Sie sind auf Seite 1von 12

Growth sectors

Deep offshore

A technological and human adventure

D e e p o f f s h o r e l E x ploration & Pr o duc tion l No v em b er 2 0 11

A flagship industrial adventure

In the face of the worlds growing demand for hydrocarbons, the oil and gas industry set out to conquer the deep offshore, an extraordinary industrial adventure in a context that until recently had remained beyond its grasp.

he deep offshore is believed to harbor some 5% of the worlds oil and gas resources. In some regions of the globe (West Africa, North America and South America), deepwater reservoirs account for more than 75% of the productible volumes discovered in recent years. First undertaken in the 1980s, deepwater exploration began to pay off in the early years of this century. Since that time, the production of oil from deep offshore reservoirs has increased steadily. By 2015, it is projected to reach 10 million barrels per day (Mb/d), equivalent to 10% of global oil output.

tely in an ordinary pipeline. Solutions had to be found to prevent the oil from cooling and ensure its fluidity over the thousands of meters it must travel to reach the surface. Through its twenty years of experience, Total has successfully developed game-changing technologies tailored to these conditions. While the focus today has shifted to optimizing project economics, raising recovery factors and preparing for the aging of its facilities, the Groups expertise is also driving it to invest in new deposits even more difficult to access or containing particularly complex oils. Limiting the environmental footprint: a priority Environmental performance is a priorty over the entire life cycle of every deep-water project. Regular monitoring and audits are carried out to guarantee strict compliance with the most stringent standards for produced water discharge. Efforts to curb greenhouse gas emisions are served by optimizing the energy efficiency of FPSOs and recovering oifield associated gas (for liquefaction or reinjection)

Overcoming numerous challenges The main challenges to deepwater production relate to the extreme conditions of the abyssal environment: cold: the ambient temperature is around 4C pressure: increases by 1 bar for every10 m of depth, meaning 150 bar at a water depth of 1,500 meters a force equivalent to 6 tons exerted on a surface area the size of a credit card. In this context, crude oil would congeal immedia-

Dalia field development scheme, Block 17, Angola.

The unsuspected diversity of deepwater ecosystems Before the oil industry began to focus on the deep offshore, little was known about life in the abyss. Total teamed up with experts on marine life to carry out an inventory of these unique ecosystems, which have proved to consist of much more abundant and varied species than anyone had ever imagined.

Preventing hydrate formation A hydrate is a crystal solid with a structure similar to ice. Hydrocarbons form hydrates with water in conditions of low temperature and high pressure precisely the environment encountered in the ocean deeps. Hydrate blocks are liable to plug production lines and therefore constitute a major risk. For this reason, preventing hydrate formation has been one of the major thrusts of deepwater research.

D e e p o f f s h o r e l E x ploration & Pr o duc tion l No v em b er 2 0 11

Total, a world-class player

Total, already renowned for its pioneering role in deepwater development, is pursuing an ambitious exploration strategy to consolidate its position in this sector. By 2012, the Group will be the leading deep offshore operator in West Africa and the first to monetize the deepwater gas resources of the North Sea.

By 2012, the Group will be the leading deep offshore operator in West Africa.

otal has earned its place in oil-industry history as a deepwater pioneer. As early as 1982, the Group achieved a deep offshore feat in the Mediterranean with the successful drilling of the first experimental well under 1,714 meters of water. But the true showcase for Totals innovative prowess has been the Gulf of Guinea. First oil on the Girassol field was achieved in 2001 just six years after discovery. The conquest of the deep offshore had begun. Since then, there has been no turning back. Totals record of achievement has earned the Group operatorship on twelve developments cur-

rently in production, under construction or under study in the deepwater sectors of the Gulf of Guinea (Angola, Congo, Nigeria) and the North Sea. A decade of technological innovation Deepwater operations have come to symbolize Totals capacity for innovation. With each new project, the Groups R&D teams manage to invent solutions to overcome increasingly stringent constraints. For the Girassol project in 2001, for example, Total invented a new riser concept which consisted of housing all the riser pipes within three

