Northside--Evolution of Subsea Multiphase Pumping and Wet-Gas Compression
Interest in the subsea deployment of multiphase pumps and wet-gas compressors has grown as companies search for methods to improve recoveries and economics for subsea wells. Modern deepwater development strategies make extensive use of subsea wells and flowlines, thereby enabling access to deepwater resources. These flowlines convey a complex mixture of oil, water and natural gas. However, current projections show alarmingly low recoveries of hydrocarbons from subsea completed wells due to the inability to reduce wellhead pressure; a problem which can be solved by subsea pumping or compression. While multiphase pumping has been proven on-shore, operators have been hesitant to deploy this technology subsea due to the high costs and inherent risks associated with the first application of a new technology. The various types of subsea multiphase pumps and wet-gas compressors are first examined and then the special issues associated with subsea operation are considered. Topics like reliability, redundancy and intervention become even more significant when equipment is operated in one of the most remote locations on earth. Special challenges are also faced in the areas of power transmission and pump speed control. Over the next year, several first-time demonstrations of subsea pressure boosting systems will be undertaken at locations around the world. An update is provided on the status of these projects and the remaining areas of research needed for effective implementation of this technology.
Houston , TX