FMC Technologies sets the global standard for advanced subsea technology

Shell’s Perdido project is FMC Technologies’ second full field development utilizing subsea oil and gas separation and boosting following the contract to supply trees and other equipment for Shell’s Parque das Conchas (formerly called BC-10) deepwater project offshore Brazil. Parque das Conchas is the first full field development utilizing subsea oil and gas separation and subsea pumping in Brazil. A number of new and advanced technologies and innovations were designed by FMC to meet Parque das Conchas’ numerous challenges. Many of those technologies are deployed in Shell’s Perdido field.

“Shell wanted to exploit subsea heavy oil reserves,” said Brad Beitler, FMC’s Vice President of Technology, explaining the similarities of the Perdido and Parque das Conchas fields. “Shell had experience with submersible pumps but not with seabed pumps.

A caisson separator being deployed in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Shell designed the systems and we worked with them as an alliance partner.”

FMC’s scope of work for Perdido included the supply of 17 subsea trees, two subsea manifolds, five subsea caisson separation and boosting systems, topside and subsea controls, and related subsea equipment. The project utilized FMC’s globally managed product standards, supporting manufacturing and supply networks and project management processes.


Record-setting innovative enhanced vertical deepwater trees


The Perdido field includes 17 of FMC’s Enhanced Vertical Deepwater Trees (EVDT) that provide added value by allowing customers to use the same standard tree design anywhere in the world. The added value brings versatility, installation savings and operational efficiency to ultra-deepwater fields. The EVDT earned FMC the 2008 Spotlight on Technology Award at that year’s Offshore Technology Conference. The trees are rated for high pressure conditions up to 10,000 psi.

The EVDT system also enables deepwater completions from a small drilling rig containing only a surface blowout preventer (BOP). This capability allows operators to eliminate the need for expensive deepwater rigs with a subsea BOP, resulting in significant time and cost savings.

The EVDT was used to set a subsea deepwater completion record of 9,356 ft installed in Shell’s Silvertip field, a part of the Perdido development. FMC set the previous water depth record of 8,995 ft, also in the Gulf of Mexico, in 2007. This record may be surpassed yet again during 2010 with a well planned for the Tobago field, also one of the fields feeding into the Perdido spar. This well would be in about 9,600 ft of water and will be completed using an EVDT system.


Subsea separation and boosting system


The Perdido project contains five caisson separators that were installed on the seabed. This innovative system separates gas and liquids before the hydrocarbons are pumped back to the surface, enabling increased oil recovery by removing about 2,000 psi of back pressure from the wells.

“Gas flows up the riser while liquid is boosted by the electrical submersible pumps using multiphase separation,” Beitler explained.

Utilizing the seabed separation system reduced the number of production risers to the spar to five, saving significant weight and cost.

FMC’s subsea systems encompass a wide range of equipment and technologies to explore, drill and develop offshore oil and gas fields. Whether it’s high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) trees and wellheads, subsea controls and systems or production optimization services, FMC adds value to its customers throughout the life of the field.

FMC Technologies capitalized on the growing demand for deepwater oil and gas production with its subsea separation, boosting and processing systems. The company provides the technology to increase oil recovery for mature projects and develop new projects that may otherwise be considered economically unviable or inaccessible.

FMC Technologies
1803 Gears Rd., Houston TX 77067
Tel: 281 591 4000
Fax: 281 591 4102

Related Articles

Fabricating the Single-Lift Topsides

07/01/2010 The Perdido team faced a tough decision. A conventional topsides design required a series of modules that would have to be fabricated onshore, then...

Technology and Teamwork Achieve World Class Success for Shell Perdido

04/01/2010 In the high-risk ultra deepwater environment, success depends on two key components: technology and teamwork. Shell and Technip have applied innova...

The Bayou Companies provide welding, coating and insulation services around the world

04/01/2010 Straight on the heels of successfully fabricating and supplying pipe line end terminals (PLET) for Shell’s Ursa/Princess waterflood project, ...

Oceaneering Installs Record Diverless Deepwater HOOPS Tie-in

04/01/2010 Who would cut a perfectly good pipeline? Oceaneering worked with Shell to add a new tie-in for the Perdido oil export pipeline to the currently ope...

Noble Corp.’s innovative engineering helps Shell to develop Perdido

04/01/2010 Long before the industry dared to dream that operating in the ultra-deepwater of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico could be possible, Noble took a bold and p...

Kiewit Offshore Services experience and no surprises approach results in quality services for the offshore oil and gas industry

04/01/2010 KOS’ extensive experience in fabricating large, complex topsides enabled the company to meet the challenges associated with the multi-discipl...


04/01/2010 Two extremes define Perdido’s early development wells: The water is very deep, and the reservoirs are very shallow below the mudline. The dif...

H&Ps Rig 205 ready for Perdido Spar drilling, completions, interventions


With special modifications, 20,000-ft SCR rig to tackle subsea wells located in up to 9,627 feet of water


04/01/2010 As many as 220 people per shift came to work aboard the Perdido deepwater spar during the peak of commissioning and hookup, but it was a short comm...
White Papers

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...
Available Webcasts

The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

When Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.


On Demand

Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 


Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!


Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected