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Schlumberger CEO: boost subsea recovery

Friday, November 29, 2013

Doubling subsea recovery rate, to the same as typical platform recovery rates, could mean a 10 per cent increase in global oil reserves, says Schlumberger's CEO

''Recovery rates from subsea developments are often less than half of what we see from conventional topside developments,'' said Paal Kibsgaard, CEO of Schlumberger, speaking at the Trondheim Integrated Operations conference in September 24-25.

So if deepwater reserves are 10 per cent of all oil reserves, then by doubling subsea recovery you could increase global oil reserves by 10 per cent, he said.

''We estimate that over 200 new deepwater subsea fields will come online in the next 4 years. By 2020 there will be more than 11,000 subsea wells in operation worldwide,'' he said.

But ''most of these subsea developments are today faced with significant challenges, including high development costs and complex production dynamics,'' he said.

''The current development approach and the subsea technologies available today have technical and commercial limitations.

The result is that factors such as wax, scale, lack of gas handling or water handling capacities, and insufficient pressure support, ultimately limit the recovery rates of subsea developments leaving them in general significantly short of their potential,'' he said.

''We believe that the key to unlocking the recovery potential of subsea developments to design and optimise the entire subsea production system from reservoir pore space through the well completion and subsea processing system all the way to the export point.''

''This represents a significant technical challenge and requires a broad scientific platform and willingness to engage.''

''Total subsea system optimisation can only start with a deep understanding of the subsea and ability to predict production over the lifetime of the reservoir.''

''The next step is to create an intelligent and flexible production system which includes both the well and a complete subsea processing plant

''Here, intelligent completions where the production from each reservoir zone can be measured and controlled remotely, will be critical to help improve production and recovery rates.''

''As offshore developments go deeper and reservoir conditions become more complex the industry can no longer continue to rely on topside facilities to provide the necessarily processing.

''There will require more sophisticated in-well ESPs (electrical submersible pumps), multiphase boosting and subsea re-injection capability.''

''One of the motivations behind our recent One Subsea venture with Cameron - to develop the full range of these capabilities to help the E&P companies achieve a step change in their subsea developments.''

Associated Companies
» Schlumberger
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