Deepwater future is in subsea

The future of deepwater is subsea, Joel Fort of Total told Deep Offshore Technology conference attendees at the closing ceremony on Nov. 21 in Marseille, France.

The future of deepwater is subsea, Joel Fort of Total told Deep Offshore Technology conference attendees at the closing ceremony on Nov. 21 in Marseille, France.

Fort cited figures from a Douglas Westwood presentation that project deepwater output to triple from 2.4 MMb/d to 8 MMb/d by 2018. Processing that production can be done less expensively subsea, he said, citing a Petrobras presentation, so subsea processing will likely be a large part of deepwater's future.

"The future is wet. In other words, more subsea trees," he said.

The technology is now available to produce from 2,000 m water depth, and solutions will soon be available for producing in 3,000 m water depth, he added. Given that drillers recently worked in over 10,000 ft, it's time to think about when finds at those depths can be produced.

"Perhaps this is THE question for the next DOT," Fort said Mike Weill, president of operations and technology, Americas/Australia, BHP Billiton, and Thibaut Huyghues Despointes, E&P R/D manager, Total, both urged a close cooperation between operators and contractors. Weill said the current assignment of high levels of risk to contractors cannot be sustained.

"We need to move away from beating one another up," he said.

Despointes agreed, urging both sides to combine interests.

Almost 1,700 people attended the show, and more than 20 countries were represented. Over 100 papers were presented.

Chris Barton, vice president and group publisher, PennWell, awarded three presenters with top honors.

Honors were:

Best presentation to Jose Fernando Nicodemos, Petroleo Brasileiro, for his presentation on "Exploitation of Heavy Oil Field in Deepwater – New Concepts"
Best technical content went to R. E. Sandstrom, ExxonMobil, for "Advances in Prediction of VIV on Spar Hulls."

Best young author went to Severine Baudic, SBM IMODCO Inc., for "Past Experience and Present Tools in Designing FPSP Moorings."

Total, which hosted the 2003 event, turned the torch over to BHP Billiton, sponsor of DOT 2004 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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