The Pyrenees Development comprises three oil and gas fields: Ravensworth, Crosby and Stickle. The fields are located in production licenses WA-42-L and WA-43-L, offshore Western Australia, in the Exmouth Sub-basin and are operated by BHP Billiton (Fig. 1). Eighteen subsea wells, including 14 horizontal producers, 3 vertical water disposal wells and 1 gas injection well have been constructed to date and additional wells are planned for infill and to develop additional resources. First oil was achieved during February 2010 and production exceeded 50 million barrels in November 2011.
The Pyrenees fields are low relief, with oil columns of approximately 40 metres within excellent quality reservoirs of the Barrow Group. The 19° API crude has moderate viscosity, low gas / oil ratio (GOR), and a strong emulsion forming tendency which makes oil/water separation and accurate well test metering difficult. Early in the project design phase it was identified that the complex subsea gathering system and the need to reduce measurement uncertainties would dictate special attention to production measurement.
Subsea multiphase flow meters (MPFMs) were specified to meet the challenges of production optimization and allocation while at the same time minimizing production deferral for separator testing. Each oil producer is monitored by a dedicated MPFM. With 14 meters, Pyrenees is among the largest subsea MPFM installations worldwide.
This paper describes the process of MPFM qualification and commissioning together with their performance over 2 years in the field. We show how close cooperation between the Operator and MPFM Vendor has enabled quality rate measurements of emulsified production despite large changes in producing gas/oil ratio and water cut.
While the primary justification for Pyrenees subsea MPFMs was production allocation and optimization, interpretation of transient water cut and GOR data proved valuable for production and reservoir engineering applications. Examples of proactive reservoir and production management including optimizing drawdown of Inflow Control Device (ICD) equipped wells, optimizing well lineup and gas lift to commingled wells are presented.