Aker Solutions and Well Processing AS have signed a cooperation agreement to bring a new technology offering onto the marketplace. The combination of subsea water treatment and injection aims to increase oil recovery and enhance oil production from offshore produced fields.
As part of the agreement, Well Processing will bring its newly developed subsea seawater treatment and sterilization technology to the table. This will be combined with Aker Solutions' extensive know-how and experience within subsea water injection, boosting and pumping technologies.
Water injection is the most commonly used method of enhancing production from oil reservoirs. Traditionally for offshore fields, seawater is treated on and injected from a surface installation such as platform or FPSO. This can put restraints on achieving optimum water flood in the reservoir, which again may limit recovery and production. Locating the system on the seabed can provide both practical and financial benefits.
"What we can jointly offer together with Well Processing is a cost efficient and effective process for water treatment and injection, with all equipment located on the seabed. The aim is to unlock oil reserves that would otherwise have been unrecoverable," said Knut Nyborg, vice president for subsea processing & boosting, Aker Solutions.
In addition to being a cost-effective solution, the seabed-based seawater treatment technology developed by Well Processing has demonstrated better results than similar topside-based systems.
"Extracting seawater from the seabed, where there is a lower degree of biological growth, gives us some inherent advantages compared to traditional topside systems. Additionally, our system contains significant innovations within seawater and system sterilisation as well as solids removal. All together, we believe we have a unique water treatment solution which will help prevent blocking of reservoirs or turning them sour when water is injected into them," said Helge Lunde, managing director of Well Processing.
This solution is complementary to Aker Solutions' topside technology for seawater treatment and sulphate removal for reservoir injection purposes.
The first pilot system comprising Well Processing's treatment technology is due to be installed in May this year. However, Aker Solutions and Well Processing are already in a position to start working on FEED (front-end engineering and design) studies for oil and gas fields that could benefit from this technology.
A specially designed still room technology is also part of Well Processing's water treatment system. This still room could, where applicable, enclose the subsea water injection pumps and other equipment that Aker Solutions delivers.
"Aker Solutions' leading position in subsea boosting technologies and proactive approach attracted us to entering this cooperation. Their experiences from numerous topside water injection pumps and subsea water injection projects such as Tyrihans, combined with our new technology, will give both parties access to new markets and a competitive advantage," added Helge Lunde.
Aker Solutions is in the process of delivering the world's most powerful subsea water injection pump station to StatoilHydro's Tyrihans project in the North Sea. The 2.7 megawatt power capacity of the subsea pump system will break the world records for both pump duty and long step-out distance when operational.
Well Processing's subsea water treatment technology is very power effective and uses significantly less chemicals than a topside system. Injection of chemicals subsea also means no operator handling. The technology thereby provides several HSE advantages.
"This is in line with our JustCare HSE philosophy and another in a line of many reasons for why we have entered this exciting cooperation with Well Processing," concluded Knut Nyborg.