Poedjono, Benny (Schlumberger) | Beck, Nathan (Schlumberger) | Buchanan, Andrew (Eni Petroleum Co.) | Brink, Jason (Eni Petroleum Co.) | Longo, Joseph (Eni Petroleum Co.) | Finn, Carol A. (U.S. Geological Survey) | Worthington, E. William (U.S. Geological Survey)
Geomagnetic referencing is becoming an increasingly attractive alternativeto north-seeking gyroscopic surveys to achieve the precise wellbore positioningessential for success in today's complex drilling programs. However, thegreater magnitude of variations in the geomagnetic environment at higherlatitudes makes the application of geomagnetic referencing in those areas morechallenging.
Precise, real-time data on those variations from relatively nearby magneticobservatories can be crucial to achieving the required accuracy, butconstructing and operating an observatory in these often harsh environmentsposes a number of significant challenges. Operational since March 2010, theDeadhorse Magnetic Observatory (DED), located in Deadhorse, Alaska, was createdthrough collaboration between the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and aleading oilfield services supply company. DED was designed to produce real-timegeomagnetic data at the required level of accuracy, and to do so reliably underthe extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions often experienced in thearea.
The observatory will serve a number of key scientific communities as well asthe oilfield drilling industry, and has already played a vital role in thesuccess of several commercial ventures in the area, providing essential,accurate data while offering significant cost and time savings, compared withtraditional surveying techniques.
Today the development of subsea fields or satellites and the remoteness of thelocation not only require subsea processing but have also has implications forthe provision of power. The norm for offshore power generation is the use offossil fuel. However, the uncertainty surrounding a global climate policy at atime when the projection is for an exponential increase in offshore powerdemand is a cause for pause to look at renewable power solutions. Types ofrenewable power solutions that have application to the offshore oil and gasindustry include: solar, wind, and ocean energy (various).
This paper provides a rank/value for offshore power generated with bothrenewable- and conventional- energy sources relative to four (4) projectscenarios: Status Quo, Supply-to-the-Rescue, The Green Agenda, and DoubleJeopardy. The work to select a power solution began by identifying a key focusquestion about the future that the scenarios would address: How will the demandfor offshore (subsea) power and the potential externalities that may resultshape the power generation options over the next decade? The paper also pointsto resources that can shed light on the latest technological advances andfuture trends for renewable energy sources. The hope of the author is that thepaper will prove to be a useful reference for R&D specialists and projectengineers who are often asked to respond to the question: Renewables - Ready orNot?
The post-Macondo response has included new regulations, new industry standardsand new recommended practices such as API RP96, BUL 97 and the Workplace SafetyRule (per the existing RP75) for Offshore Safety and Environmental Management(SEMs). These are nominally cross referenced, but it is still not clear whatholds them together and makes them work as a "system" for well design,construction and operation. Furthermore, there are inherent interface issuesbecause RP96 deals across different phases of the project delivery process(well design and construction), while BUL 97 and RP75 cover differentparticipants (contractor/operator). The theme of this paper how to deal withthe two issues of systematic integration and interfaces using the bow-tiesystem.
Even though well design and construction project participants may havediffering commercial and cultural perspectives, they all have an interest inavoiding major accident events. Implementing and maintaining barriers supportsthis interest. This paper discusses an analysis of how barriers,contractor/operator bridging documents and safety and environmental managementplans have worked or not worked in 28 different offshore well controldisasters. It will also show how the bow-tie system can improve riskcommunication by providing a "lingua franca" between the various projectparticipants and at different phases of the project. The lessons from thesecase studies will offer a path forward for the industry to successfullyimplement post-Macondo requirements based upon API RP96, BUL97, SEMs and otherreference standards dealing with Major Accident Events offshore.
Post-Macondo Developments in Barriers, Bridging Documents and SEMs
The response to the April 2010 Macondo disaster by the oil and gas industryincludes new oil and gas regulations, recommended practices and guidelines.Among these are two draft (as of January 2012) American Petroleum Institute(API) publications: API RP96, BUL 97 and the 2010 US Workplace Safety Rule(which incorporates API RP75 by reference) . In this paper I will refer tothese as "standards" a generic sense, in that I expect them all to becomestandard practice for oil and gas operations in the US GoM over the comingyears.
The Spar platform has developed into a well functioning solution for Gulf ofMexico environment. Considering use of this solution in the North Atlantic, themetocean conditions differ by long period swell and fatigue induced by normaloperational seas.
In order to meet these challenges, it is desirable to consider a classic Sparthat is more fatigue redundant than a truss, but the swell requires highnatural periods, to avoid parametric heave-pitch resonance.
