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1.

How do you perform a systematic flow assurance analysis for a typical subsea
field development?
Ans:
Following steps are to be followed for flow assurance analysis for a typical
subsea field.
Collect a reservoir fluid sample- This is done by sample drilling in the
reservoir.
Predict phase behavior- prediction of phase characteristics, which includes
predicting proportion of liquid and gas in the reservoir fluid and its behavior
at different temperature and pressure conditions. Variation with time is also
taken into account.
Define reservoir performance-it includes predicting production profile of
reservoir over time and change in temperature and pressure of reservoir.
Perform thermal-hydraulic analysis at various segments of system such as
well-head, flow line, risers etc.
Develop system design- based on previous steps final system design is
prepared which includes specifications for various components such as
riser, well-head and Flowline and also requirement of pump, injecting or
heating systems.
Implementation of monitoring program is necessary to be able to be aware
of any unforeseen events eg. Pump failure, injector failure etc.
Consider contingency plan for remediation, it means, planning for the steps
to be taken under unforeseen conditions.
Determine Effect of changes in fluid properties and composition over time.
2. Explain in detail the thermal modeling tasks or calculations in flow assurance.
Ans:
Two types of thermal modeling tasks are performed in flow assurance
1. Steady-state thermal modeling
It consists calculation of flowing Wellhead Temperatures (FWHT). Aim of
steady state analysis is to deal with various flow assurance related issues
under normal operating conditions. This issues are hydrates, asphaltenes, salt
deposition, erosion etc. These issues are subjected to specific temperature
and pressure ranges in the fluid. By performing thermal modeling, steps can
be taken to keep the fluid out of danger zone and prevent these flow
assurance related issues.
2. Transient thermal modeling
it consists calculation of Cool-down time after shut down and flow line
warm-up time calculations at start up. The temperature conditions during
these events can be quite different than the normal operating conditions.
Therefore, it is necessary to predict fluid behavior under these conditions to
prevent any flow assurance related issues taking place during shut down or
warm up. Some times to maintain desired conditions during shut-down and
warm up, external interferences such as heating of flow line, inhibitor
injection are applied.

3. Explain in detail about the different design parameters to be considered


during the development of a subsea field layout?
Ans:
Following design parameters are to be considered during development of
subsea field layout
Number and size of flow lines, which depends on the reservoir capacity
Pigging: round trip or subsea pig launcher
Flowing Wellhead Pressure
Material Selection
Corrosion Control Philosophy
Wall Thickness
Thermal Insulation
Cathodic Protection
Span Corrections / Pipeline Crossings
Installation Method / Design
Flowline Connections
Riser Configuration
4.

Describe the pros and cons of single flow line and dual flow lines for a subsea
tie-back system.
Ans:
Subsea tie-back system having single flow line have difficulty in
implementing pigging facility. For pigging, they need subsea pig-launcher or
subsea pig receiver, which can communicate pig to and from topside end of
flow line. But if there are dual flow lines, it facilitates round pigging across
flow line. This means that pig can be launched and received on the topside
end of flow line. This eliminates requirement of subsea pig launcher/receiver
and simplifies the tie-back system.
5. Explain the difference between FPSOs and Fixed Jacket Platform for host
processing facilities.
Ans:
FPSO is abbreviation for floating production storage and offloading vessel. It
is a floating vessel which maintains its location by dynamic positioning to
cope up with waves and currents and thus providing virtually stable top-side
facility to subsea systems.
On the other hand, fixed jacket platform are mobile platforms, whose legs can
be fixed on seabed. When their work is done at a place, those legs can be
retrieved from seabed and the whole structure can be moved to another
place and anchored in similar way. The fixed jacket platform, once fixed, do
not required continuous dynamic positioning. The anchored legs are sufficient
to hold the platform at a place.

Fixed jacket platform are used for relatively shallow water (1100 m),
while FPSO is used for ultra deep water (2300 m).
6. Explain the Joule-Thompson effect when restarting well production from cold
conditions. Describe the key technical issues with this phenomenon and
suggest possible techniques to mitigate.
Ans:
While restarting well production from cold condition, when fluid passes
through chokes it expands and its pressure decreases due to Joule-Thompson
effect. The fluid goes into hydrate formation zone due to this effect. Possible
technique to mitigate this phenomenon is to circulate warm oil through flow
line to keep the temperature of pipeline above hydrate formation
temperature.
7.

