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School of Engineering

COURSEWORK SUBMISSION SHEET


All sections except the LATE DATE section must be completed and the declaration signed, for the
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Due Date

Date Submitted
27th November

For official use only


LATE DATE

28th November
MATRIC No.1416488
SURNAME

EREMIN

FIRST NAME(S)

ALEXANDER

COURSE & STAGE

MSc Offshore Oil & Gas Engineering

MODULE NUMBER & TITLE

ENM202 Facilities

ASSIGNMENT TITLE

Facilities Coursework

LECTURER ISSUING COURSEWORK

Mike Robinson

I confirm: (a) That the work undertaken for this assignment is entirely my own and that I have
not made use of any unauthorised assistance.
(b) That the sources of all reference material have been properly acknowledged.
[NB: For information on Academic Misconduct, refer to
http://www.rgu.ac.uk/academicaffairs/assessment/page.cfm?pge=7088]

Signed

EREMIN..................................... Date .......11.27.2014..............................

Markers Comments

Marker

Grade

Content
Introduction....................................................................................3
1. Data Analysis...3
2. Concepts Development...4
2.1. The Floating Development Concept Review..5
2.2. The anchored Development Concept Review..7
2.3. Pros and Cons of Two Concepts..8
3. Produced Gas and Condensate Measurement..10
4. Flow Assurance Issue.11
5. Decommissioning..12
Conclusion..13
References..14
Appendices
1.
2.
3.
4.

The
The
The
The

Floating Concept layout scheme.16


Floating Concept NPV Evaluation17
Anchored Concept layout scheme.18
Anchored Concept NPV Evaluation..19

Introduction
The Ras Al Zubair offshore is the place of intensive oil and gas
production, which has been providing the region with crudes for a
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number of years. The major oilfield of this area is Gazelle oilfield which
provides development via formation pressure maintenance. In this case it
is important to have a lot of power for injection of enormous quantities of
water into a deep horizon to maintain pressure for oil production. But the
reality is the reservoir is depleted and a lot of fuel is required to provide
pumping systems with power for further development.
As reservoir is depleting, hence associated gas production is
decreasing and there is no available amount of it for power and pumping
systems maintenance. So, the life of the oilfields rig is under the threat
of closure. The only way to continue oil production is development of
deep gas prospect within the oilfield area.
The development of gas prospect will give the chance to Gazelle to
support power and pumping systems with fuel gas and to supply nearby
fields and local market with it. Ten development wells were drilled in
vicinity of Gazelle oil production facilities to achieve this goal. The next
stage is installation of relevant equipment for gas processing and export
according to development concept.
Development

concept

should

contain

full

information

about

relevant facilities, their options, economical issues and technical viability


and reflect summarized effect on the Gazelle oilfield life.
1. Data Analysis
The Gazelle oilfield is situated in the Ras Al Zubair offshore 45km
North West to the closest point on onshore a desert area with rare
infrastructure. The closest significant town is located 200 km South West
and has all facilities required for oil and gas processing, e.g. refinery and
export facilities. Fort Thompson also provides processing of NGL and oil
from offshore and onshore fields and support local market with refined
and ready-to-use product.
Offshore production at Gazelle is supported with steel jacket
platform at depth of 100m. Two bridge linked well head jackets are added
to support main SJPs oil production. The Gazelle oilfield produces 65
mbpd of oil with water cut of 15% which increases rapidly. The surge
vessel and 3-phase separators are presented at Gazelle to balance the

crude oil to pipeline specifications. Emergency gas flaring is maintained


by blowdown, purge and vent systems.
The production license of NRGU E&P restricts some point of field
development: a) excess of produced gas cant be flared; b) all gas should
be consumed at Gazelle for fuel gas; c) all remains of gas should be
exported to Fort Thompson; d) waste products from HC processing
should be arranged/disposed locally with support of Gazelle facilities.
NRGU E&P has drilled several wells to appraise the gas reservoir for
further development. The given data is:
Flowing Well Head pressure
Reservoir depth
Reservoir pressure
Condensate gravity
Gas specific gravity
Table 1. Field

