ESPs drive long-distance fluid transfer at BC-10

Baker Hughes has installed Centrilift XP electrical submersible pumping systems in six vertical subsea boosting stations on the seafloor at Shell’s Parque das Conchas (BC-10) Field offshore Brazil.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON -- Baker Hughes has installed Centrilift XP electrical submersible pumping systems in six vertical subsea boosting stations on the seafloor at Shell’s Parque das Conchas (BC-10) Field offshore Brazil. 

The ESP systems – stationed 5 mi (8 km) from the FPSO offloading (FPSO) facility in 5,250-6,250 ft (1,600-1,905 m) of water – are designed to boost up to 100,000 b/d of fluid, which is the FPSO’s maximum capacity. 

Baker Hughes won the contract for the enhanced run life systems, engineering design and qualification and testing services for this project in 2007. The systems are designed to address the challenge of boosting liquids 5 mi (8 km) to the FPSO and then around 5,000 ft (1,524 m) to the surface. 

BC-10 delivered first oil last July 2009, the wells flowing naturally. Production via the vertical subsea stations started in November. 

The development comprises the Ostra, Argonauta and Abalone fields. Ostra and Argonauta employ the seabed vertical boosting systems and each required a different configuration. For Ostra, the caisson design incorporates a gas line to separate gas and fluids prior to the fluids entering the ESP system. The boosting systems at the Argonauta Field do not include gas separation, so the ESP systems are designed to handle over 40% of gas entrained in the fluids. 

According to Baker Hughes, the ESP design considerations included temperature cycling, rapid gas decompression, high-horsepower lift requirements, and high-fluid volumes. 

To address these issues, the company applied a newly developed pump to handle the fluid volumes with the required high differential pressure; a Centrilift XP high-horsepower motor for enhanced reliability; and a re-designed seal to withstand rapid gas decompression and high thrust forces from the pump. 

05/05/2010

More in Subsea