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

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