650 psi
15024 ft.bmsl
8270 psi
48.3 oAPI
0.65
data

The appraisal well has indicated that hydrocarbons produced do not


contain contaminants such as CO2 or H2S. Also estimations showed that
10 production wells are enough to support the production profile. All the
exploration and appraisal wells are abandoned.
2. Concepts Development
There are several options which may be applied in the Ras Al
Zubair conditions: Floating Development and Anchored Development.
The key moments for selection are: cost of equipment, technical viability,
serviceability and etc. Each concept uses own equipment and operates in
own way. Brief review is represented in Table 2.

Platform

Tie-back

Floating

FPSO (ship-

Subsea trees;

Development

shaped

Subsea

Waste
disposal
Local

Export
Firstly, to
Gazelle via

flexible
pipelines;

vessel)

manifold;

Secondly, to

flexible

Fort

flowlines/risers;

Thompson

offshore

via tankers

separation;

and

tanker-

pipelines;

offloading buoy

Thirdly, to
third-parties
via tankers
Gas straight

Subsea trees;

to Fort

manifold;
Anchored

Existing

Development

Steel Jacket

Thompson;

offshore
separation; gas

Local

pipeline to
shore; shuttle
tanker export

Condensate
via tankers;
Fuel gas
straight to
third-parties

Table 2. Concepts preview


The main idea for two options is to reach NPV as much as possible.
This goal may be achieved through overcoming of next issues:
- minimising of additional equipment needs;
- finding best way for transportation;
- maximum tie-back to existing facilities;
- finding of cheapest but more suitable options.
Full review of two concepts will help in selection of most suitable
solution for the one of the field development plans part.
2.1.

The Floating Development Concept review

The Floating Development concept suggests the next way of


Gazelle gas field development. One FPSO constructed will operate in
production area (5 km from Gazelle platform); rig provides drilling
operations each year up to the last well will be drilled (subsea
operations); all subsea wells are connected together via one manifold and
gas goes to the FPSO through the flexible flowlines attached to the turret
mooring (Rigzone 2014). At the FPSO, gas is separated and met the
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requirements for further transportation. The volume of storage tank on


the FPSO doesnt allow containing gas and condensate simultaneously, so
it is recommended to transport gas via flexible pipelines through SBM to
the Gazelle platform where appropriate tank is situated. Meanwhile,
condensate stores in FPSOs 150,000 bbl tank and awaits transportation
to Fort Thompson via tankers. Gas on the platform now has two variants
of use: a) as fuel gas for power and pump stations supply; b) as product
for export to Fort Thompson (via tankers) or to the third-parties in
vicinity of Gazelle area.
FPSO is a floating production storage and offloading vessel for oil
and gas processing in offshore conditions. The vessel moors with a turret
in production area and connects to the manifold via flexible risers. It may
carry different process facilities (Bhuj 2004). In this particular case, it
carries production separation system, water treatment module, gas
treatment module, different utilities (power system, water makers,
communication systems, etc), and accommodation module. FPSO is
constructed in order to provide long-term production and its tank
capacity is 150,000 bbl.
Production separation system comprises two stages 3-phase
vertical separator, which allow gathering of three separate fluids: water,
gas, and condensate. This separator operates two pressures: high, and
low.

Two-stage

system

provides

separation

by

reducing

pressure

gradually and saving high value hydrocarbons in condensate. On the 1 st


stage, gas separates from oil (condensate) and water, and goes to the
compressor and further to export; meanwhile, condensate and water
pass to the next stage. On the 2nd stage oil condensate is completely
separated from water and flows to the storage, water passes to the water
treatment module (Sevan Marine ASA 2014).
Water treatment module is represented by hydrocyclones. HyCys is
very popular solution due to high effectiveness, compact size, and
moderate cost. They are used for treating water from hydrocarbons
remained after separation. Environmental regulations require water to be
treated to meet the appropriate value of 15 mg/l to 50 mg/l monthly for
offshore in case of discharge in the sea (Saravanakumar 2014). In

