maintenance impossible. Subsea. especially related to downtime.
allowing a ‘plug and play’ connection to the subsea control system. Successful installation and operation of ﬁbre optic controls on the Canyon Express project have increased conﬁdence in such technology. This will allow decisions on the best devices to be made as late as possible in a project. The use of intelligent well interface standardisation (IWIS) will greatly simplify Figure 4: Current Control System Architecture the connection of devices and for any other systems that are to be connected. The simplicity of connection and interface of these devices is also crucial.The subsea control system needs to be able to interface to new devices subsea. seismic data or distributed temperature systems. Figure 5: IWIS Implementation 147 SCADAbook3. The removal of any decoding of messages within the subsea control system will lead to the easy connection of devices any time during the project. A move towards faster communications speed with the use of ﬁbre optic systems is required to allow larger amounts of data to be returned in a timely manner.indd 147 04/05/2006 11:54:26 . leak detection sensors. These may range from for example ‘intelligent well’ completion. An ability to add these devices as quickly and cheaply as possible will be needed. Reliability is also improved as the interfaces across vendors become standardised.
an estimate for the correct value can be provided. Figure 6: Solution Subsea Control Systems Architecture 148 SCADAbook3. It is a great beneﬁt if drifting sensors can be identiﬁed. and this kind of technique is typically what will be used for sensor validation. The subsea control system will improve HSE and increased uptime by providing better and more reliable condition monitoring.g. Well placed sensors may result in very good outcomes. Solution Subsea Control Systems Architecture Subsea control system architecture may encapsulate all the above requirements in order to achieve increased recovery from the reservoir. and if possible.Devices such as leak detection sensors based on sonar technology (e.indd 148 04/05/2006 11:54:27 . In order to achieve this. Estimation of physical properties in areas where there is no physical sensor is often referred to as soft sensoring. whereas poorly placed sensors may disable the possibility of estimating certain quantities with the required accuracy. Aquadyne) will require ﬁle transfer across the umbilical with sizes reaching 5 MB per image. the placement and accuracy of subsea sensors are crucial as both will directly aﬀect the performance of the optimisation tools. Increased recovery from the reservoir may also be achieved through automated process optimisation. Standard interfaces to subsea device. Condition monitoring and validation of the sensors is beneﬁcial in achieving reliable results.
A subsea production system that has all of these elements will allow the recovery from the subsea wells to begin to approach the recovery from surface wells. 149 SCADAbook3.indd 149 04/05/2006 11:54:28 . The control system that will be needed to make the above requirements possible must to allow for the easy connection of subsea devices. as well as the possibility to optimise production to retrieve the maximum recovery from the well. The retrieval of evermore data from the subsea well will allow both more complex condition monitoring of other parts of the system. Conclusion A subsea control system that will help to increase recovery from subsea wells will need many more features than the current traditional system. the use of subsea process control and the ability to transfer large amounts of data to the surface. The placing of more complex machinery subsea will require condition monitoring to ensure that the systems are working correctly. the ability to mix diﬀerent protocols on the umbilical. The use of subsea processing and boosting will provide an ability to either extend the normal life of a ﬁeld or increase the production in the early stages. automated optimisation of the process and condition monitoring of the subsea installation and sensors will be part of such an architecture. The transfer of data from the subsea ﬁeld to experts back onshore will facilitate the fast resolution of problems as and when they occur.faster communications through the use of ﬁbre optic. This optimisation could be in the form of manual assistance to an operator or automatic where the optimisation system will make quick decision on the best way to produce.
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