Spotting oil wells on land is easy, just look for the pump jacks. They are a common sight because about 90% of the oil wells on land are on some kind of artificial lift.
Don Underwood, director of subsea processing at FMC Technologies, cited that estimate to make the case that the same factors that make pumps standard equipment on land should increasingly apply to wellheads on the seabed. “If it is 90% onshore versus single digits under the ocean, there is growth potential,” he said.
Realizing that potential has long proved elusive, made more so by the deep funk now in the offshore oil business. But he and others selling pumps sound upbeat about calls from potential customers looking at ways to add oil output without the cost of drilling wells.
“The (oil) companies’ management is demanding gains to production … but they are not willing to go out and do enormous greenfield projects,” Underwood said.
“The subsea playing field changed a lot after the oil crisis,” said Sven Olson, a senior consultant for Leistritz Advanced Technologies, which sells pumps made by Leistritz, a German manufacturing company, for oil industry use. Rather than major new field investments, oil companies are looking to add barrels by taking better care of existing assets....
Operators Begin Considering Pumps on Older Subsea Fields
Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor
28 July 2016