The outlook in the UK is a case study of the squeeze facing E&P in other basins where operators are trying to pay to sustain production with discoveries, while plugging and abandoning old wells, all paid for by the lean cash flow due to low oil prices. Subsea inspection/repair/maintenance services have traditionally relied on vessel-based, ROV, or diver operations. In the longer term, identifying significant incremental savings in these operations is not sustainable and an innovative approach deploying digital technologies is being investigated. The deal gives Equinor an additional 7.5% ownership stake in the Njord redevelopment project and associated tiebacks in the Norwegian Sea, and potentially raises Faroe’s value in the midst of a hostile takeover attempt by DNO. Startup comes 8 months after the initial discovery in March, marking the second successful tieback since 2017 to the Beryl Alpha platform in the UK North Sea.
Subsea inspection/repair/maintenance services have traditionally relied on vessel-based, ROV, or diver operations. In the longer term, identifying significant incremental savings in these operations is not sustainable and an innovative approach deploying digital technologies is being investigated. GATE will provide facility commissioning and Subsea 7 will provide a pair of infield production flowlines and the umbilical system for Shell’s recently sanctioned deepwater GOM development. Executives from several service companies involved in the offshore space—including two sides of a recent hostile takeover bid—came together at OTC to discuss the virtues of collaboration and rationale behind M&A. McDermott’s board of directors rejected an acquisition offer from Subsea 7, which called for McDermott to abandon its planned $6-billion combination with CB&I.
Called Eelume, the underwater drone will perform subsea inspection, maintenance, and repair work. Phase 1 of the development today marked the sail-away from Kværner’s yard of the 560-bed living-quarters topside, the largest of its kind in Norway. Are Deepwater Projects Due for a Revival? The oil price downturn spawned a lull in deepwater enthusiasm, but better project execution and reduced project lead times have helped operators achieve lower costs and better returns. What does the landscape for deep water look like in the near term?
Ashtead Technology has acquired Louisiana-based subsea equipment rental and cutting services specialist, Aqua-Tech Solutions, as part of the company’s international growth plans in the US. High-fidelity 3D engineering simulations are valuable in making decisions, but they can be cost-prohibitive and require significant amounts of time to execute. The integration of deep-learning neural networks with computational fluid dynamics may help accelerate the simulation process. The chemical reactions creating buildups of scale that can clog a well can be replicated in a chemical lab, but researchers are finding many more variables on the surfaces of pipes that need to be considered. The web-based interactive tool provides users specialized “ocean neighborhood analyses,” including maps and graphics by analyzing more than 100 ocean datasets instantaneously. BP and partners have sanctioned the Azeri Central East project, the next stage of development of the giant Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli oilfield complex in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. The pipeline system will have the initial capacity to deliver 150,000 B/D of crude oil to multiple delivery points, accessing local refineries and connecting to several downstream pipelines.
Ashtead Technology has acquired Louisiana-based subsea equipment rental and cutting services specialist, Aqua-Tech Solutions, as part of the company’s international growth plans in the US. Aker Solutions and FSubsea have agreed to a joint venture, named FASTSubsea, to help operators increase oil recovery. Called Eelume, the underwater drone will perform subsea inspection, maintenance, and repair work. From its record high in 2014, purchases of subsea equipment and SURF fell around 50% until reaching a low in 2018. New data suggest that the subsea market will be a top-performing oilfield service segment.
A low oil price challenges the Operator's field economy for development of deepwater marginal fields. Using typical development solutions proposed in the past 10 years regime with high oil price such developments may not be economically viable to develop, therefore operators call for cost-effective solutions that enables development with today's oil price.
In response to this request a production floater for development of marginal fields has been developed. Equipment vendors were involved in the design process to ensure use of their preferred standard solutions. The target was a processing capacity of 60 000 barrels of liquids with a requirement of a not to exceed topside weight of 6000 tonnes arranged on one deck level. This weight was used in sizing the hull giving the topside designers an early layout area limitation. Conventional proven solutions were used as platform building blocks. The standard Aker un-manned hull (Blind Faith) and a flat top deck with wet truss (Njord A) were combined to form the basis for the topside design using skid-based low weight modules with standardized equipment. A process on removing "nice to have" and heritage from other projects gave a strict project design focus for the equipment selection needed to fulfill safety and functional requirements.
The standard Aker un-manned hull with a flat top deck is used in the design considering 100 to 400m water depth. Typical North Sea functionality and redundancy requirements have been challenged using conventional standardized low weight equipment modules with a campaign based maintenance and repair philosophy. The concept has its base as a product to be used for fields with characteristics in proximity of the proposed design basis, hence, the Operator will have a platform which offers a low CAPEX and OPEX cost compared to a tailor made solution, but with some limitation as compared to a tailor made solution. The design process resulted in a concept with 60 000 barrels of liquids capacity having a topside operating weight of 6000 tonnes designed according to Norsok safety requirements. When comparing to a traditional North Sea platform with similar production capacity 30% weight reduction of the topside was achieved. The cost estimate performed, including the vendor equipment cost, show a further cost reduction. The product type combined with such lean design process inspired the name for the product; the Lean Semi.
