In 1993, Richard D’Souza (Fellow), the principal author and his co-authors presented a landmark paper reviewing the Semisubmersible Floating Production System (FPS) technology at the SNAME centennial meeting in New York. (D’Souza et al., 1993a). The paper captured the twenty year progression of the FPS beginning with the Argyll field in the UK Sector of the North Sea in 80 meters of water that was converted from a semisubmersible Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) and began producing in 1975. During this period about twenty five FPSs were installed, primarily in the North Sea and Brazil. Most were converted from semisubmersible MODUs. The deepest was in 625 m, the largest displacing 45,000 mt and the maximum oil rate was 70,000 bopd.
Over forty FPSs have been installed since then, most of which are purpose built platforms. The technology has expanded to a maximum water depth of 2400 m, displacements exceeding 150,000 mt and production rates of 300,000 boepd. The inherent versatility and flexibility of the FPS to adapt to a wide range of water depths, payloads, metocean conditions and future expansion, has resulted in the FPS superseding the Tension Leg Platform (TLP) and the Spar platform as the most widely used floating production platform after the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) platform. Its field development applications range from marginal reservoirs to giant deepwater oil and gas fields across the globe.
This paper, authored by Richard D’Souza with a new team of co-authors, is a sequel to the 1993 paper and is intended as a historical and technical archive of the evolution of the FPS technology in the ensuing twenty five years. It highlights the importance of the Naval Architect and Ocean Engineer whose role has evolved from a peripheral to a major player in the design, fabrication and installation of the FPS. This paper has two objectives. One is to inform Operators and Contractors engaged in developing deepwater fields by providing a historical overview of lessons learned and technology evolution of the FPS. The other is to inspire graduate and post graduate Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers to consider a career in the offshore industry where they will have an impactful role in shaping the future of deepwater floating production platforms.
Partnerships with big tech, tech startups, and innovative service companies--and the merging of their data, cloud, and software applications--are proving essential for operators in the scaling phase of digital deployment. Equinor has been among the first of many international oil companies to actively seek out and form such alliances. The Norwegian operator is in the process of leveraging its massive collection of data by making it accessible both inside and outside the company to improve its next generation of upstream projects--a task so big that it certainly cannot go it alone. "The challenge is not what data to share but to define the rules of the game for how to share [the data]," said Anders Opedal, Equinor executive vice president of technology, projects, and drilling, during the recent Halliburton Landmark Innovation Forum and Expo (LIFE 2019) in Houston. To overcome the industry's inclination toward data protectionism, Equinor became a founding member of the Open Subsurface Data Universe (OSDU) initiative, a global collaboration between most of the world's largest operators and service firms to define standards for an open-data architecture for subsurface data.
Birnie, Claire Emma (Equinor ASA) | Sampson, Jennifer (Equinor ASA) | Sjaastad, Eivind (Equinor ASA) | Johansen, Bjarte (Equinor ASA) | Obrestad, Lars Egil (Equinor ASA) | Larsen, Ronny (Equinor ASA) | Khamassi, Ahmed (Equinor UK LTD)
To ensure safe and efficient operations, all offshore operations follow a plan devised to take into account current operation conditions and identify the optimum workflow with the minimum risk potential. Previously, planners had to manually consult eight data sources, each with a separate UI, and summarise the plan in a.pdf document. Equinor's Operation Planning Tool (OPT) has been developed to easily present the planners with the technical conditions of a platform, identify potentially dangerous combinations of concurrent activities, and propose learnings from eight years’ worth of incident recordings – all relevant to the current list of planned activities. The tool aims to answer questions such as ‘are other activities planned for the same time which would make this activity unsafe?’ or ‘have incidents previously occurred whilst performing similar tasks on this equipment type?’.
This paper details the development of the OPT with a particular focus on the application of Natural Language Understanding for extracting equipment types and tasks involved in previous incidents and relating these to planned activities. Utilising natural language processing techniques, a system has been developed that mines the content of Equinor's incident database, and assigns context to incidents, by identifying the systems, activities and equipment involved and the conditions on the asset at the time of the incident. The same context is also discovered from the content of planned activities. These key concepts are organised into a knowledge graph synthesising Equinor's institutional safety and operational experience.
The OPT has reduced time spent planning by providing a single interface detailing a plant's technical conditions, all planned work orders and relevant lessons learned from previous incidents. By reducing the reliance on personal experience, the tool has provided subjectively improved risk identification and handling, plus faster knowledge transfer to new employees as well as focussed cross-platform knowledge sharing. The success of the tool highlights the strength of combining data and leveraging the vast quantities of historic data available both in unstructured and structured forms to create a safe, offshore work environment.
A shut-in subsea flowline is believed to be the source of the spill on Husky Energy’s SeaRose FPSO offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. The spill is believed to be the largest in the history of the Canadian province. The deal gives Equinor exploration parcels in the prolific Jeanne d’Arc Basin, near its existing discoveries offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.
The technology will provide Equinor a continual feed of updated reservoir information from its Johan Castberg and Johan Sverdrup fields with the aim of improving well placement, production, injection, and—ultimately—recovery. Statoil has submitted a long-awaited development plan for what will become Norway’s northernmost development.
Equinor increases its stake in the Njord redevelopment project as part of the agreement, while Faroe gains Equinor's stakes in four Norwegian Sea and North Sea fields. 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.
The Italian operator reported positive appraisal and exploration results from wells drilled some 10,000 km apart. UK operator Trident Energy is entering Brazil while Australian firm Karoon Energy is expanding its position in the country. Both will try to boost output from already-producing assets. Findings from Kayrros suggest the average Permian well is both less productive and more expensive than reflected in public data. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is prioritizing investment in Pemex over foreign participation as a means to boost the country’s shrinking oil output.
Equinor is using its digital transformation to be more sustainable. Equinor has agreed to align its business model with the goals of the 2015 Paris climate accord and will review its corporate lobbying policy and the carbon intensity of its products, the company said. It will also link executive pay to climate-related targets. By transitioning from gas turbines to land-based electrical power for various platforms, the company hopes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 600,000 tonnes/year. Statoil To Become Equinor, Dropping'Oil' To Attract Young Talent Shareholders in Norway’s largest company, Statoil, approve the board’s proposal to drop “oil” from its name as its seeks to diversify its business and attract young talent concerned about fossil fuels’ impact on climate change.
The firms are now partners on multiple blocks in the North Argentina Basin. Australia’s BHP Billiton and the recently acquired Anadarko Petroleum submitted the largest dollar totals of high bids in US Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 253. Using maglev technology, a new artificial lift system seeks to boost production output by sucking down reservoir pressure from inside the wellbore and from inside the reservoir. The Norwegian operator will increase its ownership of the giant Johan Sverdrup field before the field commences oil production this November. The round marked a continuation of a recent trend on the UKCS in which lesser-known firms and newcomers have gained stature, replacing more-familiar, bigger operators that have pared down their North Sea positions.
The private investment firm said it will partner with Treeline Well Services, one of the largest private rig providers in Canada, to build its service fleet following acquisition of the company. Treeline’s core areas are in Alberta and British Columbia. The $30.5-billion project is expected to produce 18 mtpa of LNG once it starts up; commissioning is expected sometime in the mid-2020s. Canada’s investment includes $160 million to fund energy-efficient turbines, which the government says will minimize greenhouse gas emissions. The decision may alleviate some of the pressures oil and gas producers faced in the wake of their imposition last year.