Abstract

In June 975 Hamilton Brothers started production in their Argyll Field in the North Sea. Besides being the first offshore production in the U.K. sector, the project ushered in a new trend — the floating production system. Since that time the interest in the cost, schedule and flexibility of floating production systems has increased dramatically.

This paper will look at the advantages of a floating system over a fixed platform concept, and survey where installations have been made. platform concept, and survey where installations have been made. Comparisons will be made between the various types of installations, and concepts for the future will be reviewed.

Introduction

The Offshore Industry is looking more and more into techniques that will be used to economically develop the smaller fields lying beneath deeper, more remote seas around the world. The industry uses many terms in an attempt to label this exercise such as:

  • Marginal field development

  • Early completion

  • Quick deployment techniques

  • Floating production facilities

All of these terms suggest development techniques that diverge from the traditional concept of fixed steel platforms. The terms also cover a vast range of novel, and now not so navel, techniques from subsea completions all the way through tanker transport.

This paper will attempt to narrow the discussion a bit to the topic of floating production facilities with a slant toward their applicability to early completion and marginal field development.

We will examine why a floating system is considered in the first place, look at current installations, compare the different floating production systems and look at the future developments and applications.

A field which is developed using floating production system has five major components that can be broadly classified as:

  • Wellheads (surface and subsea)

  • Subsea flowlines and control lines

  • miser system

  • Production/storage system (including anchorage)

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