Technical Paper: How to Increase Recovery of Hydrocarbons Utilizing Subsea Processing Technology

Society: OTC
Paper Number: 24934
Presentation Date: 2014
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As demand for oil escalates and resources from the relatively simple onshore and shallow-water fields become relentlessly depleted, oil companies are compelled to focus on more remote, complicated, and deeper-water reserves. At the same time, emerging technologies to increase recovery and extend the life of brownfield developments often require moving this equipment to the seabed because of topside space, capacity, and integrity constraints. 

These technological challenges are now being met head-on with subsea processing and the need to provide an increased recovery factor to justify the large investment made. Not only does subsea processing become an enabler for producing from these challenging environments, it also frees up space on the topsides while allowing expansions to be implemented on the seabed, with the additional benefit of offering significant cost saving possibilities. Notably, subsea boosting has demonstrated added value for increased hydrocarbon recovery through several commercial installations since 1995. 

This technical presentation will focus on increasing recovery of oil and gas by implementation of subsea processing techniques and in particular, subsea boosting. An overview of the different applications of subsea boosting systems will be given. This will cover options that include subsea single-phase and multiphase hydrocarbon boosting, subsea seawater injection, and finally, subsea compression with the world’s first, true multiphase compressor. 

A number of case studies where significant increase in production has been seen as a result of implementing subsea boosting at the seabed will be presented. These cases demonstrate the key production-enabling techniques that allow enhanced recovery from deeper waters, as well as production of heavier and more viscous fluids, including high-water-cut production.

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