Upgrade of Spar Topside With Comprehensive Sand-Management System

Carpenter, Chris (JPT Technology Editor)


This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper OTC 24705, "Upgrade of Spar Topside With Comprehensive Facilities Sand- Management System," by Y. Loong, Murphy Sabah Oil, and H. Rawlins and D. Goo, eProcess Technologies, prepared for the 2014 Offshore Technology Conference Asia, Kuala Lumpur, 25-28 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed.

A deepwater field located offshore Sabah, east Malaysia, features a spar dry-tree unit (DTU) and multiple subsea-hub tiebacks to a floating production, storage, and offloading vessel (FPSO). In early 2011, several of the wells began producing solid fines that affected production. It was decided that a long-term solution would be to recomplete the affected wells with enhanced downhole sand control on the lower completions. The short-term solution consisted of installing a topside sand-management system on the spar and sand-sparging equipment on the FPSO separators.

Project Overview

The Kikeh field is located 120 km northwest of the island of Labuan at approximately 1300-m water depth. The field was developed using a standalone facility, with hydrocarbons being produced from both subsea and dry-tree wells from a spar/DTU facility. The oil is processed, stored, and exported from an FPSO. Fig. 1 shows the layout of the field.

In December 2008, the Kikeh field began to produce solids at varying rates, and by January 2010, after the failure of a sand-screen completion on one of the wells, the process facilities on the FPSO started to receive approximately 1 t/d of sand. Once it became apparent that solids production would be experienced throughout the life of the field, a program had to be developed to address the challenge.