Understanding Subsea Acoustic Leak Detection and Condition Monitoring – Part 2
In any given subsea field there is a multitude of equipment, that need to be constantly monitored. Subsea Multi-Domain Condition Monitoring can be achieved by introducing additional hydrophones, specially designed for detecting sound from rotating machinery, subsea processing equipment, structural integrity, fluid flow rate variations among others. The latest high-end sensor systems ally acoustic condition monitoring with acoustic leak detection. This works in much the same way as surface-based acoustic emission monitoring and can be used to monitor rotating machinery to check speed tracking and resonant frequencies. It can also monitor rotational equipment in subsea plant such as bearing damage, unbalanced pumps, mechanical breakdown and reduced efficiency.
Improving Production Using Subsea Separation Boosting
Subsea gas-liquid separation coupled with liquid boosting can be an effective means of oil reservoir exploitation. Despite advances, multiphase pumping technology remains limited in its capabilities. Dynamic (centrifugal and helico-axial) pumps function with reasonable efficiency for single-phase, low-viscosity liquids. However, they become very inefficient when a high-viscosity liquid is combined with high percentages of free gas. While use of multiphase pumps is in many instances an effective solution, special consideration must be taken when challenging conditions exist such as are found in deeper water or with long tieback distances, or when heavy-oil production is involved. More effective oil reservoir exploitation can be achieved using subsea separation coupled with liquid boosting.