Subsea field development is a long and complicated procedure that begins with the primary survey and ends with the last reservoir recovery.

Field Development Life Cycle Style

They ultimately delineate the development area’s geology based on the data gathered from old wells, seismic analysis, and any other information that is available. The initial issues at this stage concern the following aspects:

  • Structure of the basin and the subregional features (i.e., fault and/or fold traps for hydrocarbons);
  • The stratigraphy (i.e., whether the reservoir rocks exhibit porosity and permeability);
  • The burial history of the basin (i.e., whether the source rocks have been buried sufficiently for hydrocarbon generation).

By addressing these concerns, investigators may identify and select parts of the larger area for further study and may ultimately generate a prospect evaluation.

After the initial investigations, the reservoir description phase begins, which involves drilling delineation wells and perhaps conducting 3D seismic analyses. This new information allows reservoir engineers and geologists to calculate the volume of oil and/or gas that is present in the reservoir. Then it is time to ascertain the optimum subsea field layout and pipeline route; the production facilities will also be selected based on field layout and installation considerations. After all well and equipment testing, the field begins to produce oil and gas. However, as more and more oil and gas are transported to the host structure from the reservoir, the reservoir pressure will decrease, and need to recovery to keep the production being transported from the reservoir.

This chapter provides guidelines for the main disciplines associated with the development of a field architecture without topside facilities and also for system integration and interfacing, which are the most important parts of a field development project. When defining a field architecture, the following issues should be considered:

  • Deepwater or shallow-water development;
  • Dry tree or wet tree;
  • Stand-alone or tie-back development;
  • Subsea processing;
  • Artificial lift methods;
  • Facility configurations (i.e., template, well cluster, satellite wells,



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[7] DEEPSTAR, The State of Art of Subsea Processing, Part A, Stress Engineering Services (2003).

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[11] International Standards Organization, Petroleum and Natural Gas Industries-Design and Operation of the Subsea Production Systems, Part 1: General Requirements and Recommendations, ISO 13628-1, 2005.

[12] O. Jahnsen, G. Homstvedt, G.I. Olsen, Deepwater Multiphase Pumping System, DOT International Conference & Exhibition, Parc Chanot, France, 2003.