1.5-meter-diameter towers, 1,250m tall. In 2006, innovation centered on the flexible Integrated Production Bundle (IPB) risers for Dalia. These behemoths measure 1,650m in length and 60cm in diameter. They incorporate innovative technologies that make feasible the production of the fields viscous oil. In late 2011, this time on the huge Pazflor project in Angolas deepwater acreage, Total became the first in the world to implement subsea separation of gas and liquids (oil + water) under 800 m of water. This step-change in technology resolves the challenge of producing the heavy, viscous oils of three out of the permits four fields

D e e p o f f s h o r e l E x ploration & Pr o duc tion l No v em b er 2 0 11

Deepwater know-how

Installation of flexible pipes on the seabed for the Dalia Project.

hen the colossal oilfields and unsuspected potential of West Africas deep offshore acreage were discovered in the late 1990s, virtually everything had to be invented from scratch to permit access to these deepwater reserves. Some of the greatest challenges were to understand the reservoirs, define suitable drilling techniques and well design, qualify subsea production systems, and develop tools for learning about and preserving abyssal ecosystems. Since those early discoveries, sprawling subsea networks have been installed in waters more than 1,000 m deep a feat driven by a powerful innovation machine and a series of technological breakthroughs. Through its large-scale projects off the coasts of Angola, Congo and Nigeria, Total has pursued a bold industrial strategy while keeping its sights set firmly on safety and the environment.

D e e p o f f s h o r e l E x ploration & Pr o duc tion l No v em b er 2 0 11

Mapping complex geologies


A key factor in Totals success in the deep offshore has been its understanding of turbidite reservoirs the complex, heterogeneous sedimentary systems specific to the deepwater environment. The Group is applying cutting-edge tools of geophysics to enhance the reliability of its geological models.
ost deepwater reservoirs are a type of formation known as turbidite deposits. When Total discovered Girassol in 1995, little was known about these systems, which thus became a major research focus for the Groups geoscientists. A large-scale study program called ZaiAngo (for Zaire, Angola and Congo) was conducted jointly by Total and the French oceanographic institute Ifremer from 1998 to 2001. Its series of nine surveys in water depths from 500 to 5,000 m revealed the submarine fan of the Congo River. This huge system spreads over an estimated 300,000 km, of which some 200,000 km of the total area was successfully mapped. The ZaiAngo program provided an under- standing of modern sediment deposition phenomena and a basis for developing reliable models applicable to similar Tertiary reservoirs, the targets for oil production.

The challenge of subsalt imaging In many areas, the sedimentary systems that contain hydrocarbons are covered over by enormous dome-shaped salt bodies that act as a barrier and scatter the seismic waves normally used to build an image of the subsurface. To overcome this difficulty, Total opted for a new-generation acquisition technology called Wide Azimuth Towed Streamers (WATS) to illuminate the geology of Block 32 (Angola), which is deformed by numerous salt bodies. By combining the shots of a given point taken along various azimuths (directions), this mobile set-up the largest mobile structure in the world revealed geologic structures that had formerly been hidden. The data set from this acquisition was processed by Totals experts and the result was a subsurface image that provided a much more reliable depiction of geologic reality

A WATS seismic acquired on Block 32, Angola.

Continental slope, Gulf of Guinea (cross-section)

Promising new reservoirs In addition to being in the forefront of expertise in turbidite reservoirs, Total is working on identifying other geological structures liable to contain large accumulations of oil and/or gas: microbiolite reservoirs : formed by microbes in shallow water depths, these microbial carbonates have gradually become buried as a result of tectonic movements; stratigraphic traps: these reservoirs are the result of lateral changes in rock permeability and porosity. For example, oil and gas can become trapped when a porous, permeable reservoir rock (sandstone) transitions to an impermeable seal (shale).

