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Extending North Sea Asset Operating Life With Large-Diameter Velocity Strings

In the southern North Sea, many fields suffer from declining gas production because of reservoir-pressure depletion and associated liquid loading. At some time during the operating life of offshore production facilities, the ability for these facilities to operate economically with further decline in gas production will need to be evaluated. To avoid early abandonment of these offshore assets, well-dewatering or liquid-unloading techniques, such as velocity-string (VS) installations, are considered for extending the operating life of these mature fields.

Introduction

As more fields in the southern North Sea begin to mature, it becomes important to keep the wells producing economically for as long as possible. In the case of depleting gas wells, this life extension involves preventing liquid loading in the wellbore.

In most gas reservoirs, the reservoir pressure will become insufficient to lift the water or condensate to the surface. As a result, the liquids accumulate in the wellbore and first will choke production then, later, will kill the well. This gas-well liquid loading occurs when the velocity of the gas up the wellbore becomes insufficient to drag the associated liquids to surface. Although many methods of liquid removal are available, only intermittent production, continuous injection of foam, and permanent installation of velocity strings are currently considered suitable for large-scale offshore application.

This article, written by Senior Technology Editor Dennis Denney, contains highlights of paper SPE 163905, “Extending the Operating Life of Mature North Sea Assets With Big-Scale Offshore Installation of Large-Diameter Chrome-Coiled-Tubing Velocity Strings,” by R.M. de Jonge, SPE, D. Ambergen, and U.A. Tousis, SPE, Baker Hughes, and K. Veeken, SPE, L. Hoekstra, and S. Gesterkamp, NAM, prepared for the 2013 SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing & Well Intervention Conference & Exhibition, The Woodlands, Texas, 26–27 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Extending North Sea Asset Operating Life With Large-Diameter Velocity Strings

01 June 2013

Volume: 65 | Issue: 6

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