Field development studies performed early in the conceptual stage of a project are an essential process to reduce costs and bring value. The early engagement of an integrated Subsea Production Systems (SPS) and Subsea Umbilicals, Risers, and Flowlines (SURF) combination in this phase brings specific additional benefits to this fundamental element of the development process.

This paper presents the experience and perspective of a SURF/SPS alliance in such field development optimization studies. This new approach is part of a global trend within the industry, in reaction to the current low oil prices and degraded business environment, to cut costs and push the projects towards the threshold that will make them economically viable. Historically, field development optimization has mainly been performed by operators supported by specialized engineering companies. SPS and SURF contractors are now developing and engaging in this activity, offering new vision, optimization ideas and specific technology solutions enabling cost reductions.

The long term alignment of SPS and SURF capabilities delivers a sustainable improvement in Field Development value through a holistic contractor driven approach to overall solutions. General principles of field development optimization are presented, including identification of cost and schedule drivers, the interfaces between SURF and SPS, and CAPEX/OPEX inputs with consideration of how the aligned SURF/SPS capabilities positively influence these drivers.

The key elements of how an aligned approach can bring value through reduced costs and improved schedules, risk mitigation, improved interface management, and more predictable delivery outcomes are presented within the paper. Consideration is given to alternative early engagement approaches, a selection of technical field development optimizations enabled by an integrated SURF/SPS combination and an integrated project execution approach with associated synergies and opportunities described to develop the benefits of an alliance perspective.

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