Oil keeps flowing during facility upgrade in Congo

Published: 07/29/2022

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Temporary solution needed during plant downtime

A plant turnaround can be a daunting prospect for any operator. During this time, part of the operation is offline while the plant is inspected and revamped. An operator in Congo faced an issue with one of the production trains at its onshore production facility that was responsible for processing half of the operator’s total production. To continue production during the plant downtime, the operator needed a fast temporary solution with the same separation capabilities as the processing plant.

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A Production ExPRESS solutions separator like the one shown here was used to process effluents into three phases, with each phase individually processed to required export conditions.

Facility maintenance solution delivered onsite rapidly

A Production ExPRESS solutions package was designed and installed to process and stabilize the oil while the plant was being upgraded. For facility maintenance applications, Production ExPRESS solutions seamlessly integrate surface well test equipment with the existing facilities to take on processing duties and keep products flowing to the pipeline during upgrades. The standard facility maintenance packages are designed for mobility, connectability, operability, and availability to maintain or increase production, enabling facility commissioning or maintenance work to continue without delays.

At the Congo onshore facility, SLB provided a complete equipment setup to maintain production so that the operator could start facility maintenance as planned. The standard solutions package was adapted to the operator’s needs by integrating the equipment directly into the existing production facility. A separator was used to process the well fluid into three phases, with each phase individually processed to reach the required export conditions.

To meet the specified quality standard, heat was applied to the effluent to improve separation, and the entire process was continuously monitored to ensure maximum efficiency. The uninterrupted oil flow continued to be stabilized, treated, and transferred to the export pipeline.

Production maintained without shutting wells

The agility of the Production ExPRESS solutions package eliminated the need to shut down offshore wells and lose production revenue. This enabled the operator to take the time needed and perform quality maintenance to the facility, assuring that all plant systems were updated and tested to meet strict operational requirements—even while maintaining a continuous cash flow from the wells.

The solutions package worked so well that the operator decided to use this opportunity to perform additional upgrades during the 2 years. As a result, the robust package ensured an additional 2 years of uninterrupted flow, resulting in total production flow of 1 million bbl of oil.

Congo, Africa, Offshore

Production ExPRESS rapid production response solutions enabled the operator to maintain a continuous cash flow during 2 years of repairs, earning revenue from more than 1 million bbl of oil.

Products Used