Abstract

This paper aims to describe developments in the Santos Basin Pre-Salt risers systems, which in some few years experienced many different concepts to overcome big challenges. This paper also describes initiatives to optimize configurations with evolution and maturity of riser technologies and expectations for future developments.

In Santos basin Pre-Salt cluster, due to the challenging environmental conditions, presence of H2S and CO2, water depth up to 2310m, production riser's insulation requirements, relatively high temperature and high pressure, the riser system design for this scenario was something innovative and challenging for the industry. Currently, due to lower oil prices, an even more complex scenario is in evidence, imposing even greater challenges for risers systems regarding cost reduction. The experience acquired with the implementation of the first projects was a key factor to find viable and comprehensive ways to optimize cost.

In approximately 7 years of production in the Santos basin Pre-Salt layer, oil production surpassed 1 million bpd by using several different riser concepts: BSRs (Buoy-Supported Risers), SLWRs (Steel Lazy Wave Risers), Flexible Lazy Wave Risers, Free Hanging Flexible Risers and FSHRs (Free Standing Hybrid Risers). Nowadays, with greater maturity and new design premises, considerable cost reduction results have been obtained, mainly motivated by the reduction of buoyancy modules and reduction of riser sections quantity in the flexible risers. For the future, there are other ongoing optimizations studies to apply both flexible and rigid risers in free hanging configuration.

In early stages of project development, an extensive engineering work on riser analysis, the establishment of new design premise and some changes on current design process were done through a joint effort by operator, partners and suppliers. These are key factors for the achievement of considerable cost reduction. The maturity reached with the riser system designs was obtained through several design cycles, whose process can bring more future cost reductions.

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