Abstract

Treating seawater on the seabed for injection into reservoirs will deliver a new and significant capability to the industry's expanding subsea toolkit. This paper will describe the latest developments in the Subsea Water Intake & Treatment (SWIT) system and its ability for long lasting production on the seabed of ‘tailor made’ water for any IOR & EOR application.

In addition to ‘normal’ waterflooding, adding membrane treatment can adjust the chemical composition of injection water to suit specific demands of any reservoir. The injection of low salinity water in many reservoirs has shown significant increases in recovery factor of the oil in place, whereas removal of sulphate ions from injected seawater will prevent scaling and provide the ultimate protection against reservoir souring.

This paper will discuss the findings of a 2012-2013 JIP that showed that the SWIT technology, when coupled with membrane systems, has the ability to deliver ‘tailor made’ water quality, reliably and for several years without intervention directely on the seabed. The success of this JIP has raised enthusiasm for a technology qualification program with Oil Majors and many other companies. The paper will present status of this (already started) program and include technology gaps identified and measures required to close them. In addition to the ‘ready to go’ SWIT system, membrane treatment of seawater on the seabed is making significant progress towards becoming a qualified process in the subsea tool-box15.

Free from all topsides restrictions, this technology enables new levels of flexibility in reservoir drainage strategy. Reservoir engineers will have the ability to significantly increase recoverable reserves and production rates in a cost effective and environmentally friendly manner.

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