The study method represents a different method to do concept studies where the topside weight is constrained and focus is on designing for a highest possible production capacity given this limit. The paper presents this process and the resulting design.
Due to the laws of physics and multiphase flow, subsea tie back systems are generally limited to approximately 110km as a single pipeline or 150km as dual pipelines after which the production plateaus are shortened and increasing amounts of reserves remain in the ground. This paper presents an overview of an innovative new technology which demonstrates that gas tiebacks can be achieved without the need of compression. The premise of the technology is to achieve pseudo-dry gas conditions through intermittent inline separation with segregated transport of the associated liquid phase. Achieving near dry gas conditions in the main production conduit removes hydraulic constraints on line size and turndown, leading to improved recovery for long distance tieback opportunities. The paper demonstrates this innovative technology and its value proposition by means of a'benchmarked' study of a 200km long gas tieback in 1,800m (5,900ft) of water. The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) work has demonstrated high separation efficiencies at significant superficial gas velocities, while the required hardware fits within the installation envelope of an'Inline' pipeline tee. This has been coupled to the flow assurance work showing improvements in recoverable reserves, while leading to capital expenditure reductions of upwards of 50% due to the removal of offshore structures.
Super duplex stainless steel tubes in grade SAF2507 have long been used for umbilical application in deep water oil and gas subsea systems. One of the oldest subsea systems installed with super duplex stainless steel tube SAF2507 is at the Åsgard oilfield located in the Norwegian Sea about 200 km offshore of the north part of Norway (
Corrosion evaluation of the tubes was presented at EUROCORR 2016, Montpellier, France, September 16th 2016 by Cathrine Holager, Materials Engineer (Aker Solutions) and authored by Karin van Thoor (Aker Solutions) and Sophia Ekman (Sandvik Materials Technology R&D) with the title of "Corrosion Assessment of the 17-year old Åsgard Smørbukk Umbilical".
In addition to the previous report, this following article will report on the investigation of the fatigue properties of the tubes in two sections of the umbilical tubing installed in this field. Samples were taken from different areas of the dynamic umbilical, i.e. the splash zone and the most dynamic zone, and evaluated by fatigue testing.
High frequency fatigue tests were performed on the samples and showed that fatigue properties did not differ significantly. The tests showed insignificant reduction in the fatigue strength of the tubes used both in the most dynamic part and splash zones. In addition, mechanical properties were evaluated to understand the effect of deformation history from fabrication, service life and sample preparation. No significant effect, besides a slight hardness increase compared to the delivery condition, was observed.
Management of geohazard risks and lowering the costs can only be achieved by adopting an out-of-the box thinking for the development of novel techniques. To meet the expectations innovative lay analysis has been developed for laying of umbilical and flexible flowlines of Jangkrik Complex Project. The complex comprises subsea wellheads in water depths down to 430m, tied back to the FPU via 9 flowlines and 7 umbilical's resting on a seabed along routes including major escarpment areas with undulous terrain while descending mountains at angle up to 50 degrees, seabed surface varying from soft clay & silty sands to weak coral area, and passing through large boulders area.
The new approach is based on dynamic continuous lay method used in installation analysis. This method is an improvement to the normal static steps lay analysis method that produces unrealistic results in steep slopes. The discrepancies occur as by laying of product and moving of vessel forward in each static step, software solves for the static equilibrium position by iterating to achieve zero out of balance force thus affecting the friction force in equilibrium and residual tension at TDP. This new method remembers line motion history to capture the correct frictional effects and residual tension at TDP.
The most significant benefit of this novel technique is in reducing the overall cost of the project by reducing the offshore installation complexity by minimising seabed intervention work and speeding up the operational time. This method has significantly reduced the required length of protection such as the Uraguard™ and VIV strakes along the span section by identifying only the critical free spans. This paper introduces the dynamic continuous lay method and compares it with the conventional method, and further validates the accuracy level of this technique by comparison of obtained results with offshore survey data. High accuracy level in defining of residual lay tensions leading to predict correct free spans on uneven seabed and has proven to be vital cost saving for similar projects.
Scheduled to start up in October 2020, the Aerfugl project will tie back to Aker’s Skarv FPSO, located in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea. Corinth Pipeworks has signed agreements with Subsea 7 to provide steel pipes for two Aker BP-operated subsea tieback projects to floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) units in the Norwegian Sea, Skogul and Aerfugl. The orders cover polypropylene-coated steel outer pipes for pipe-in-pipe flowlines for the tiebacks. The pipes will be manufactured this year at Corinth’s pipe mill in Thisvi, Greece, and Subsea 7 plans to conduct offshore installation by reel-lay in 2019 and 2020. Skogul is one of the smallest fields on the Norwegian shelf, with a reserve basis of approximately 9.4 million bbl of oil.