Meeting the objective shared by all offshore oil and gas companies – maximizing reservoir production and recovery – is constantly challenged by a growing host of market issues and technology risks. When producing new offshore fields, operators face increasing challenges including deepwater, low reservoir pressure, heavy oil and long-distance step-outs. And it is not just in the development of new offshore fields that challenges are faced. Declining oil & gas production, increasing water cut with constrained topside facilities, increasing flow assurance challenges, growing operating costs, and integrity challenges due to aging facilities are all factors that can lead to field becoming operationally and economically unviable.
Subsea processing technologies are being adopted to address these challenges, especially in extreme environments. Subsea separation and boosting, for example, have not only proven their ability to enable complex developments with reliable performance levels, but have also delivered financial value.
In evaluating any subsea processing system, proven or new, investment rewards must be carefully investigated to ensure that the introduction of an advanced subsea solution will accelerate reserves, increase production and reduce costs. Field characteristics such as step-out distance, formation water production, fluid properties and water depth are some of the factors that must be assessed as part of the reward assessment.
This paper investigates how the step-out distance and formation water production affects the optimal subsea processing solution. Three different configurations will be considered; natural flow, subsea multiphase boosting, and subsea separation with separate gas and liquids pipelines.