particular, the FPSO discharges produced and treated water into the sea
as all the FPSOs do.
Gas treatment module represents adsorption dehydration unit that
used for gas dehydration. It helps a) to remove some of the heavy
hydrocarbons to reduce their condensation in the pipeline and b) to
remove acid gases such as H2S and CO2 (in this case, the amount of
contaminants is quite low).
Additional equipment and utilities refer to subsea trees and flexible
risers and 6 pipelines, mooring turret and manifold. Flexible risers and
pipelines control gas and condensate transportation from well tree to
manifold and further to the FPSO or Gazelle facilities. Mooring turret
helps to maintain FPSO in stable position and allow fast and safe
disconnection

because

of

harsh

conditions

or

emergency. Subsea

manifold connects fluids from all ten wells in one stream to transport it to
FPSOs separation facilities.
Flow scheme of layout is represented in Appendix 1.
The next table represents approximate cost of all the equipment
needed.
Component
FPSO (constructed) CAPEX
Subsea wells
Pipelines CAPEX
Shuttle tanker
SBM

Cost, mm$
225
65
1 $/km
0.15 $/day
25
Total

Quantity

Total cost,

1
10
205
6570
1

mm$
225
650
205
985.5
25
2090.5

Table 3. Approximate cost of Floating Concept


Detailed economic evaluation is in Appendix 2.
2.2.

The Anchored Development Concept Review

The Anchored Development concept refers to the most common


way of field development and represents the following: rig provides
drilling operations each year up to the last well will be drilled (subsea
operations in the 5 km area); 10 subsea wells are connected to the
manifold; gas passes through riser to the platforms top facilities. Gazelle
platform already has separation system (2 stages 3-phase separator and
surge vessel). Most quantity of condensate is separated on the first
stage, so it is possible to separate gas and condensate via this separation
7

system with high attention to the process control. Platform uses gas as a
fuel for power system, which means availability of storage tank on the
deck. All separated gas storages on the platform as fuel gas and some
part of it awaits further transportation to the Fort Thompson or near
customers via 6 pipelines and tankers relatively. There is no special tank
for condensate on the platform, so SALS (150,000 bbl) is obtained to
store it. Shuttle tankers are used to transport condensate to Fort
Thompson. The loading is processed via SBM. Gas is treated only for
export. Produced water is used for injection.
Gas processing uses next facilities on the platform: separator,
water treatment module, gas treatment module, and storage tank.
Additional equipments in use are subsea trees, manifold, risers, SBM
used as storage for condensate. Equipment description may be found
above in Floating Concept section due to similarity of main parts.
Flow scheme of layout is represented in Appendix 3.
The next table represents approximate cost of all the equipment
needed.
Component

Cost, mm$

Quantity

Subsea Wells
Pipelines CAPEX
Shuttle tanker
SALS
SBM

65
1 $/km
0.15 $/day
25
25
Total

10
205
6570
1
1

Total cost,
mm$
650
205
985.5
25
25
1890.5

Table 4. Approximate cost of Anchored Concept


Detailed economic evaluation is in Appendix 4.
2.3.

Pros and Cons of Two Concepts

Final decision cant base only on cost comparison. Technical


advantages and disadvantages are shown below.
Floating Concept
Advantages
Disadvantages
Provide high
High CAPEX

