The Ichthys LNG Project
INPEX has begun construction of one of the world's largest oil and gas projects following the Final Investment Decision (FID) on the US $34 Billion Ichthys LNG Project in Australia on 13 January 2012. The Ichthys LNG Project is a joint venture between INPEX (Operator) and Total with Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Chubu Electric and Toho Gas.
The Ichthys Field is situated in the Timor Sea approximately 200 kilometers off the Western Australian coast and over 800 kilometers from Darwin. Three exploratory wells drilled in 2000 and 2001 resulted in the discovery of an extremely promising gas and condensate field with resource estimates from two reservoirs totaling approximately 12TCF of gas and 500 million barrels of condensate. Conceptual studies, FEED and ITT followed and development leading to sanctioning of the Ichthys LNG Project by INPEX and Total.
Gas from the Ichthys Gas-Condensate Field in the Browse Basin will undergo preliminary processing offshore to remove water and extract condensate. The gas will then be exported to onshore processing facilities in Darwin via an 889 kilometer subsea Gas Export Pipeline (GEP). Most condensate will be sent to a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel for stabilization and storage prior to being shipped to global markets. The Ichthys LNG Project is expected to produce 8.4 million tons of LNG and 1.6 million tons of LPG per annum, along with approximately 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak.
Production from 20 subsea wells in the first phase - 50 will be drilled in total - will be sent to the Central Processing Facility via 8?? rigid lines connected to flexible risers. The flexibles will be supported by a 110 meter high jacket type riser support structure. You see, no aspect of the Ichthys LNG Project is small.
Effluents will be separated on the Central Processing Facility (CPF), a semi-submersible floater. Gas will be dried and compressed prior to being sent ashore via a GEP. Compression will be from four compressors, designed for 590.7 MMSCFD. Following initial treatment, most liquids will be transferred from the CPF to the nearby FPSO for processing and storage. The 330 meter-long FPSO will be a weather-vaning ship-shaped vessel that is permanently moored on a non-disconnectable turret. It has been designed with a storage capacity of nearly 1.2 million barrels. Loading of two offtake tankers in tandem will be possible from the FPSO.
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.
Producing and delivering North West Australia (NWA) deepwater gas reserves to LNG plants poses unique challenges. These include extreme metocean conditions, unique geotechnical conditions, long distances to infrastructure and high reliability/availability requirement of supply for LNG plants. A wet or dry tree local floating host platform will be required in most cases. Whereas semisubmersible, TLP, Spar and floating LNG (FLNG) platform designs all have the attributes to be a host facility, none has been installed in this region to date.
This paper will address important technical, commercial and regulatory factors that drive the selection of a suitable floating host platform to develop these deepwater gas fields off NWA. Linkages between key reservoir and fluid characteristics and surface facility requirements will be established. A focus will be on the unique influence of regional drivers and site characteristics including metocean and geotechnical conditions, water depths and remoteness of these fields.
There have been 17 FPSOs producing oil in Australian waters. These facilities have been chosen because of the remoteness of the fields and the lack of pipeline and process infrastructure. Storing oil on the FPSO for offloading and shipping from the fields becomes an obvious solution. Semisubmersible, TLP or Spar platforms show little advantage in such developments.
For deepwater gas developments, the product has to be processed, compressed and piped to shore for liquefaction. As host processing facilities, Semisubmersible, TLP and Spar platforms have clear advantages over FPSOs because of their superior motion performance in the harsh Australian metocean environment and other benefits such as facilitating drilling, dry tree completion and well services. FPSOs or FSOs may be applied for storage of associated oil and condensates. For marginal and remote gas field developments, an LNG FPSO (FLNG) may be an attractive option as it eliminates long pipelines and land-based liquefaction plants.
As discussed by Dorgant and Stingl (2005), a deepwater field development life cycle following discovery usually involves five distinct phases, Figure 1. The "select?? phase occurs after a discovery has been appraised sufficiently to further evaluate it for development. It consists of evaluating multiple development concepts and scenarios and selecting the one that will most likely achieve the identified commercial and strategic goals. Selecting a floating platform and its functions for a deepwater development is an important subset of the select phase and the overall field development planning.
