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For years, subsea production has remained tantalizingly on the edge of commercial realization. Technical barriers have included designing production equipment for a challenging deepwater environment and making the hardware essentially maintenance-free. In addition, the high cost of building and installing subsea systems and the difficulty of adding them to existing infrastructure on the seafloor have made subsea production impractical for existing developments.
However, the ever-increasing push to develop reserves in deeper water, rising water production from mature fields and the high cost of surface facilities have combined with recent technological advances to make subsea production an attractive alternative for many oil companies. Indeed, 2007 was the biggest year yet for the technology sector, with numerous subsea systems-from individual pumping or separation units to full modular production systems-going into operation on the seafloor.
One of the first production technologies to be deployed subsea is MultiPhase Pumping (MPP).
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