Multiphase boosting technology can provide a cost-effective option for developing remote and marginal oil field discoveries, by reviving dead oil wells and increasing the production from active wells. The implementation of the multiphase technology at the remote field is a new strategy to obtain increased production and flow assurance from the operator.
This paper describes the implementation of a rotodynamic (helicon-axial) multiphase pumping (MPP) system at a remote, hilly-terrain onshore oil field in Saudi Arabia. The process conditions, the MPP package scope of supply, the MPP installation setup and operation will be discussed in detail.
The water cut and gas fraction usually increase with field production over time. This problem can be aggravated if the multiphase well fluids, transported over long distance pipelines, cross hilly topography due to the added length of the pipelines, to production stations or process facilities. Therefore production reaches a stage where the field or part of the field becomes severely restricted and could lead to premature abandonment of many producing wells, unless remote multiphase pressure boosting is implemented to regain production.
MPPs are capable of pumping multiphase flow streams with various combinations of oil, water, and gas without the need for separation. The MPP technology is mostly used to add energy to unprocessed fluids to be transported to processing facilities located downstream. The MPP can help reduce or eliminate the need for remote production infrastructure such as separation equipment and offshore platforms. This would lead to lower operating costs associated with the development of hydrocarbon reserves. Marginal fields located in hostile environments can also be developed more economically. In addition, MPPs can reduce the high-back pressure on producing wells, leading to increases in production and recoverable reserves.
The selection of the suitable multiphase boosting system is generally based on a number of factors such as the economics and constraints imposed by a geographic location, specific field conditions and fluid properties. Some of the common constraints are available space and weight, in the case of offshore platforms. Power availability is another concern for marginal and unmanned satellite field developments.