This paper elucidates the importance of flow assurance transient multiphase modelling to ensure uninterrupted late life productions. This is discussed in details through the case study of shut-in and restart scenarios of a subsea gas well (namely Well A) located in South China Sea region. There were two wells (Well A and Well B) producing steadily prior to asset shut-in, as a requirement for subsea pipeline maintenance works. However, it was found that Well A failed to restart while Well B successfully resumed production after the pipeline maintenance works. Flow assurance team is called in order to understand the root cause of the failed re-start of Well A to avoid similar failure for Well B and other wells in this region.

Through failure analysis of Well A, key root cause is identified and associated operating strategy is proposed for use for Well B, which is producing through the same subsea infrastructure. Transient multiphase flow assurance model including subsea Well A, subsea Well B, associated spools, subsea pipeline and subsea riser is developed and fully benchmarked against field data to ensure realistic thermohydraulics representations of the actual asset. Simulation result shows failed restart of Well A and successful restart of Well B, which fully matched with field observations.

Further analysis reveals that liquid column accumulated within the wellbore of Well A associates with extra hydrostatic head which caused failed well restart. Through a series of sensitivity analysis, the possibility of successful Well A restart is investigated by manipulating topsides back pressure settings and production flowrates prior to shut-in. These serve as a methodology to systematically analyze such transient scenario and to provide basis for field operating strategy.

The analysis and strategy proposed through detailed modelling and simulation serves as valuable guidance for Well B, should shut-in and restart operation is required. This study shows the importance of modelling prior to late life field operations, in order to avoid similar failed well restart, which causes significant production and financial impacts.

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