The complex architecture of turbidite reservoirs Turbidite reservoirs form when sediments accumulate at the mouth of major rivers or alluvial systems. This buildup periodically triggers subsea landslides, whose recurrence eventually leads to the formation of vast sedimentary bodies that contain numerous sandstone reservoirs. Such submarine avalanches transport sediments over hundreds of kilometers into the deep ocean plain, where they are deposited in large lobe-shaped expanses.

D e e p o f f s h o r e l E x ploration & Pr o duc tion l No v em b er 2 0 11

Optimizing production

The challenging constraints of the deepwater context coupled with the high cost of the related infrastructure call for ever-greater optimization of production. Total deploys a variety of development schemes designed to ensure high well productivity and efficient transport of the fluids to the surface.

o be economically viable, deep-water developments require fine-tuned management of drilling operations, due to their extremely high cost. The number of wells must therefore be kept to a minimum while achieving maximum productivity up to 40,000 barrels/day (b/d) in each one. To optimize recovery from the reservoirs, drilling long horizontal (or sharply deviated) wells is imperative. Well path design and drilling operations are crucial and demand extensive integration of geological and drilling expertise. Sismage makes such integration possible. This seismic interpretation tool developed in-house by Total is unmatched in the world. Its performance is enhanced by its additional modules, Well Design (which designs and checks the technical feasibility of well trajectories) and Geosteering (for real-time optimization of borehole trajectories according to the geological layers encountered).

low temperatures, high pressures, and poorly consolidated reservoirs can all lead to blockages in production lines. To find solutions, Total has developed a veritable center of excellence that pools the complementary expertise of physicists, chemists and equipment designers. Innovations that have come out of this collaborative effort include Leda Flow, a new calculation code for multiphase flows; and hydrate prevention solutions such as Spaceloft, a new-generation insulating material originally developed for astronauts spacesuits. Enhancing the performance of floating production vessels The FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) concept was developed for deepwater sites distant from existing export networks. These floaters are equipped onboard with all the facilities required for operations such as processing, storage and export of the production. For the past ten years, Total has contributed to the continual design optimization of these giants to improve their operational flexibility and mechanical strength

Latest-generation drillships The drilling rigs used for deepwater development are actually large ships with the capacity to bear the weight of very long risers. The most recent drillships can work in water depths of more than 3,000 meters. Moreover, the new-generation vessels are generally equipped with a double derrick, which cuts drilling time by 10 to 20% depending on the phase of operations. The Pride Africa and Pride Angola, built in 1999 and 2000 respectively, were the first drillships that Total deployed to Angolas deepwater zone. In 2010, these two vessels received additional support from the Saipem 12000.

Flow assurance Keeping the fluids flowing is one of the most critical challenges of the deepwater context, where


Usan FPSO float-out ceremony in Ulsan, South Korea.

Gigantic production installations The FPSO vessels that Total operates in the Gulf of Guinea are among the largest in the world:  The hull can be more than 300m long and 60m wide, and contains immense oil storage tanks (and other equipment), with capacity on the order of 2Mb. Their decks support hundreds of tons of topsides: operational systems and living quarters for the personnel; They have production capacity of up to 240,000b/d.

Pazflors sprawling subsea production and injection network comprises almost 260km of pipelines and umbilicals.

D e e p o f f s h o r e l E x ploration & Pr o duc tion l No v em b er 2 0 11

Preserving marine biodiversity


Protecting ecosystems effectively from any potential impacts of production operations requires an awareness of the species involved. For this reason, Total is involved in study programs dedicated to advancing knowledge of abyssal life.

hat types of species inhabit the ocean deeps? In the late 1990s, no one yet could answer that question. Total played a role in discovering these life forms via the BioZaire study project launched in partnership with the French oceanographic research institute Ifremer in 1999. This project was dedicated to abyssal (or benthic) ecosystems off the coast of Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo). The study has continued based on data gathered in 2008 by the environmental component of the ERIG 3D (Evaluation of Risks and Geohazards in 3D) project carried out in the vicinity of the Usan site (Nigeria). Here, the aims are to broaden the inventory of benthic fauna and characterize the geology and geochemical nature of the habitats of this zone.

