Subsea Processing Systems Expanding in Brazil
The advent of reliable subsea processing has taken a considerable time to develop. For a few years now, it has been looked at as a vital solution for deepwater O&G development. Subsea processing technology was first developed to overcome challenges posed by extremely deep wells but in time it has become a proven solution in mature fields by decreasing the amount of equipment on the surface, therefore lowering operational costs and of course by boost diminishing production from mature wells, normally through re-injection of fluids, such as water, into the wells to increase the pressure inside the well. It is also an important solution in locations where harsh surface weather conditions make it extremely risky to have an anchored production plant. A good example would be the recent O&G exploration efforts in the Arctic.
FMC Technologies, for example, has recently been awarded a contract to supply two subsea separation and boosting systems for the Congro and Corvina fields, located in the Campos Basin, which is a location with a large number of mature wells.
The scope of this new contract is very interesting and incorporates new technologies in different subsea areas in order to achieve a more efficient production system. Along with the subsea gas/liquid separation and boosting system for each of these fields, FMC will also supply 2 subsea manifolds that will perform production and gas lift injection for 10 wells. Other equipment includes 2 subsea boosting module stations, pipeline tie-in equipment and subsea control systems. This recently developed control system incorporates an innovative subsea robotics technology, designed by Schilling Robotics, to operate the manifold and separation station valves. All the equipment will be engineered and manufactured at FMC's facilities in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, abiding to Brazil´s local content policies.
The Congro and Corvina project will be the 4 project using subsea processing technologies in Brazil, following phases I and II of Shell's Parque das Conchas (BC-10) field, and the state-of-the-art heavy oil separation and water re-injection system for Petrobras' Marlim field.
With the large amount of mature wells and deepwater developments in Brazil, there is little doubt in the industry that subsea processing is here to stay and will most probably see a considerable implementation increase in the next 5 years. The forecast for future really point to less rigs and more subsea system in both shallow and deepwater plays.