Operating Multiphase Helicoaxial Pumps in Series To Develop a Satellite Oil Field in a Remote Desert Location
- Hisham N.H. Saadawi (Abu Dhabi Co. Onshore Oil Opn.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Projects, Facilities & Construction
- Publication Date
- June 2008
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1 - 6
- 2008. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 7.4.5 Future of energy/oil and gas, 5.4.6 Thermal Methods, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.1.7 Electrical Systems, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 4.6 Natural Gas, 5.1.2 Faults and Fracture Characterisation, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.6 Drilling Operations
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Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) has recently developed one of its satellite oil fields. The field is located in a remote desert location onshore the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The development concept is based on multiphase pumping and the entire field was developed using multiphase pumps.
Two helicoaxial pumps are used to pump 10,000 B/D of crude oil with associated gas and produced water to the host facilities in a nearby field some 30 km away. The pumps are installed in series. The pumps were commissioned successfully in 2006 and have been operating since then.
Huwaila field is the first and only oil field in the world where two multiphase helicoaxial pumps are operated in series. This paper describes the design, testing, and operational aspects of this unique experience.
ADCO is the major oil and gas producer in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The company is responsible for the exploration, production, and field processing of oil and gas in the onshore areas and shallow waters of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
In comparison to other oil fields in Abu Dhabi, Huwaila field is a relatively small satellite field (Fig. 1). The field was discovered in 1965. In Huwaila, the only oil bearing reservoir is the Shuaiba formation. It is a lower cretaceous carbonate formation. The first well drilled was Hw-44. The nearest host facilities is a remote gathering centre RDS-3 in the near by Bu Hasa Field. Phase I for the development of Huwaila called for the well to be produced to RDS-3 using a twin screw multiphase pump. This experience was discussed in a previous SPE paper (Saadawi and Al Olama 2003). The twin screw pump operated for almost 4 years, achieving a very high degree of reliability.
The full field development plan for Huwaila included the drilling of an additional three wells to increase the field production. The following are the key design parameters for the full-field development plan:
- Plateau oil production rate: 10,000 B/D.
- Peak oil production rate: 12,000 B/D.
- GOR = 567 scf/bbl
- Water cut: up to 52%.
A schematic of the field surface facilities of the field is given in Fig. 2. There are several technologies involved in multiphase pumping (Scott 2003). The two predominant technologies are twin screw and helicoaxial types. The flow requirements for the development of Huwaila field could be met by either type of multiphase pumps. Both twin screw pump vendors and helicoaxial pump vendors were invited to tender for Huwaila projects. Both twin screw pump and helicoaxial pumps were considered for the Huwaila project. A helicoaxial pump was selected because of its unique characteristics. These characteristics will be discussed in the next section.
Performance of a Helicoaxial Pump
The multiphase helicoaxial pump is a rotodynamic pump based on the so called "Poseidon Technology?? (Lafaille 1990). The aim of the Poseidon research project was to develop a subsea multiphase production system. A multiphase pump was obviously a main component of a subsea multiphase production system. The work to develop a rotodynamic-type multiphase pump was carried out by IFP.
The helicoaxial multiphase pump is a multistage machine. In case of Huwaila, the selected pump had 11 stages. Each stage or cell is comprised of a rotating element and a stationary part. The rotating element is the impeller where the kinetic energy is added from the impeller to the fluids to accelerate the flow in an axial direction. The multiphase flow then enters the stationary part, which is the diffuser. As the multiphase flow is decelerated in the stationary diffuser, the kinetic energy is transformed into a static head.
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Lafaille, A. 1990. Poseidon: The Multiphase Boosting andTransportation Technology Now Reaching the Preindustrial Stage. Paper SPE20974 presented at Europec 90, The Hague, 21-24 October. DOI:10.2118/20974-MS.
Saadawi, H. and Al Olama, S. 2003. Application of Multiphase Pumps in aRemote Oil Field Onshore Abu Dhabi. Paper SPE 81504 presented at the SPEMiddle East Oil Show, Bahrain, 9-12 June. DOI: 10.2118/81504-MS.
Scott, Stuart L. 2003. Multiphase Pumping Addresses a Wide Range ofOperating Problems. Oil & Gas Journal 101 (37): 59-71.
Streeter, L.V. and Wylie, E.B. 1975. Fluid Mechanics. New York:McGraw-Hill.