Anchored Concept
Advantages
Disadvantages
Low CAPEX
No place for

production rate

additional

Has temporary

Depends on

Operates on

modules
High risk of flow

storage

environment

stable platform

assurance issues

conditions
8

Well-adapted

Minimize load on
existing facilities
Fast and cheap

High OPEX due

Easy

High OPEX due

to rent of shuttle

decommissionin

to rent of shuttle

tanker
Linked to

g
High volume

tanker
High load on

existing platform

storage
Less steps to get

existing facilities

decommissionin

gas

g
Environmentally

High Quality

friendly

production

Less flow

control
High NPV

assurance
problems
May be rent out
May be relocated
A lot of deck
space
Accurate
production
control
Table5. Pros and Cons comparison
Table 5 shows that Floating concept has a lot of technical
advantages but the cost is a critical parameter. The CAPEX is high and the
time for FPSO construction is quite long. FPSO operates with its own
equipment but it is still connected to the platform due to low capacity of
storage tank and needs of the platform in fuel gas. Nevertheless, Floating
concept gives accurate production control, minimize flow assurance
issues and may be adapted to every wellhead. After decommissioning,
the FPSO may be rent out to some customer for further operations or can
be relocated to another field in Ras Al Zubair offshore. Also it is
environmentally friendly and was critically acclaimed by a lot of
companies around the world.
The Anchored concept seems to be more cheap and viable in real
conditions. It uses minimum of additional equipment and operates via
existing systems. The rout of gas from the well to the platform and
customer less than in Floating concept, and decommissioning requires
minimum steps due to minimum quantity of additional equipment used.
9

Nevertheless, there is lack of free space on platform, hence additional


storage tank for condensate cant be installed and the only exit is rent of
storage vessel which affects on total OPEX. Also there is a possibility of
separation system overloading because of separating oil, gas and
condensate simultaneously.
The Anchored concept has a several technical disadvantages in use
but the cost-parameter and NPV are very attractive. Also technical issues
may be overcome in several years, e.g. new separation system will be
installed and flow assurance issues will be minimized via new inhibitors
and modified gas treatment module. Therefore, the Anchored concept is
selected as prior method for gas production and processing in this area.
The Floating concept may be used as an alternative.
3. Produced Gas and Condensate Measurement
One of the development plan point requires produced gas and
condensate measurement in order to accomplish custody transfer. Gas
and condensate should be measured according to industry standards,
national

metrology

standards,

government

regulations

and

taxes

(Wheeler 2014).
The most common option for gas flow measurement is Orifice flow
meter. The Orifice flow meter operates via measuring differential pressure
across the plate with circular hole (Wheeler 2014). It provides very
accurate measures; it is simple in construction, and quite cheap in
comparison with other meters. For more accurate measures, gas should
be single phase and clean from suspended particles (Emerson Process
2014).
The Coriolis flow meter is recommended measurement system for
produced condensate. It directly measures the mass flow of the fluid
using the Coriolis Effect (Alicat 2014). This kind of fiscal meter is
sustainable to changes in processing (e.g. viscosity and density),
accurate and multi-variable. It has a row of benefits starting with analog
and

digital

outputs

and

ending

with

limited

health,

environmental impact (Davis., Stevens., Keilty 2010).

10

safety

and

The fiscal meters are installed on Gazelle platform to provide


correct and accurate custody transfer of the gas and condensate to the
customers.
4. Flow Assurance Issues
The pipelines are strongly affected by inner and outer impact. The
common problems in pipelines are: waxes, asphaltenes precipitation,
scale, gas hydrates, salt precipitation, slugging and corrosion. Most of
these problems are caused because of pressure and temperature
differentials. Nevertheless, not all of these issues are common for gas
pipelines and for gas production at all (Anderson 2014).
The Anchored concept deals with gas transportation via pipelines
both from well to the platform and from platform to Fort Thompson.
First of all, gas, condensate and water, as one fluid, flow through
pipeline to the separation system. In this case, pipes are affected by the
chemical composition of the fluid. And the most frequent problem is
corrosion, scale, salt precipitation, solids and hydrates forming. There are
no heavy hydrocarbons in the fluid, so the possibility of wax and
asphaltenes precipitation is excluded.
Secondly, gas flows up to the Fort Thompson. In this case, gas is
treated from water and a lot of issues are excluded. Nevertheless,
temperature and pressure of gas is changing during transportation and
the small amount of salt, hydrates and scale may occur. If the gas wasnt
dehydrated good enough there is a high possibility of corrosion
occurrence.
All these issues cause a lot of problems: pipelines rupture,
pipelines blockage, pressure losses, separator destroying or flooding
(Trick 2014).
The most famous solutions to deal with flow assurance issues are
next: a) hydrates may be treated via high temperatures (hitting of the
fluid) or chemical injection; b) scale and corrosion require chemical
impact such as kinetic or thermodynamic inhibitors and accurate material
selection; c) solids require pigging (Anderson 2014).
Finally, it is possible to affect on flow assurance from the
transportation beginning. Pipeline system should be designed carefully:
11

