The Parque das Conchas (BC10) block offshore southern Brazil's Campos Basin has fields with challenging subsea well conditions (high viscosity and high gas content). The fields require subsea boosting to lift the production to the FPSO facility. The field development was conceived with ten Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESP) installed in dummy wells in three different subsea artificial lift manifolds (ALM) in water depths around 2000m.

In 2018, the first Mudline Pump (MLP) was installed in the BC10 field. The MLP was conceived to be fully compatible with the existing infrastructure and replaced one of the existing seabed Module of Boost (MOBOs) in the Argonauta O-North field.

Argonauta O-North has heavy crude oil and forms tight water-in-oil emulsion. Another challenge in this field is frequent flow instability causing abrupt variations of the Gas Volume Fraction (GVF) at the ALM inlet.

The MLP was commissioned and started up in November of 2018. The initial weeks of operation were marked by frequent trips caused mainly by a non-optimized controller combined with excessive flow transients generated in the flowlines and risers, and lack of understanding of the interaction between the pump and the seafloor flowline, manifold system and production riser.

The main results of the work performed in the first year of MLP operation were to significantly reduce the number of trips, and to optimize MLP oil production.

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