Describe common design methods to manage hydrate formation in subsea


systems.
Ans:
Mainly two techniques are used to manage hydrate formation
1. Keeping the temperature of flow above hydrate formation temperature:
This can be achieved by providing insulation around flow line, Direct
electrical heating of flow lines, or circulation of warm flow around flow line.
2. Second method is injecting chemical inhibitors in the hydrocarbon fluids.
These inhibitors, due to their chemical characteristics, when mixed with
the hydrocarbon, bring the hydrate formation temperature out of the
operating temperature range. Thus, keeping the hydrocarbon fluid out of
the hydrate formation zone.

8.

Explain different technical challenges considered in a typical subsea field


development.
Ans:
Various technical challenges considered in a typical subsea field development
are as following.
Deeper water depths deeper water depth means difficult installation,
difficult drilling and complex system for production and storage
Longer offsets/ tie-backs- which means longer jumper distance, more
expenditure on flow lines and complex design of flow lines.
Bathymetry- sometimes, difficult terrain of sea bed introduces design and
installation challenges for sub-sea flow lines
Arctic environment- extreme temperature conditions and existence of ice
on the sea surface makes it difficult installation of sub-sea system
components
Low-energy reservoirs-recovery from low energy reservoir is a different
challenge all together
Heavy oil

Subsea commingling- It means bringing number of wells together subsea


using manifolds and extracting the product at the topside from them
using a single flow line. The challenges faced are different quality and
characteristics of hydrocarbon from different wells, and designing system
components based upon that.
Marginal and smaller fields many times it is difficult to justify large capital
investment for marginal and smaller fields because of the expected low
return from them.
Subsea processing such as separation, compression etc. are relatively new
concepts presents technological challenges.
9.

Describe general outline of a flow line design using PIPESIM software.


Ans:
First step to flow line design is to input data. Following data are given
as input to the software. This input data has information about nature of
flow(single phase/multiphase), fluid model, bubble point pressure and
temperature, viscosity correlation, GOR, water cut, production rate, sea bed
temperature, water depth, reservoir depth, reservoir temperature, reservoir
pressure, productivity index, separator pressure, riser length, Flowline length,
Flowline/riser heat coefficient value, Flowline/riser/production tubing wall
thickness, Flowline/riser roughness, sand content etc. It is worth mentioning
that some of the above mentioned values can be given as input to the
pipesim or pipesim has the ability to calculate them and sometimes, it takes
default value based on some models already present in the software
database.
Based on the input data, pipesim prepares layout model for the whole
system, which contains different components such as well head, Flowline,
riser and topside separator.
Based on the given input, pipesim performs analysis and gives result
that displays various flow characteristics profile in the system as well as
changes in them with time as well. Several what-if analysis can also be
performed from the results. Some examples of output results generated by
pipesim are given below.
Pressure and temperature profile along the Flowline and riser
Effect of water cut on pressure and temperature drop
Liquid and gas hold up along the Flowline and riser
Flow regime
Erosion estimation, depends on fluid velocity and solid particles in the
hydrocarbon, makes use of already established experimental models
Fluid density.
Most of these results are presented in the profile form along the
system, which makes it easier to understand overall behavior and
identify the critical points in the system.

10.How is PVT analysis done in flow assurance lab?


Ans:
In a PVT lab, the researchers use variety of instruments to determine
reservoir fluid properties from the samples obtained from field. Their objective is to
simulate what happens in the reservoir and at the surface during actual production.
Main focus of pvt analysis is to determine how gas evolves from oil when pressure in
the reservoir falls below the bubble point. Two processes are used to describe this
flash liberation and differential liberation.
In flash liberation , gas comes out of the oil as the pressure is gradually
decreased and remains confined with the oil. While in the differential liberation , gas
is removed from oil.
When reservoir pressure drops below the bubble point pressure , flash
liberation dominates. But, when enough gas is accumulated in the reservoir , it
begins to flow, since gas is less viscous and flows faster than oil, differential
liberation occurs.
Flash and differential liberation are recreated in lab using high pressure high
temperature pvt cells, positive displacement mercury pump and high accuracy
pressure and temperature gauges. Flash liberation test is used to determine bubble
point temperature of reservoir fluid. Both flas and differential liberation are utilized
to determine parameters that relate surface volume of hydrocarbons to that of their
volume in reservoir.
Successful PVT analysis requires that sample represents the original fluid in
the reservoir. Therefore, sample must be obtained soon after exploration wells are
drilled.