The start-up of the Pazflor field required a response to three simultaneouschallenges:

  • Start-up of a large complex facility, which involved the use of innovative 3Dvirtual reality training tools used to increase operator confidence and theavailability of Total Group previous experience.

  • Flow assurance for two different reservoirs and oil qualities. First, theOligocene Field had light oil with high temperature, wax/corrosion issues, verylong subsea production loops. Second, the Miocene Fields had unconsolidatedsand, heavy viscous oil, emulsion and gas carry-over and Subsea SeparationUnits.

  • Operating innovative Miocene subsea facilities, with gas/liquid separation onthe sea bed.


The Pazflor development includes four reservoirs in Block 17 deep offshoreAngola, which produce to a Floating Production Storage Offloading unit throughone Oligocene subsea loop and three Miocene lines connected to subseaseparation units (SSU) and subsea pumps, with associated gas and waterinjection facilities (Fig. 1).

Classical challenges were faced by Field Operations teams for this type ofproject: performing various engineering studies and delivering spare parts, training production and maintenance personnel, and taking over an installationin safe condition with an adequate operational organization integrated into thepermanent organization.

Particular flow assurance challenges regarding high viscosity and " heavy" fluidissues together with unconsolidated reservoir formation had to be addressed, such as foaming, emulsion, deposit and sand management.

Finally, one of the major stakes was to be ready to face the new technicalchallenge of the Subsea Separation Unit, with a completely new operatingstrategy.

This paper reviews these various challenges, presenting Field Operationspreparation and organization used to meet them. It details main flow assuranceconcerns and innovative subsea facilities operations, and presents the mainachievements of the Pazflor field start-up.

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