operations. In June 2010, the Group undertook a large-scale environmental monitoring campaign off the coast of the Republic of the Congo to assess the effectiveness of various innovative means of evaluating deep-sea status: analysis of foraminifers, microorganisms (10 to 500 m) that inhabit the sediments of all marine environments; passive sensors designed to detect target substances even at very low concentrations; biomarkers, as indicators of the toxic effects of one or more contaminants; ecotoxicology testing by tracking the development of oyster larvae cultivated in sediment taken from the site. By conducting a baseline inventory of all environmental parameters before beginning work on any project, Total is determined to ensure optimal protection of the biodiversity near its operating facilities. This effort remains consistent from the start of drilling through the complete dismantling of the production facilities


Life in the ocean deeps

Beneath more than 3,000 meters of water, abundant species diversity thrives in subsea oases vast fields of yellow and white bivalves; bushes of giant tubeworms more than 2m tall harboring clouds of white shrimps; tentacular sea anemones; purple holothurians, and more. At these depths, there is no light and therefore no photosynthesis; temperatures are around 4C and hydrostatic pressure can be as high as 400 bar. In this environment, life depends on the cold, methane-laden natural fluids that erupt from the sea floor.

THE latest in environmental monitoring Total complies with the most stringent international regulations and innovates to keep close track of the environmental performance of its offshore

Aerial view of the platforms used during the NKossa (Congo) monitoring campaign.

D e e p o f f s h o r e l E x ploration & Pr o duc tion l No v em b er 2 0 11

Sustainable production of all types of reservoir

I n n o v a t i o n AN D p e r f o r m a n c e

In Nigeria, Akpos specific development scheme allows for the recovery of gas-rich condensates.

lthough the major technological barriers to deepwater development have now been overcome, its cost is still of an entirely different order from that of conventional offshore production. Innovation remains the key to optimizing project economics as well as to permitting cost-effective development of smaller accumulations or reservoirs containing more difficult oils. Innovation is also vital for increasing the recovery factors of deep offshore reservoirs and for extending the service life of facilities and ensuring their long-term reliability. These economic imperatives go hand in hand with Totals determined commitment to develop deepwater resources responsibly by managing risks and limiting the environmental footprint of its developments.

D e e p o f f s h o r e l E x ploration & Pr o duc tion l No v em b er 2 0 11

Solutions for long distances

I n n o v a t i o n AN D p e r f o r m a n c e

The main challenge ahead for deepwater development is producing small, isolated accumulations that are sometimes far from the coast. Totals R&D teams are currently evaluating several possible solutions to accommodate subsea transport distances of 100 kilometers or more, safely and cost-effectively.
he key to deepwater production is mastering multiphase transport in low-temperature, high-pressure conditions. Despite the proven effectiveness of the conventional production loop configuration with thermal insulation of the pipelines, its scope of application remains limited to a radius of about twenty kilometers around the production facilities. For longer distances, other concepts are being evaluated: Hybrid loop: this solution can accommodate longer tie-back distances than a conventional production loop, and is less costly; Heating: a pipe-in-pipe production line is heated by electric trace heating or by circulating heated water. Although this concept is applicable regardless of distance or depth, its energy efficiency is poor; Gas/liquids separation at the riser base: this technological innovation designed especially to improve recovery of highly viscous oils

makes subsea transport feasible over very long distances; Cold export technology: this is the most economical but also the most dar-ing solution. It overcomes all thermal constraints and is limited neither by distance nor by depth. Developing deepwater gas fields Many gas deposits are located hundreds of kilometers from shore. Subsea gas production and transport over such ong distances quickly runs up against the hurdle of gass rapid cooling in subsea pipelines. Subsea processing technologies will prove indispensable for developing these resources economically. Of the various possible development layouts under study, two look especially promising: subseato-shore, which consists of exporting production directly to land, and subsea-to-pipe, which ties the production into an existing export system. Both options entail very long subsea pipelines
An example of subsea-to-shore configuration.

