Subsea technology to lead environmentally friendly production

Finding and developing new fields in an environmentally friendly way is important to meet future supply needs, and technology will be the key, said Peter D. Kinnear, president and CEO of FMC Technologies Inc. USA, to an audience at ONS on Thursday, Aug. 28.

Offshore staff

STAVANGER, Norway -- Finding and developing new fields in an environmentally friendly way is important to meet future supply needs, and technology will be the key, said Peter D. Kinnear, president and CEO of FMC Technologies Inc. USA, to an audience at ONS on Thursday, Aug. 28.

A common theme at ONS this week has been dealing with the challenge of reducing harmful emissions from fossil fuels, and Kinnear suggests that subsea technology will have an impact on reducing these.

"Some of the upstream challenges the industry faces today are: understanding the reservoir, accessing the formation, and producing hydrocarbons in a safe and environmentally friendly way."

Deepwater development challenges include visualizing and accessing subsalt formations, HP/HT wells, fluid composition, and flow assurance, Kinnear explains. Deepwater operators are showing increasing interest in subsea processing, which can increase oil recovery and mitigate topside capacity constraints, he says.

Subsea compression also is advancing. It has a much lower capex compared to doing it from a conventional gas production and compression platform, Kinnear says. The Shtokman field in the Barents Sea is expected to consider using this technology.

All electric subsea production is another advancing technology with increasing operator interest, Kinnear explains. It is environmentally friendly, viable for long distance tiebacks, and improves communication from the well.

Other subsea technology being developed by FMC includes wireline/coil tubing intervention with a monohull DP vessel. This re-circulates the hydrocarbons back into the well. Also under development is FMC's method of using existing wells to drill into new reservoirs. This will be used by StatoilHydro in 2009.

08/28/2008

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