A new version of the Spar in response to these requirements is the Belly Spar.It can be considered as a classic Spar with a Belly; starting below the wavesurface and extending down to the hard tank depth. A concrete Spar concept withreduced waterline diameter has also been developed by Aker Solutions for arcticapplication. This concept had the dual benefit of increasing the natural periodin heave as well as reducing the ice load from sea ice
The concept has been developed for a field in the Norwegian Sea, in water depthof 1,200m (4,000ft). The hydrodynamic analyses show excellent performance,however contain assumptions on damping. The design has been by model testing ofthe design in wave and current combination representing 10,000yr events, asshown by results and correlations in the paper.
The design opens up new areas for the Spar platform, with good motions that canaccommodate steel catenary and top tensioned risers. As for previous Sparconcepts, the application is in deepwater and ultradeepwater.
New oil and gas frontiers are presently looking at projects offshore of theGulf of Mexico and South Atlantic, including West African and Brazilian watersand soon after Asia Pacific. New technologies are required to performinstallation in a cost efficient and safe method; they must encompass the stateof art equipment in order to provide effective solutions. The new ships FDS2and CastorONE are Saipem's replies to the forthcoming challenges indeep/ultra-deep water field development and pipe lying. The new vessels willoperate by using new welding, NDT and field joint coating technologies,including innovative installation equipment able to generate added value forthe implemented solutions. Field development projects include complex risersystems and the new fleet is designed to offer reliable solutions for thefuture configurations, which are designed to route the oil and gas fluids tothe floating treatment units. Saipem FDS2 is described by indicating hercapabilities and her equipment, including those required for project in shallowwater and those specifically designed for deep waters installation.Furthermore, sea keeping and naval features are offered in order to demonstrateher versatility and ability to solve main installation challenges relevant tothe deep water fields. Trunk line projects will be addressed to transportationof large gas volumes over long distances across harsh environments and Saipemvessel CastorONE is presented by showing off her capabilities for the ultradeep water installation. Information on the new state of art rigid stinger isprovided together with some conceptual solutions designed to increase theefficiency of the working stations and of the method to transfer the pipes withspecific equipment. The paper concentrates on the installation requirements forthe in-field production gathering systems and on the oil and gas exportpipelines.
Field development: the leading market trends
Since 1998, numerous deep water field development projects, mainly in the SouthAtlantic region both in West Africa and in Brazil were carried outsuccessfully. The vision for the future leads towards two major trends: evendeeper waters and new surprising geographical regions. Moving in bothdirections, thanks to its top class technologies and assets, Saipem aim to leadthe path towards the even tougher future challenges.
The scope of the work of deep water projects, within EPCI type contracts, hasnormally included all major and minor technical aspect, supplies andinstallation/operations from A to Z, with contract values typically in therange of half to one billion USD. Key of this market segment - which nowrepresents a significant portion of turnover and backlog - has been theintegrated development of original technical solutions and dedicatedfit-for-purpose installation vessels.
Leveraging on its notable competence, track record and offshore constructionfleet, the two main lines of evolution for the offshore field developmentmarket were, are and will be tackled, namely ultra-deep waters and new frontierregions as follows:
• On one hand, the ultra-deep water developments, emerging in the traditionaloil provinces in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic, will require theIndustry to make available new technologies and equipment to support the safeand effective implementation of the relevant production schemes;
• Simultaneously, the development of subsea oil and gas fields is taking placein new world regions bringing quite new challenges from both the technical andexecution standpoints.
Exploitation of oil and gas reservoirs in water depths in excess of 2,000m (?6600') is progressively emerging as the new market. Gulf of Mexico, offshoreBrazil and West of Africa are nowadays showing the greatest concentration offield development projects. In addition, subsea developments in new areas suchas East India, Indonesia, Offshore China and Western Australia are appearing inthe offshore oil and gas theatre both for relatively moderate and for deeperwater depths.
Perdido Regional Development in the Western Gulf of Mexico and the Walker Ridgearea in the Central Gulf of Mexico will be significant and challenging offshoreprojects.
This paper presents an overview of wet gas multiphase metering and a new meterdesign to meet future offshore challenges. The design introduces new microwaveelectronics, transmission as well as resonance measurements, a salinitymeasurement system, reduced PVT dependence and a new HP/HT design.
Building on the success of wet gas metering in accuracy and reliability, thenew meter increases operators' ability to detect the onset of formation waterproduction and accurately measure flow rates where an increasing amount ofliquid and water is present in the flow (due to gas wells produced over a widerrange of process conditions).
