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  • Operators move to the next level of subsea development


    Richard Vernotzy

    Since the beginning of the upstream industry’s migration from dry land into shallow- water arenas, and subsequently into deeper water depths of 600-plus ft, the development of reserves in ever-greater water depths to 10,000 ft has brought on significantly greater volumes of reserves, along with greater producing rates. This has required the development of a vast amount of new technology to bring these reserves to the marketplace. Such innovation includes drilling capabilities; drilling equipment capabilities; ocean floor hardware and equipment; floating, rather than bottom-supported production structures; flowline and pipeline design; and installation technology and methods. Just look at the changes over the years in subsea tree equipment, Fig. 1. The industry has met all these challenges, which have resulted in field developments all over the world, in water depths up to and exceeding 10,000 ft of water, and, in some very harsh environmental conditions.

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