Shallow to Deepwater Facilities And Flow Assurance Challenges In Offshore Newfoundland

Ewida, A.A. (Petro-Canada East Coast, Engineering & Technology) | Hurley, S.J. (Petro-Canada East Coast, Engineering & Technology) | Edison, S.H. (Petro-Canada East Coast, Engineering & Technology) | The, C.E. (Petro-Canada East Coast, Engineering & Technology)



Highly efficient and successful hydrocarbon developments in the harsh environment of the Grand Banks offshore Newfoundland are achievable. This has been demonstrated through the success of the Hibernia and Terra Nova projects and operations. This paper presents an overview of development concepts for shallow / medium water depth and deepwater applications in the offshore Newfoundland environment. Facilities design challenges and opportunities, with particular focus on flow assurance, were considered. As oil and gas field development progresses further offshore into deeper water, facilities design and flow assurance issues become more challenging. In this harsh environment region, colder sea temperatures exacerbate common flow assurance issues such as wax and hydrate management in the subsea production system whilst the presence of floating icebergs and packed ice in the region imposes additional design challenges on surface and subsea production facilities. With increasing water depth, system operability such as hydraulic flow instability in the riser becomes more of a concern, as multiphase production has to be transported from wellbore to surface facilities. The ability to secure subsea production lines from hydrate formation risks using controlled depressurisation to the minimum pressure is more difficult in ultra-deepwater fields and may require special or focussed hydrate mitigation procedures. This paper presents work undertaken by Petro-Canada’s East Coast Engineering and Technology Group to support exploration and production activities for offshore Newfoundland and covers the following areas: · Brief review of development concepts for the Grand Banks harsh environment; · Review of potential field expansions and add-ons in Grand Banks environment with focus in flow assurance; · Review of potential deepwater development field concepts for offshore Newfoundland; and · Review of challenges and potential solutions to overcome flow assurance issues in deepwater and ultra-deepwater harsh environment areas.