gas/liquids separation at the riser base

Qualifying electric trace heating After weighing the various heating options, Total decided to go with electric trace heating. This technology entails winding electric cables between the two pipes of an insulated pipe-in-pipe line. The Group will be the first to test this solution on part of the subsea gas production system linking the new Islay gas field development in the British North Sea to the subsea gas gathering network already deployed by Total over this area. The qualification phase, carried out under 110m of water, is expected to be followed by a subsequent deployment in deeper water. Cold export Removing most of the water from the hydrocarbons at the wellhead should prevent the formation of large blocks of hydrates. Any hydrates that do form in the production line due to the residual water content will be in the form of small crystals compatible with transport. In addition to being highly economical, this solution will enhance recovery by pairing separation with pumping.

In this concept, a single production line (green line) is paired with a gas/liquids separation step carried out at the riser base. The gas rises naturally to the surface facilities (red lines) while the liquids are boosted by hybrid pumps. Line preservation is provided by depressurizing the production line via the separator and the gas lines.

D e e p o f f s h o r e l E x ploration & Pr o duc tion l No v em b er 2 0 11

Improving recovery and producing difficult oils

I n n o v a t i o n AN D p e r f o r m a n c e

Higher recovery factors and the development of subsea pumping technologies to allow economically viable production of difficult oils are crucial for optimizing deep offshore production.

otal has acquired solid expertise in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). Spearheading the development of these technologies, the Group is achieving a world first with a pilot installation to test polymer-viscosified waterflooding in the deepwater context. This chemical EOR process is designed to enhance the injection waters piston effect on the oil and thus optimize the sweep action in the reservoir. Another strategy for increasing oil recovery is to limit water production, which rises naturally over the producing life of the well. Total is studying an innovative layout based on liquid-liquid separation at the riser base coupled with reinjection of the water into the reservoir. This subsea processing system reduces the quantity of water to be treated aboard the FPSO vessel and improves the recovery factor on mature oil fields.

Artificial lift The Pazflor project in Angola deploys complete artificial lift systems on the seabed combining gas/ liquids separation and pumping modules, on the scale of several reservoirs. This achievement marks a major step forward in the emergence of subsea processing. The Pazflor oil is both viscous and heavy and thus requires artificial lift to reach the surface. The liquids (oil+water) are boosted by innovative hybrid pumps that combine multiphase and centrifugal pump technologies. The trend toward all-electric Total is also studying opportunities for more widespread use of all-electric controls. These offer decisive advantages over hydraulic controls in terms of reliability, speed and environmental safety

The skid-mounted polymer production and injection pilot on the deck of the Dalia FPSO.

The all-electric wellhead on the Total-operated K5F project in the North Sea.

Pazflor, pioneering the use of complete boosting systems on the sea floor.

The advantages of separation In addition to improving oil recovery, subsea separation/artificial lift technology lowers the costs of development significantly: elimination of one production loop whose purpose is to prevent hydrate formation in the pipes, since the gas/liquid separation step automatically ensures line preservation downstream of the separator; overall reduction in the electric power requirements  onboard the FPSO; optimization of well siting, which is no longer constrained by the location of manifolds to collect production from well clusters as in a production loop layout.

The worlds first deepwater pilot for polymer-viscosified waterflooding Total is addressing the challenge of polymer-viscosified waterflooding on Dalia (Angola). Initiated in 2003, three years before the field came onstream, the project illustrates an important aspect of Totals EOR strategy: these technologies are not confined to mature oilfields, but have a role to play in new developments as well. Upon completion of injectivity tests of polymer-viscosified water in 2009, the field pilot was installed on three water injection wells on Camelia, one of the four Dalia reservoirs. If results are on par with expectations, injections of polymerviscosified water will be deployed to the entire Dalia field by around 2015, targeting an 8% increase in reserves over fifteen years.


