Helping speed up subsea oil production

09 May 2017

Production optimisation company, Enpro Subsea, has revealed details of how its subsea architecture was used for the first time by an operator in the Gulf of Mexico and was a contributing factor in achieving first oil production in under 12 months – a record time for the client.

Enpro's  Enhanced Subsea Sampling & Injection (ESSI) and Flow Access Module (FAM) systems was said to be instrumental to the tieback project’s success and provided added flexibility to the asset’s life of field.

The ESSI FAM system is designed to use standard subsea systems to deliver faster, more cost effective and more flexible subsea systems. 

The challenge from the operator was to tie back a new production well via a single spur into an existing subsea flowloop in the Mississippi Canyon. Enpro Subsea was invited to assist in the design of a fast track solution making use of its existing deepwater infrastructures and surplus inventory of standardised subsea hardware. For the project to remain competitive, the operator gave a challenging 12-month deadline for the campaign, from concept to first oil.

The unique nature of the location, existing infrastructure and established facility operating procedures, created various challenges for Enpro when designing its system. The production chemistry and uneven seabed topography required a flow assurance strategy to be considered which successfully managed and mitigated the potential for hydrate formation within the single spur flowline.

The technical obstacles included the need to utilise existing components from different hardware manufacturers with differing hub connector designs. By enabling access to production processes at both ends of the 3.2km single line tieback, the operator was able to fit a range of enhanced recovery solutions at multiple locations, including flow assurance chemical injection, pressure balancing, multiphase metering, and fluid intervention. 

Commenting on the project, Adam Hudson, business development manager for the Gulf of Mexico, at Enpro Subsea, said: "The ESSI and FAM systems allowed the operator to fast track the project using their existing stock hardware. With the addition of the patented FAM technology, Enpro provided the required subsea system functionality onto existing hardware, enabling the ‘life of field’ solutions to be installed directly onto existing hardware. Our solution enabled concurrent engineering, which in turn, enabled first oil within 12 months”

“Looking beyond this campaign and to the future of the operator’s asset, another benefit is that our technology provides a retrievable platform which will allow a range of enhanced production solutions to be fitted at various locations throughout the life of field, including fluid intervention and sampling.

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