Having enjoyed considerable sucess with its high technology Central Cormorant Underwater Manifold Centre, Shell Expro has directed its attention towards simpler, low technical cost systems which can be applied to ‘fast track’ development of marginal prospects. One method of achieving these objectives is to utilise Xmas tree manufacturing techniques and resources, to provide solid block forged manifolds with suitable bores and end outlets to facilitate connection of cluster wells and transport pipelines. This Shell Expro concept, involving assembly, rather than fabrication processes, to construct the manifold and requiring minimal land testing, was developed by Cameron Offshore Engineering, and has been adopted as the basis for the eleven Well Osprey Development.
In its original form, the concept was a stack up of solid block forgings serving as production, injection and pigging manifolds, mounted on a single base. However as Shell Expro developed this approach, it was realised that significant operational advantages could be gained by separating the oil and water systems into two separate clusters, located within the span of a drilling / installation vessel's anchor pattern, but allowing (through repositioning of the rig within the same anchor pattern) concurrent sea bed operations to be carried out at each cluster.
Detailed design and manufacture of this system is now being undertaken by Cameron Iron Works for Shell Expro, with installation planned for spring and summer 1990.