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Production from the world's deepwater fields surpassed 10 million BOE/D for the first time, according to a new report from Wood Mackenzie. The energy consultancy group is forecasting that the deepwater sector is on trajectory to top 14.5 million BOE/D in the next 5 years, a figure to be driven by both oil and gas production. "A challenging few years during the downturn forced deepwater to reinvent itself by cutting costs, cycle times, and break-evens. It has emerged much stronger and is ready for the next phase of investment--much of which will be in deeper waters and in new plays and new countries," the company said. Brazil is expected to lead in terms of future investments and production from the Santos Basin.
This paper describes how a systems engineering approach was used to develop completion technology targeted for the ultradeepwater Lower Tertiary Trend. The paper further describes how an integrated completion system was developed for this market from concept through qualification by an integrated product team. The integrated product team (IPT) is cross functional team that was assembled with the objective to develop a sandface to safety valve integrated completion solution. The approach began with a needs assessment including a reservoir study of the Lower Tertiary trend and voice of the customer exercise to gather information and define market problems. The team used a Design for Six Sigma methodology to develop system concepts and develop integrated system requirements. The concepts were vetted and refined into an integrated completion system that was designed, tested and qualified in a dramatically reduced product development cycle time.
As an operator, Total has experienced significant deepwater maintenance andrepair activities, including cut-out and replacement of a damaged section ofwater-injection line, replacement of a flexible riser, replacement of an anchorline and its pile, and repair of an umbilical termination head (UTH).
There are few deepwater-pipeline operators with experience in pipelinerepairs that need to be carried out with significant preparation time forintervention tools, including engineering and testing of the tools. Deepwateroperations [including inspection, maintenance, and repair (IMR)] require acompletely different paradigm than conventional offshore operations, with needfor specialized competencies, contractors, and tools. The pipeline-repairactivities mastered in conventional offshore operations are becoming difficulttasks in deep water because they have to be performed remotely and the pipelinecharacteristics are quite different. Furthermore, there are many importantchallenges that still need to be overcome, such as repair of pipe-in-pipesystems, repair of production bundle, repair of flowline with hydrogen sulfidecontent, and repair of flowline connection, all of which challenge research anddevelopment to find proper tools and methodologies for deepwaterintervention.
This paper describes the strategy developed and implemented ondeepwater-pipeline intervention, based on a deepwater operational experiencebuilt over a decade. It also presents experiences of dealing with integrityissues and how to move forward in existing operations while preparing forfuture developments. Once the proper technologies are acquired, apipeline-repair system should be established as part of anoperational-management philosophy.
From the design stage, an operator involved in the development of deepwateroperations should give serious consideration to how condition monitoring of thepipeline and its appurtenances will be performed and to how pipeline sectionswill be repaired or replaced should there be any failure during production.Being well prepared to face unexpected failures in the deepwater-pipelinenetwork would allow the operator to maintain the level of integrity of thedeepwater-pipeline network, minimize production loss and shortfall, minimizeintervention costs, and maintain the operator's image with international mediaand the national oil company.
In recent months, oil prices have fallen dramatically, resulting in concerns about the viability of some large and ultradeepwater projects. Capital expenditure (Capex) and operational expenditure (Opex) have also been on the rise, placing more pressure on budgets. Some operators have announced reduced budgets and delayed deepwater project sanctions. Now is the time to refocus on standardization in the oil and gas industry and reduce costs to ensure the viability of high Capex deepwater developments. Douglas-Westwood expects deepwater Capex to rise post-2016, driven by the continued development of deepwater fields off Latin America and West Africa, as well as new developments off East Africa.