Jubarte Phase II comprises 15 production wells and seven injectors
producing to the P-57 floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO)
platform. Wellheads are in 1,400 m of water, and each well produces to a seabed
pumping module—módulo de bombeio (MoBo) in Portuguese—that
houses a 1,500-hp electric submersible pump (ESP). A limited track record for
high-power and high-flow-rate subsea ESP systems and the operational challenges
associated with seabed production created uncertainty that required proper risk
- Jubarte holds a 17.1° API heavy oil with a tendency to form
strong emulsions, which, coupled with an expected early water breakthrough,
posed a major challenge to ESP and MoBo performance.
- Locating ESPs on the seabed results in wide pressure and temperature
swings during normal cycles of operation.
- Lengthy shutdowns and the possibility of hydrate formation required a
thorough analysis of the process loops.
To address these challenges while operating an offshore oil field with
ESPs as the main form of artificial lift required a comprehensive approach that
would not only rely on installation of high-technology equipment, but would
also seek to extend the traditional concept of industrial process control to
the management of MoBo- ESP systems.
Five years after first oil and a few months after the start of its third
phase, Jubarte reached a maturity old enough to demand new breakthroughs in the
chase for improving subsea system uptime. In this matter and in order to reach
the expected run life, the development of a thorough “ESP culture”
became a key element connecting the different teams involved in the operation.
The synergy created allowed the provision of timely solutions to face
challenges that cannot be approached only with the best equipment currently
available in the industry.
This paper describes the philosophy of operation in the Jubarte field
and provides examples of how diverse problems related to flow assurance,
equipment operation, and remediation work were addressed. Methodologies
described apply to different aspects of the operation, such as the descaling
treatment of a subsea ESP without a workover (a first for the operator),
determination of the correct medium-voltage variable frequency drive (VFD)
parameterization, the success of starting up an ESP on first attempt, and the
effectiveness of a demulsifier injection in a system that can see viscosity
The experiences gathered and results obtained with the operation of
MoBo-ESP systems in Jubarte Phase II have encouraged the operator to continue
development of Jubarte Phase III and the neighboring Parque das Baleias using a
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