Technology Focus: Deepwater Projects (May 2013)
- Jacques Braile Salies (Queiroz Galvao Exploration and Production)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- May 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 86 - 86
- 2013. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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Last year, I wrote my Technology Focus on innovation and commented on all the wonders and innovations of the Cascade and Chinook fields in the Gulf of Mexico. One year later, I had the pleasure of seeing an announcement for the semisubmersible hull destined for the Jack/St. Malo project leaving a South Korean shipyard for another in Texas. Once completed, the floating production unit (FPU) will be installed in the Jack/St. Malo field, allowing for a total production of 177,000 B/D at 2100 m of water depth. Startup is planned for 2014. Even though Jack/St. Malo and Cascade and Chinook have different concepts—semisubmersibles vs. floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessels—both have in common subsea development tied back to the FPU or FPSO. I strongly believe that the lessons learned from those fantastic deepwater projects will be paving the way for a lot more development of the Tertiary play in the Gulf of Mexico.
For a clever engineer, one of the great opportunities to learn is a case study of a field after many years of production with its lessons learned for future field development. The first paper I chose is a case study of the Mensa field, a deepwater gas producer in the Gulf of Mexico. Just to spark your curiosity, I will write one of the conclusions: Be flexible; phase development may be the only and best option sometimes.
Going now to the other side of the word, we have a dedicated paper for drillers, showing many lessons learned and how to be successful while drilling in deep water in a new environment. Remember, drilling and completion contribute to more than 50% of the cost of any development today.
To recover all the money invested in a deepwater project, the wells must produce at their maximum possible rates, maximizing and accelerating recoveries. How can one achieve this? Some of the techniques are found in one of the recommended papers, about stimulation in the wells of the Gulf of Mexico.
Subsea development and flow assurance are inseparable. To be successful in a deepwater subsea environment requires strong flow-assurance planning and execution. This can be seen in the “Subsea Who Dat Project” paper.
For the drillers again, do not miss the additional reading on dual-gradient drilling and managed-pressure cementing. There is no more easy oil. As a consequence, there are no more easy wells. For drilling in deeper and deeper waters, managed-pressure drilling and dual-gradient drilling may be the only solutions. Be ready, and enjoy your reading.
Recommended additional reading at OnePetro: www.onepetro.org.
OTC 23430 Jubilee Project Overview by Dennis McLaughlin, Kosmos Energy (See JPT, October 2012, Page 102.)
SPE 153504 Hydrate Inhibition—Optimization in Deepwater Field by Gaurav Gupta, Reliance Industries, et al.
SPE/IADC 164561 Successful Application of Deepwater Dual-Gradient Drilling by Robert Ziegler, Petronas, et al.
SPE/IADC 163426 Innovative Managed-Pressure-Cementing Operations in Deepwater and Deep Well Conditions by Youssef Elmarsafawi, Schlumberger, et al.
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