ABSTRACT:

Flow rate management of subsea wells is critical to ensure optimal well performance and reservoir depletion rates. This paper describes the design evolution and installation of a multiphase flowmeter into a full subsea field development, which enhanced the operator's ability to monitor and optimize the production rates from the entire field. The design objective was complicated since metering has to be done subsea. This is necessary when the subsea wells are directly produced and commingled to a subsea manifold. This dictates that flowmeters must be located subsea between the wells and the gathering manifold. The successful incorporation of subsea flowmeters provides the enabling technology for producing long-offset subsea developments while maintaining full well flow rate measurement and management. The placement of the flowmeters was critical to minimize the impact to the design of the subsea well and manifold components. Handling, weight and accessibility were the driving design criteria under consideration. Metering had to occur before the well fluids are commingled from adjacent well production. Incorporating the flowmeter in the subsea tree would complicate the tree design and weight as it would if placed in the manifold. The advantages and disadvantages of placing the flowmeters in the flowline jumpers between the individual wells and the manifold will be described and explained. The described application was installed in the Gulf of Mexico in January 2002 in 3,800 feet of water. The paper will also describe the experience and lessons learned from this installation.

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