The new meter design will have an increased importance for subsea tiebacksapplications. While today's wet gas meters are well suited for subsea tiebacks,current subsea developments require longer horizontal production pipelines,where accurate and sensitive measurement of water is crucial to ensure flowassurance and maintain maximum production capacity of the pipeline.
Furthermore, the restrictive and remote nature of subsea fields means that thecosts for subsea interventions and periodic fluid sampling (PVT) are high. Thenew meter is more robust to changes in PVT (fluid composition) and reduces theneed for frequent fluid sampling.
The paper will describe the development and technology choices of the newinstrument and how it will meet future subsea field demands.
It will explain how the new microwave electronics provides more stable andaccurate measurements; how transmission and resonance measurements extend theoperating range to 80-100% GVF and 0-100% WLR; how two complementarytechnologies - a salinity probe for liquid film measurements at low GVF andFormation Water Detection Function software for droplets measurements at highGVF, provide the first complete salinity measurement system in wet gasapplications.
The paper will also show how multivariate analysis and new measurements enablethe meter to compensate automatically for changes in produced fluidcomposition.
The paper will be highly significant to oil and gas operators looking toincrease flow assurance and oil & gas production from wet gas fields andmeet the growing offshore challenges of varying process conditions,intervention costs, and subsea tie-backs.
The Well Life Cycle Practices Forum (WLCPF) was formed following the UKresponse to the Macondo tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. Inresponse to Macondo, Oil & Gas UK brought together representatives ofoperators, drilling contractors, regulators and trade unions to form the OilSpill Prevention and Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG). In addition todeveloping and building an emergency capping device, assessing and improvingoil spill response capability, and reviewing indemnity and insuranceliabilities, OSPRAG also carried out a review of the UK industry's approach tovarious aspects of well control. OSPRAG published a series of recommendationsin October 2010 which led to the creation of the WLCPF under Oil & Gas UKto help the UK upstream industry implement the recommendations. The WLCPF alsoserves as a forum to discuss pan-industry well-related issues and to interfacewith the UK regulators.
Results, Observations, and Conclusions
The WLCPF has published a series of guidelines to help UK operators comply moreeffectively with regulations and to improve the UK industry's understanding ofwell integrity issues. Six workgroups, with input from over 60 companies andorganisations, have produced guidelines on: BOP issues; relief well planningrequirements; well integrity throughout the well life cycle; competency;behaviours and human factors; well examination and verification.
Significance of Subject Matter
The UK upstream industry has confidence that the UK regulatory environmentdrives the right behaviours to prevent a major well-control incident.Nevertheless, there are areas in which there is scope for improvement. Theguidelines produced by WLCPF, and the WLCPF model itself, could be used byother oil and gas producing provinces to reduce risks in well operations.
The plans for many of the upcoming deepwater projects involve the use of highpower Electrical Submersible Pump (ESP) Systems for Artificial Lift. However,the perception in the industry is that the average run-life currentlyachievable with such high power ESP Systems is much shorter than what would bedictated by robust project economics, given that intervention costs in theseapplications can be very high, in the US$50MM - 75MM range. Therefore, theconsensus among operators is that there is a need to try and improve thereliability of these systems.
In response to this industry need, DeepStar® recently commissioned a gap studytowards identifying the barriers that may be preventing ESP Systems fromachieving the desired reliability as well as the additional R&D effort thatmay be required for the industry to close the existing gap. DeeepStar® providesa forum for deepwater technology development, while leveraging the financialand technical resources of the industry (http://www.deepstar.org/).
This paper presents a summary of the results of this study, including: a) theMean Time To Failure (MTTF) that people believe is currently achievable (i.e.with current technology); b) the biggest differences about these applications,which introduce additional uncertainty to the ability of the system to performreliably; c) the main sources of uncertainty regarding each of the major ESPSystem component's reliability; and d) the tentative plan that was outlined aspart of the project, to address the gaps that were identified.
The Gap Analysis was based on phone interviews conducted with recognizedindustry experts, on discussions that took place with members of a TechnicalCommittee (TC) that was put in place for the project, and on a broader industrysurvey conducted through the internet. The proposed go-forward plan consists oftwo follow-up projects: one focused on improved system design and operationalpractices, including system monitoring (or surveillance) and control; and onefocused on validating the design of key components of concern, for thespecifics of these applications, through laboratory testing. The proposednear-future R&D effort has the support of major operators, but still needsto be fine-tuned, with input from the industry, before the actual work canproceed with buy-in and financial support from all of the partiesinvolved.