A number of JIPs have recently been announced to Sboost efficiency and lower the cost of subsea processing
STANDARDISATION has long been with ground-breaking projects such as (MSA) for future contracts, it’s clear that GE discussed as a priority for the subsea VASPS, MARLIM and MOBO, the latter is firmly involved in the Norwegian major’s sector, but has been left somewhat in being the first horizontal subsea electrical subsea development plans. the background as the industry battles submersible pump (ESP) boosting module in Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, to make other cost and efficiency savings. the world. Wood Group is embarking on a similar JIP to
It is therefore encouraging to see DNV GL continuing to support further stages of a joint industry project (JIP) on standardisation for subsea pumping.
Perhaps more encouraging is the backing from industry. Petrobras, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil and Woodside have all signed on to the project, a confirmation that oil prices aside, production in their respective regions (Brazil, Norway and Australia in particular) will hinge on greater use of subsea developments.
As Woodside’s VP of Technology, Sean Salter, explained: “The oil and gas industry needs to re-assess stand-alone host developments due to higher costs and look more closely at tie-back opportunities. Subsea processing technologies enable long distance tie-back opportunities for remote and marginal fields. Cost reduction through simplification and standardisation is key to ensuring application of these technologies.”
DNV’s project – “Subsea processing"
Standardisation of subsea pumping” – supports original discussions begun in 2014. DNV likened its approach to a “LEGO-brick” model, with a view to producing modules with standardised dimensions and interfaces. DNV says that this “increases predictability in the value chain, thus lowering transaction costs and improving the speed of implementation, while still allowing freedom to innovate and to employ new technology.”
Petrobras Research and Development Center executive manager André Lima Cordeiro noted his company’s experience. Although it has the backing of several major firms, DNV is still looking for additional collaborators and for suggestions of other subsea areas which may benefit from standardisation. Input from these parties will form the first phase of the project– developing a description of subsea pumping and possible targets for standardisation – before the second phase knowledge-sharing and the creation of best practice guidelines begins.
All hands to the pumps
Another, separate project, led by GE Oil and Gas, is looking to innovate in similar territory. In a February release GE Oil and Gas announced that it would explore “a new and simplified subsea boosting system that has the potential to reduce lifecycle costs by up to 30% and improve operational flexibility for operators.” Backed by Statoil, Total and two further operators, it said that its JIP would develop a “Modular Contra-rotating Pump (MCP),” drawing on technology from its aviation business.
According to a GE release: “The MCP provides the potential to unlock and enable access to more oil in both new and mature wells in a simpler way by reducing the topside and subsea footprint by up to 50% and eliminating equipment such as the barrier fluid system needed in conventional subsea boosting systems.”
Having already supplied boosting equipment to Statoil’s Snøhvit gas field, and having signed a master service agreement tackle subsea failure rates. Initial research for the Subsea Equipment Australian Reliability (SEAR) JIP revealed that five Australian fields had suffered more than 100 subsea failures over six years. Identifying and collaborating how to prevent or rectify these failures offers a solid chance of reducing intervention and expenditure.
Wood Group Kenny CEO Bob Macdonald commented: “We are now asking vendors to come forward with technology solutions to help address the specific challenges faced in Australian waters. Of particular interest are novel coating technologies and materials which will improve the ease of equipment change-out and intervention campaigns.”
While the support behind these projects is encouraging, standardisation initiatives offer greater benefits if a larger number of parties are involved – and if their end results are heeded. It is therefore important that the knowledge gained, whether in the North Sea or Australia, is shared as widely as possible, and that operators and supply chains make firm commitments to follow new guidelines.
For more information on DNV GL’s “Standardisation of subsea pumping” JIP, contact principal engineer, subsea technology, Kristin Nergaard Berg at: Kristin.Nergaard.Berg@dnvgl.com. To learn more about Wood Group’s SEAR JIP, contact co-ordinator Oddbjorn Gjerde, on: email@example.com.