accurate material selection, right choice of pipes size (it should not be
too small or too big), and manifold functionality (pigging equipment) is
required (Anderson 2014).
5. Decommissioning
The last part of the Anchored concept lifecycle is decommissioning
of all the equipment used.
Firstly, the shuttle tanker rent is out and there is no need in further
service.
Secondly, the storage vessel is unmoored and transported to Fort
Thompson. Here it is cleaned from condensate and prepared for further
use.
Thirdly, wells should be plugged and the subsea trees and manifold
should be recovered for recycling. Well plugging is carried out by using of
special rig that use production tubing for well cementing. It allows leaving
the casings and tubing in place without harm to subsea environment. The
manifold is recovered via crane, then flushed of the contaminants, and
prepared for further reuse.
Fourthly, flowlines, flexible risers, and pipelines decommissioning
does not covered by any International regulations. Nevertheless, a
structure removal is under control of International Regional and National
legislation. The most appropriate option is to flush pipelines with water
and recover to the surface for further recycling or reuse.

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Conclusion
The

offshore

field

development

planning

is

very

hard

and

responsible work that must be provided with high accuracy and respect to
field conditions and issues.
The Anchored concept does not cover all the aspects of field
development but it gives brief explanation of what should be done on
site. The major points cover the equipment selection, custody transfer,
flow assurance issues and decommissioning. The economical issue is still
open and requires further investigation.
The Anchored concept suggests some viable and real options to the
customer and owner and should be applied as prior option. Nevertheless,
the Floating concept may be applied as an alternative.

13

References
Application of the Orifice Meter for Accurate Gas Flow Measurement.
2014. [online] DANIEL. Available from:
http://www2.emersonprocess.com/siteadmincenter/PM%20Daniel
%20Documents/Application-of-Orifice-Meter-for-Accurate-Gas-FlowMeasurement-techWPaper.pdf [Accessed 11/22 2014]
FPSO Process Flow. 2014. [online] Sevan Marine ASA. Available from:
http://www.sevanmarine.com/technology/design-principles/fpso-processflow [Accessed 11/19 2014]
How Do FPSOs Work? 2014. [online] https://www.rigzone.com/:
Available from: https://www.rigzone.com/training/insight.asp?
insight_id=299&c_id=12 [Accessed 11/26 2014]
Types of Gas Flow Meters. 2014. [online] Alicat. Available from:
http://www.alicat.com/knowledge/how-it-works/ [Accessed 11/24 2014]
ANDERSON., M., Introduction and Key Concepts in Flow Assurance. Notes
for Understanding ed.
BHUJ., Y., 2004. FPSO Applications. Handbook ed. CCI.
DAVIS., M., STEVENS., J. and KEILTY., M., 2010. Coriolis Mass Flowmeters
Used To Measure Bulk Condensate In Gas Field. 237(7),
SARAVANAKUMAR., S., 2014. All about oil & gas treatment. [online]
Available from: http://www.scribd.com/ [Accessed 11/18 2014]
TRICK., M., 2005. Flow Assurance in Wellbores and Pipelines: What You
Need to Know. PowerPoint Presentation ed.
WHEELER., B., 2014. Gas flow measurement. [online] Available from:
http://www.scribd.com/ [Accessed 11/20 2014]

Appendices
14

Appendix 1. The Floating Concept layout scheme

Flowmeter

Appendix 2. The Floating Concept NPV Evaluation

15

16

Appendix 3. The Anchored Concept layout

Flowmeter

Appendix 4. The Anchored Concept NPV Evaluation

17

18