In current offshore operations—with an emphasis on environmental, social, and governance performance—subsea has an increasingly important role to play. Subsea tiebacks in particular offer opportunities to increase asset productivity while minimizing environmental impact on an incremental production-per-barrel basis.
As goes the offshore market in general, so follows the subsea arena, and both are experiencing an upturn because of an increase in commodity prices and the potential that offers to operators focused on optimizing existing assets. In current offshore operations—with an emphasis on environmental, social, and governance performance—subsea has an increasingly important role to play. Subsea tiebacks in particular offer opportunities to increase asset productivity while minimizing environmental impact on an incremental production-per-barrel basis.
With that in mind, the papers selected provide an overview of interest and immediate relevance to SPE members and JPT readers, regardless of where those operations are taking place. Some of the longstanding issues currently of greatest concern are the jumping-off point for a review intended to focus on optimizing subsea developments. Speed of asset delivery, system reliability, data and information management, and project repeatability are the general wish list for subsea engineers looking to improve efficiency, and all are covered in the papers presented.
Within the industry, the push for a standard approach—not so much with hardware and components but more so with overall subsea project management—is a high priority. Additionally, building on the learnings from mature subsea areas pushes development with a focus on subsea reliability, increasing the global nature of these challenges yet maintaining a specific focus on local issues.
Finally, with a nod to the future, the electrification and automation of subsea assets is presented, the intention being that the industry is ready to combine state-of-the-art system and project management with cutting-edge technology to fully deliver on the potential of subsea.
This Month’s Technical Papers
Recommended Additional Reading
OTC 32010 Novel Concept Approval and Technology Qualification of Systems and Vessels for Deep‑Sea Extraction of Polymetallic Nodules by Tyson Breedlove, American Bureau of Shipping, et al.
OTC 32028 Key Technology Qualification of a Full-Scale Subsea Chemical Storage and Injection System by Art J. Schroeder, Subsea Shuttle, et al.
OTC 32100 Unlocking Resident Underwater Inspection Drones or Autonomous Underwater Vehicles for Subsea Autonomous Inspection: Value Creation Between Technical Requirements and Technological Development by Matteo Mattioli, Saipem, et al.
Colin Johnston, SPE, is managing director at SeaNation and works on subsea projects for Worldwide Oilfield Machine. He holds a BS degree in mining engineering from the University of Newcastle, an MS degree in subsea engineering from Heriot-Watt University, and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. Johnston has been working in the offshore industry for almost 30 years, covering well services and technology developments in coiled tubing drilling and subsea well access with dedicated vessels, including riserless subsea operations. Specifically for subsea fields, Johnston’s focus is on subsea well operations. He is a member of the JPT Editorial Review Board.