The process of field development planning involves a complex iterative interaction of its key elements (subsurface, drilling and completions, surface facilities) subject to regional and site constraints (D'Souza, 2009). The objective is to select a development plan that satisfies an operator's commercial, risk and strategic requirements. It entails developing a robust and integrated reservoir depletion plan with compatible facility options. The selection occurs while uncertainty in critical variables that determine commercial success (well performance, reserves) is high. One of the challenges is to select a development plan that manages downside reservoir risk (considering the very large capital expense involved) while having the flexibility to capture its upside potential.
The first hydraulically operated completion was installed in Australia in 2004 (Guatelli et al 2004). Since then, a number of intelligent completions have been installed in offshore Australia. The remoteness of offshore Australia, particularly in the Timor Sea area, means intervention vessels are not readily available and well interventions are costly operations. For this reason, intelligent completion is considered to be an attractive alternative, by providing a down-hole solution to actively manage the reservoir production life and delay potential water breakthrough.
The Kitan oil field is remotely located in the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA) between East Timor and Australia. The Kitan oil field production facilities consist of three vertical producing wells, subsea flowlines, risers, and one Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility. The wells were completed with an intelligent design and cleaned up using a rig before the FPSO arrived on location.
The intelligent completion design consists of two multi-stage hydraulic down-hole Flow Control Valves (FCVs) and three Down-Hole Gauges (DHGs) to independently control and monitor two different production zones. The FCVs have a total of 8 positions (fully opened, fully closed and 6 intermediate choke positions).
It is planned to close the lower FCV to shut off water production from the lower zone while the upper FCV remains fully opened over the field life. The different FCV choke positions were utilized during the field startup and during the early stages of production while the water cut was still low, to overcome unforeseen technical limitations in the production system, and to optimize hydrocarbon production.
This paper describes various aspects of the Kitan oil field intelligent well completion from design through installation and field startup to early stage of production operations, and includes technical problems encountered during the field startup as well as lessons learnt.
Liu, Zhen (Jiangsu University of Science and Technology) | Zhu, Renqing (Jiangsu University of Science and Technology) | Ji, Chunyan (Jiangsu University of Science and Technology) | Chen, Minglu (Jiangsu University of Science and Technology) | Teng, Bin (Dalian University of Technology) | Li, Liangbi (Jiangsu Modern Shipbuilding Technology Co. Ltd, Jiangsu University of Science and Technology)
The design team for the Wheatstone offshore platform successfully deployed an ‘Inherently Safe Design' (ISD) approach to engineering the gas processing complex. Through a program of initiatives focused on ISD, a substantial improvement in the safe design of the platform has been delivered.
Major accident events:
The Texas City incident in 2005 initiated the most detailed and far reaching investigation ever undertaken by the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) at the time. The CSB report included a recommendation that BP form an independent panel to conduct a review of the company's corporate safety culture, safety management systems, and corporate safety oversight at its U.S. refineries. This independent review was conducted and a separate report known as the Baker Report was developed, with the key conclusion being that the process safety culture was deficient.
Major incidents such as the Macondo and Montarra well blow-outs still occur. NOPSA newsletter Issue 86, February 2010 presented data on gas releases, a recognised precursor to major accident events and showed "Design problems at root of most major gas releases??.
In May 2011 Shell announced its commitment to the development of a Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) concept by taking the Financial Investment Decision on the Prelude FLNG Project. Prelude is located in Australian offshore waters, approximately 475 km north-northeast of Broome and 825 km west of Darwin, and will be Shell's and possibly the world's first FLNG development. FLNG offers a number of environmental advantages over traditional onshore LNG developments. This paper describes some of these and the associated environmental permitting/approval conditions for the project.
Conference review - No abstract available.
Most offshore wells that require artificial lift are gas lifted, as gas typically is readily available and compared to other lift systems, gas lifting is relatively inexpensive and low maintenance. However, electric submersible pumps (ESPs) can
efficiently and economically increase oil production and reserves recovery under the appropriate operating conditions. This may translate to a lower abandonment pressure in the long term—possibly reducing the total number of wells required to deplete an asset.
Since few ESPs currently are installed in offshore wells, an ESP screening "Rules of Thumb" was created as a simple guide for prioritizing offshore ESP candidates. The selection criteria focus on feasibility of installation, operability conditions
and operating practices to maximize run life, and economic considerations. ExxonMobil† and industry experience from North America, South America, West Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and the North Sea provided the basis for the study.