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Subsea Processing

The Technological Gaps in Ultradeep Water

4th COPEDI Nov. 11, 2013

Subsea Equipment (Pumps, Separators, Compressors, etc.)
Enablers (Power supply, Control Systems, etc.)

Current Status of Technology and UDW Gaps

The Way Forward to Subsea Factory

Offshore Deep Water Production Contribution

Offshore 35% of world production
Production Increase in less than 15 years from 0.5 to 5.5 MMb/d in 2012
By 2020 another 4 MM b/d could be flowing from Deep Water

World Offshore Oil & Gas Production Regions

New Oil & gas fields being discovered in:
Ultra deepwater fields in GoM, Brazil and West Africa (2500 - 3500m wd)
More remote areas from host facilities or shore ( >200 kms)
Challenging climatic and metoceanic and harsh environment conditions
(Colder temperature and corrosive conditions)

Fields located in larger part of offshore Norway, as well as the

Northwest Shelf offshore Australia, Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, West Africa
and Artic Region

Why Subsea Processing Technology?

Increased and/or accelerated

recovery compared to traditional
production facilities

Reduced both CAPEX and OPEX

Flow assurance (hydrates, water)

Operational flexibility for all

phases of field life cycle

Potential benefits:
To increase recovery up to 20%.
To reduce capital and operating costs up to 40% and 50% respectively.

What Subsea Processing Technology?

Manipulating the well stream at seafloor between wellhead and
host using onshore processing technologies.
Subsea Processing Elements
Boosting (Pumping)

Power Supply and Distribution
Monitoring and control

Gas/liquid separation
Sand handling

Water injection

Dry gas
Wet gas

Varios Sources
Figure 3 Subsea Processing Applications
(Various source)

Subsea Boosting
Pump Types and Applications
Most used are Helico - axial, and ESP

Source: Offshore magazine-Worldwide Survey of Subsea Processing: Separation, Compression, and Pumping Systems, Mar., 2013

Subsea Separation
Gravity separation system
Caisson separation systems


Focused on
2-phase Gas - Liquid
Water for injection
Sand Handling

Subsea Separation
Very few active projects
Troll C pilot > for 130 months in operation.
Recent notable success in Pazflor

(Source: Offshore magazine-Worldwide Survey of Subsea Processing: Separation, Compression, and Pumping Systems, Mar., 2013)

Subsea Water Injection

Troll C Pilot and Tordis projects both injected the water relatively in a
shallow disposal zone
Marlim planned to inject water in a deeper layer

(Source: Offshore magazine-Worldwide Survey of Subsea Processing: Separation, Compression, and Pumping Systems, Mar., 2013)

Subsea Compression
Statoil K-Lab Test (Norway) hosted the first demo pilot test

Ormen Lange Gas Compression Pilot: Installed at Test Site (Nyhamna)

Field Implementation is foreseen in:

Various sources

Power Supply
Power distribution is the key enabler
for subsea processing equipment.
Pressurized frequency converters
Pressure on insulation material lifetime
Power transmission distances > 100 km

Various sources
Figure 7. Supply and managing electrical
to subsea processing systems as significant

Control and Monitoring

Multi-phase Meters
for all types of field conditions, covering the full operating range of
0 -100% water cut and 0 - 100% gas fraction.

Ability to mix effects and velocity profiles and to detect changes in

fluid composition.
To operate at pressures and temperatures of up to 10,000 psi and
300 F for at least 20 continuous years.

Wireless Technology
Fiber-optic (FO) communications, enables ultra-long

Current Status Technology

Subsea Boosting (Pumping) accepted mature technology

Separation and water injection are evolving technology

Subsea Compression is emerging Technology

Various sources

Milestones in 2013
Deepwater applications < 2.7 Kms
Tie back distances expected to reach 120 kms

Differential pressure to 320 bars

sgard field, first gas compression project

Various sources

The Technological Gaps

in Ultradeep Water
Subsea Units

> 200 kms multiphase of complex fluids transport

> 3 kms water depth

Energy/power supply
Control and Monitoring

Technology Developments: Subsea Units

There is a need to further R&D:

More compact including marinized and miniaturized HIPPs equipments
Reliability, ease of intervention and maintenance
Large pressure differential and volume Pump
High capacity, and energy efficiency Subsea wet gas compression

Discharge of Produced Water and Solids

Water and heavy oil separation
New materials including nanotechnology
Flow assurance Optimal processing efficiency
Downhole and In-Line Gas Compression


Technology Developments: Enablers

Remote control and monitoring
More Monitoring and sensing to allow for proper operational control for
highly instrumented subsea production equipment

Power Supply and Distribution

Source (Local, Onshore)
Insulation materials
Dynamic umbilical
AC/DC power conversion
Source: Offshore Magazine, Vol. 71, 2011

The Way Forward to Subsea Factory

Maturity / Limits of technology
Accelerate uptake use of new technology
Mental barriers perceptions ?

Share risk in piloting of solutions

Various Sources

Subsea Factory Towards

Reserves and Production Growth

Offshore Oil and gas development advances into ultra
deep waters
There will be many subsea processing applications as the
technology matures and gathers more widespread
Continue and strengthen R&D efforts to overcome the
Technological Gaps and to reduce risks and increase
business opportunities.

The concept of subsea factory, an expression created by

Statoil, may be a reality by 2020s decade.