The two studies are designed to demonstrate the qualifications of separation technology for subsea applications. Related subsea processing technologies also will be employed in the studies. The Petrobras study is scheduled to be performed over a two-year period, and the Statoil study is scheduled to be completed by year-end 2004.
FMC Technologies has been conducting research and development activities in subsea processing technology for several years. In 2003, the Company advanced this effort with the acquisition of controlling interest in CDS Engineering, a leading provider of gas and liquids separation technology and equipment for both onshore and offshore applications and floating production systems.
"These studies represent significant milestones for the advancement of subsea processing," said Peter D. Kinnear, Executive Vice President - FMC Technologies. "We are pleased to be chosen to work with Petrobras and Statoil in these important development efforts."
Subsea processing is an emerging technology that offers value-adding benefits for a range of subsea-developed fields, both as retrofit installation in producing fields or as part of the initial development of new fields or tie-ins. For mature fields, subsea processing typically offers bulk water removal and/or pressure boosting, thereby overcoming constraints in topside processing capacities or declining wellhead pressures. This accelerates production and enhances recovery, particularly in cases of great water depth and/or limitations in the flowline hydraulic capacities. For new developments, subsea processing provides separation and/or boosting as a tool to mitigate flow assurance challenges associated with long tie-back distances and ultra-deep waters. This includes de-watering, which reduces the need for hydrate control, gas/liquid separation, which allows split transport, and pumping/compression, which overcomes the pressure losses in the flowlines.
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