With the continuing increase in marginal field developments particularly in the North Sea, the pressure continues to minimise costs. There has pressure continues to minimise costs. There has been a continuous trend towards unmanned facilities to capitalise on reduced operating and first costs.
This article reviews the current remote processing facilities utilised offshore with processing facilities utilised offshore with particular emphasis on subsea hardware, process particular emphasis on subsea hardware, process and utility equipment and control and communication systems.
The key element to the further use of unmanned systems is the reliability of process equipment. This article analyses the reliability of process and utility systems utilised in offshore oil and gas processing and projects future unmanned facilities scenarios. projects future unmanned facilities scenarios
In todays difficult economic climate the pressure continues to minimise field development pressure continues to minimise field development costs. Future developments will vary between shallow water gas fields near to existing facilities to deep water oil production in harsh environments. Economic solutions are likely to be very different for different developments. However, remote processing of the reservoir fluids is a common theme which will find more extensive application.
Southern North Sea gas field developments are likely to consider unmanned facilities as a means of reducing costs. However, in deep water fields subsea developments are more likely to be the economic choice. Selection will undoubtedly be made on the basis of comprehensive cost/benefit analyses.
A balance must be achieved between potential capital and operating cost savings for unmanned and subsea developments with the potential additional maintenance costs. In addition, due consideration must be given to cost penalties associates with a reduction in revenue caused by reduced availability of the remote facilities, primarily due to increases maintenance periods. primarily due to increases maintenance periods. This article reviews the current status of remote developments and highlights our experience. In addition the selection criteria for typical fields are developed. Potential future processing options are proposed ana conclusions are made on the most likely candidates for future development.
Significant savings in capital and operating costs can be made by the exclusion of personnel and the associated life support systems. In the North Sea, fifteen unmanned platforms are operating satisfactorily while a further three facilities are currently in different stages of development (Tables 1 and 2). Generally unmanned facilities nave been utilised as a satellite(s) to a central processing facility or within a practical processing facility or within a practical distance from an existing maintenance network. Essentially wellhead type platforms with minimal processing and hence platforms with minimal processing and hence utility requirements have been preferred to minimise maintenance requirements and ensure high facility availability.