Commentary, 5/6 2011

Published Aug 15, 2011
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Edit page New page Hide edit links

Cover, 5/6 2011

Ever Deeper

As oil prospecting developed into an industry in the latter half of the nineteenth century, drilling in coastal fresh and salt waters was performed by means of landfill or piers, eventually making use of barges. But it wasn’t until the late 1940s that the oil industry truly moved offshore, drilling out of the sight of land in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana’s coast.

And as exploration moved offshore, subsea technology moved forward hand-in-hand as innovations were developed to meet the challenges posed by the move to deeper waters.

Although the first subsea completion took place the early 1940s in the shallow waters of Lake Erie was the installation of a land tree performed by divers, it was the 1960s that saw subsea technology begin to specialise and diverge from onshore technologies.

As the industry moved further offshore into deeper and deeper waters, innovative technologies have been developed and proven to facilitate subsea fields. And by the end of the twentieth century, subsea technologies had begun to move beyond trees and divers, as the industry sought to development and test technologies that would make it possible to move more equipment from the platform to the seabed.

In many ways, the North Sea has proven to be a cradle for subsea innovation. Adapting to the challenges posed in this oil province has sparked new ways of thinking that have directly led to solutions. And these solutions have in turn been applied to meet challenges throughout the world.

In the last decade we’ve seen developments such as multiphase pumps and flow meters as well as water and sand separation successfully qualified for subsea use. All the while, we’ve seen incremental improvements in trees, manifolds and pipeline systems.

Technology convergence has also been a key factor in many of these improvements that have made subsea equipment more than just heavy equipment resting on the seabed. Advanced electronics – even satellite technologies – have made remote, real-time monitoring and control a reality.

And subsea compression is just around the corner, thanks to Aker Solutions and Statoil, with their plans to install the world’s first subsea gas-compression facility at the Åsgard field in the Norwegian Sea.

The list of successful implementation of and possible new technologies for subsea application is long.

And there’s a long list of developers based in the North Sea oil province who’ve contributed to a wealth of subsea innovation. In addition to striving to bring reliable, safe equipment to the market, a major goal has been the improvement of subsea recovery rates. And pursuit of that goal has seen dramatic results over the last decade.

A year ago, Scandinavian Oil-Gas Magazine sat with Tore Halvorsen, FMC Technologies’ Senior Vice President, Global Subsea Production Systems, who spoke about his vision for the future of subsea technology. Halvorsen foresees the possibility for future subsea technology to enable oil and gas to move from seabed to market. Considering the advancements over the last decade, it’s not difficult to share his vision.

How far in the future must we look? Although new technologies take time to be proven and qualified – and it traditionally has taken time to convince operators to accept new technologies – the timeline for significant advances to made and implemented is shrinking.

From seabed to market may come sooner than we think.

Subsea technologies have long enabled operators to develop reserves that could otherwise be impossible to tap. It’s a safe bet to assume that future of subsea will not only meet and overcome the challenges of ever deeper production and provide even more complete production solutions.

Bookmark and Share

Do you have any comments to this articel, please let us now:

Do you have any comments to this articel, please let us know:

Please be civil.

(Use Markdown for formatting.)

This question helps prevent spam:





Mobile News
Mobile news

Our news on
your website


Do you have any
tips to us


sitemap xml