The paper summarises a conceptual study carried out by AGIP for the development of offshore marginal heavy oil fields in the Adriatic sea (Italy).

On the basis of this study a comprehensive R&D programme was started, in order to validate the innovative technologies proposed.

The considered field size, with OOIP in the order of 80-140 million of ST bbl and the quality of the oil with a gravity around or less than 10° API, makes the conventional production schemes economically non viable.

The paper discusses some alternative development schemes based on the following innovative technologies.

  1. Fluidification and transportation of heavy oils via oil-water dispersion;

  2. Artificial lift of heavy oils with jet pump by using water as motive fluid;

  3. Multiphase pumping of the produced oil-water emulsion, from platform to shore;

  4. Light, reusable, unmanned platform.

A comparison of the principal economic indicators of the innovative proposed solutions versus the traditional ones is presented.

The new production schemes allow development of offshore heavy oil fields with costs saving of as much as 30 %.

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