D e e p o f f s h o r e l E x ploration & Pr o duc tion l No v em b er 2 0 11

Managing aging oil fields and mitigating the risks

I n n o v a t i o n AN D p e r f o r m a n c e

Now is the time to prepare for tomorrows aging deepwater facilities. Reinforcing the safety and reliability of subsea systems will depend on careful monitoring and the development of more effective inspection and repair solutions.

he planned expansion of Totals deep offshore operations will mean more subsea installations and more subsea processing equipment. Whether already onstream or still on the drawing board, these fields are located in inhospitable environments and are designed to produce for twenty years or more. With time, they will require more and more frequent interventions, bearing in mind that any failure will require costly resources and may result in detrimental production shutdowns. To address these challenges, Total has already mobilized the IMR (Inspection, Maintenance, Repair) experts of its deep offshore teams. The stakes are enormous: their job is to develop tools to optimize the operability, reliability and safety of tomorrows mature fields. One of these, an innovative IMR tool called SWIMMER (for Subsea Works Inspection and Maintenance with Minimum Environment ROV), is a significant step forward. It is based on an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) which contains its own Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV), and is designed to spend up to three

months on the sea floor. The AUV has a range of 50km. It is equipped with cameras, measurement instruments and a real-time interface to exchange data with the FPSO and intervene quickly when needed. SWIMMER optimizes the monitoring of infrastructure, which is carried out continuously. It also allows for prompt intervention when needed, and can translate to a substantial reduction in operating costs because it does not depend on a dedicated support vessel. Keeping watch on subsea systems The integrity of subsea pipelines and other equipment is the key to safe, reliable deepwater developments. Total is currently testing an innovative system for continuously monitoring flexible riser integrity. This subC-racs (for Riser Annulus Condition Surveillance) system detects any anomaly in the flexible riser annulus that is liable sooner or later to lead to a line rupture. Additional R&D programs are under way to develop other effective inspection and repair tools designed specifically for pipes laid on the seabed


Mitigating the risks of the ocean deeps

Avalanches, landslides, faults, and craters are just some of the dangers lurking on the ocean floor. With ERIG 3D, a study cruise conducted in partnership with Ifremer in 2008 in three sections of Nigerias deepwater domain, Total reached a major milestone in the quest to identify, characterize and quantify these geohazards. The area surrounding the Usan development features a high concentration of these geologic trouble spots: pockmarks (craters formed by cold fluid expulsion), faults, a 550-meter-high dome and traces left by recent channels all have the potential to cause instability and can therefore jeopardize the integrity of subsea infrastructure. A state-of-the-art geotechnical analysis was deployed to evaluate the distribution of these risks at the surface as well as beneath a 100-meter-thick sediment layer. Based on its findings, the location initially planned for the Usan FPSO was modified to avoid a hydrate gas zone with its associated risk of creep, hidden under a 30-meter thickness of sediments.

In the SWIMMER system, monitoring and maintenance operations are supervised from the surface and performed entirely under water by ROV.


See you on
Design and conception: Dixxit | Photo credits: Th. Cron, M. Dufour, Th. Gonzalez, L. Lemaire, P. Livermore, P. Marie, L. Pascal, O. Robinet, M. Roussel, D.R., Total | Infographic: FMC Technologies, Techniques Effects, J.-P. Donnot, Dixxit | Mapping: ID | TOTAL November 2011. Certified paper

TOTAL S.A. Capital stock: 5,874,102,327.50 euros 542 051 180 RCS Nanterre Exploration & Production Paris Tel.: +33 (0)1 47 44 45 46 2, place Jean Millier La Dfense 6 92078 Paris La Dfense Cedex France Exploration & Production Pau Tel.: +33 (0)5 59 83 40 00 Avenue Larribau 64018 Pau Cedex France