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The experts meet in Düsseldorf at the most important international
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INDUSTRY gathers information here about innovations, new products
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EXPO and the VALVE WORLD CONFERENCE in Düsseldorf, from
to 1 December 2016.
10th Biennial Valve World Conference & Exhibition
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ready for installation, the EPS has depleted the reservoir to the extent that the large FPS is no longer commercially viable.
There are many variables which were marginalized in the above
evaluation, and certainly need to be more clearly defined and evaluated for specific fields. However, it is important for operators to
remember that when developing deepwater fields, there are no absolutes to any of these variables. As a result, the continuation of engineering and optimization of a customized FPS will not necessarily
produce better results than the use of an existing, proven concept.
Employing a phased/two SFPS approach also provides a number
of benefits through standardization. Some of these include:
Continuous optimization. One-off, fit-for-purpose designs often
present very unique operational and safety challenges, making it
difficult for producers to take lessons learned from one facility and
apply them to another. By using a standardized FPS, operators can
continuously optimize project delivery, taking valuable knowledge
and experience from one platform and using it to accelerate the development cycle, enhance safety, and improve efficiency on others.
Reduction in spare parts inventory. Standardized designs allow
operators to significantly reduce spare parts inventory and simplify
procurement operations. This is often in contrast to fit-for-purpose
facilities, where unique equipment layouts and configurations make
it difficult to effectively prepare for unexpected breakdowns, placing added pressure on facility personnel to operate and maintain
Reduction in abandonment costs. The opportunity for reuse and
redeployment of one of the two SFPSs from the original field to a
second (and potentially third) field allows for life extension of the
units and spreads the final abandonment cost over more than one
field. Also, the smaller FPS size allows use of smaller floating equipment such as derrick barges, material barges, etc. when final abandonment is elected. The smaller hull opens a number of options for
abandonment as well, such as reefing or scraping at a shore base.
Over the past three decades, an increasing number of operators
throughout the offshore industry have elected to build larger, more
fit-for-purpose floating production systems. In the last two years,
however, it has become increasingly evident that in an environment
with oil prices less than $50/bbl, developing these types of facilities
in deeper waters is simply not economical. Phasing offers answers
to many of the challenges currently being faced by offshore producers. In addition, with most beginning to accept oil price volatility as
the new norm, it may be time for the industry to adapt its deepwater
development strategies accordingly. •
About the author
Stafford Menard is the vice president of Deepwater Development for Audubon Engineering Solutions. His career spans more than 40 years in the oil and gas industry,
the majority of which has been in deepwater engineering and offshore projects. Before
joining Audubon Engineering Solutions, he served as manager of Gulfstar Development for Williams Partners L.P., where he was responsible for the marketing and
commercial efforts of Gulfstar, a spar-based FPS. He is widely recognized as a leader
in the offshore arena for his ability to advance large-scale deepwater platforms safely
The author wishes to thank Jeremy Zamzow, vice president of Finance at Audubon
Engineering Solutions for providing assistance with NPV calculations.