Future offshore oil and gas fields are most likely to be “satellite developments” that are less expensive and emit less greenhouse gasses than other fields because they do not require new production platforms. An innovative Norwegian computational tool called “Slug Capturing 2” is now enabling the design of longer pipelines that will allow many more fields to be developed as satellites.
Out of sight from land and from the air, the Norwegian shelf is covered by a spider’s web of pipelines through which production fluids flow from the wells tapping the reservoirs.
This system carrying oil, water and gas in the same pipeline is called multiphase transport.
Research scientists in Norway have now developed a simulation model designed to meet one of the biggest challenges created by this form of pipeline transport—the formation of slugs. These limit the distance at which a satellite field can be developed from its host facility and require that major safety margins are built into the design of multiphase facilities.
Reducing CO2 emissions
Multiphase technology came into being at SINTEF and the Norwegian Institute for Energy Research (IFE) almost 40 years ago. This technology makes it possible to transport unprocessed oil and gas straight from a field’s production wells to platforms located on neighboring fields or directly to land.
Multiphase transport is the key factor that has enabled fully integrated production facilities to be installed on the seabed. It allows oil and gas to be recovered offshore without the high levels of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions that the construction of new