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Volume: 5 | Issue: 4

Applying Subsea Fluid-Processing Technologies for Deepwater Operations

Subsea processing is an evolving technology in response to ultradeepwater hydrocarbon development and has the potential to unlock a significant amount of hydrocarbon resources. The application of subsea processing technologies in deepwater hydrocarbon plays has the following advantages:

  1. Enhances environmental and safety performance
  2. Reduces the space and weight of the host platform
  3. Allows for fields to be managed remotely
  4. Increases total hydrocarbon recovery over the field life and accelerates production
  5. Allows hydrocarbons to be produced from deeper and more-hostile environments that were not feasible previously

Therefore, subsea processing systems with industrial standards are becoming more favorable in the development of offshore hydrocarbon plays and are replacing traditional systems.

The objective of this paper is to examine the features of subsea fluid-processing technologies and capabilities, and compare the advantages and disadvantages of different facility types. The advantage of subsea processing systems is that they allow fluids to be boosted from longer tieback distances. Constraints include operation efficiency, produced-water- and sand-handling capabilities, and the system’s ability to handle hydrates/scale.

In this paper, the authors have reviewed the application of subsea systems in 12 deepwater fields and discussed the significance of each. Furthermore, future subsea-technology development and anticipated challenges are outlined. The significance of this study is to summarize the lessons learned from current available uses so that future decisions regarding the application of these subsea processing technologies can be made appropriately and efficiently.

Read or download the full SPE paper 181749-PA

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