The importance of thorough system engineering in subsea oil & gas industry is well known. It is also a known fact that engagement of system engineering from early phase of the project is highly beneficial in delivering a project on time within the requirements and not exceeding the budget.
All operators perform early phase studies (feasibility/ concept/ pre-FEED), either in-house or with an engineering company or SPS/SURF suppliers. Traditionally early phase studies were separated in SPS and SURF, with the interface responsibility falling on the operator. Of late industry is turning towards, integrated SPS + SURF studies and projects in order to reduce the risk and achieve seamless execution. The desired outcome of these studies is to identify the lowest CAPEX field development solution that meets the operational requirements.
The current way of doing studies potentially miss the most optimal field development option owing to the following reasons, which are addressed in SFACE method.
|Unstructured approach to options identification and analysis, leading to failure in exhaustive option consideration||SFACE provides a structured approach for generating exhaustive list of possible options for field layouts, which ensures that no option is missed. This is done by listing all the development elements (e.g. host, flowline, artificial lift etc), their respective options (e.g. host: FPSO, Jacket, Tie-back etc; flowline: Rigid, Flexible, Hybrid etc; artificial lift: Gas lift, ESP, subsea boosting etc), their relative comparison and all the possible valid combinations.|
|Individuals’ experience leading to preferences||The exhaustive listing from SFACE ensures that individual bias / preference does not limit the options for consideration.|
|Excessive cost and time requirement to evaluate multiple options||SFACE enables quick and easy generation of field architecture for the identified options and performs system analysis to provide key engineering & cost results. This facilitates evaluation of the all the identified options without the constraint of time and cost, as in traditional method.|
|Typical approach in the studies to derive the project cost is top down, based on past analogues, which inherently fails to differentiate between changes in configuration of equipment. Comparing different field layout options based on this derived cost will be unsuccessful in achieving the desired outcome of the studies.||The costing approach in SFACE is bottoms up, identifying all the key cost drivers and hence is able to distinguish between smallest possible configurational changes. This allows to identify lowest truly optimum field development solution, which a user can rely on.|