Current Status & Future of Subsea Production Systems
Despite a short term slip in demand, there is still a long term hydrocarbon supply challenge. Whether you believe supply decline to be 4% or 9%, and whether you believe demand will stay flat or increase at 2% per year, there remains a large gap between today’s oil and gas production capacity and future oil and gas supply requirements. The fact is that we must invest considerably in finding incremental oil, whether from existing fields through IOR or through improved drilling success rates and developing new fields. It is also a cliché to say that the easy oil has been developed—what better way to highlight that than by looking at the changes in water depth, pressure and temperature ratings, rig capacities, and subsea processing projects that have occurred over the recent past in the offshore environment.
With rig availability and rig costs constraining the subsea market, it makes sense to consider technologies that can get more from existing assets. One way being pursued is the application of single hull, dynamically positioned vessels as a platform from which to conduct well intervention operations. Open water stimulation and open water wireline operations are becoming more broadly applied as subsea wells age and experience a reduction in productivity.
Similarly subsea processing is one of the most innovative technologies being applied in the oil and gas industry today. The need to maximize recovery and increase hydrocarbon output while improving the asset’s net present value has never been greater. New application of separators and single phase pumps is enabling 'green' and 'brown' fields with low reservoir pressure to be economically produced with sideline benefits of improved flow assurance and reduced constraints on topside facilities.
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