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Improved Recovery Rate in Subsea Wells by Use of Riserless Light Well Intervention

The number of subsea wells has increased steadily to more than 5,500 by the end of 2012. Unfortunately, because of their location in deep water, interventions in subsea wells have typically required drilling rigs, and operators have been reluctant to perform interventions on these wells. Cost-effective riserless light well interventions (RLWIs) are crucial if subsea operators are to realize the full potential of 50% oil recovery (or more) from their subsea fields.

Introduction

Traditionally, subsea intervention has required a deepwater drilling rig to be freed from the drilling schedule and mobilized to the subsea wellsite. Then, a riser is connected to the subsea well, allowing electric-line, coiled-tubing, or heavier pipe-conveyed interventions. These types of operations are challenging to schedule, time consuming, and costly and can have high risk. With this combination of factors, operators often decide that costs and potential risks of an intervention to improve production are too high and choose to forgo this work on an adequately producing well with no operational problems. Thus, recovery factors in subsea wells are much lower compared with recovery rates of dry-tree, platform-based wells.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper OTC 24367, “Improved Recovery Rate in Brownfield Subsea Wells Using Riserless Light Well Intervention,” by O.E. Karlsen, SPE, B. Morrison, SPE, and P. Maciel, SPE, Welltec, prepared for the 2013 Offshore Technology Conference Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, 29–31 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Improved Recovery Rate in Subsea Wells by Use of Riserless Light Well Intervention

01 March 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 3

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