Redefining Subsea Asset Performance | OneSubsea

Redefining Subsea Asset Performance with Data-Driven Actionable Insights

Published: 05/04/2022

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We sat down with Digital Life of Field Domain Champion for Schlumberger Subsea Production Systems Christopher Bridge to discuss how Subsea Live data-driven performance service brings new speed and certainty to decision making. By integrating OEM expertise with automation, physics-based simulation, and AI to extract actionable insights in a secure, collaborative digital solution, Subsea Live service enables operators to transition from reactive to proactive operations.

What is the decision-making process currently for offshore operators concerning their subsea equipment and production performance?

As offshore oil and gas targets and their development rapidly become more complex, including longer tiebacks and step-outs and accessing stranded reserves, operators are pressured to reduce costs and produce hydrocarbons more sustainably. However, increasing complexity raises maintenance costs, especially for unscheduled interventions. This high-stakes situation means that contextually informed decision making is key to taking critical actions earlier, more efficiently, with greater confidence, and—ideally—proactively.

To make the right calls and reduce the risk of costly downtime and failures, subsea operators must be knowledgeable about the physical hardware and operating environment. This understanding cannot be static because production is a dynamic process as fluid composition and pressure inevitably change over time.

Currently, most decision making is a reactive process that is not fully informed by data analysis, especially for significant performance failures. The wide spectrum of subsea systems generates data in distinct formats, different volumes, and various frequencies. Whether managed in-house or by an OEM or consultant, equipment data is typically analyzed with a low-tech approach: individually maintained, nonstandardized spreadsheets, making it difficult to share across teams and slowing down reaction time. These data silos also disconnect equipment-specific data from assessing the performance of a system or field. Without a clear holistic view of performance, operators lack necessary information to identify and resolve issues, improve ongoing operations, and ultimately plan for the future.

How does Subsea Live data-driven performance service help operators optimize asset performance?

Subsea Live service is a secure, collaborative digital solution that serves as a validated and trusted source of data-driven actionable insights on equipment health, operational performance, and production optimization across the operator’s subsea asset. Automation, physics-based simulation, AI, and nearly 20 years of OEM domain monitoring experience are seamlessly integrated to analyze performance data from subsea meters, boosting and compression, production systems, and risers and flowlines. Not only are operators freed from time-consuming data management and able to readily access Schlumberger experts, but they now have advance intelligence for anticipating and mitigating performance issues and failures.

Subsea Live service’s automated process begins with setting a historical data baseline, which is of value whether equipment is performing effectively and efficiently or not. Moving forward from the baseline with subsequent real-time data identifies optimization opportunities, even if previous operations were exquisitely fine-tuned. Production is rarely static: Gas/water/oil proportions are always in flux. The sheer volume and detail of these dynamics means that without Subsea Live service’s inclusive contextual data analysis, valuable performance data is missed or inaccessible. The complex picture of what’s happening in real time is coherently and inclusively resolved by Subsea Live service.

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What value does Subsea Live data-driven performance service bring to offshore operators?

The actionable insights, optimization opportunities, and collaborative user experience provided by Subsea Live service enable operators to extract the full value of their data to extend and enhance asset performance. Potential issues are identified early on, enabling strategic mitigation of what could otherwise be an unexpected equipment performance issue—which, in a worst-case scenario, triggers a production deferral. Because Subsea Live service is continuously assessing equipment status in real time to confirm performance and identify problems in advance, operators can take proactive steps, such as initiating chemical injection to prevent hydrate formation for improved flow assurance.

As operators optimize their subsea asset performance across equipment, system, and field levels, they not only maximize operational uptime but also control costs. Sustainability of operations is increased as a result of operational efficiency and the reduction in unplanned vessel intervention trips and necessary personnel offshore.

What are some examples of Subsea Live service in action?

Subsea Live service is adept at early detection of performance changes that are so slight as not to register concern but cumulatively can have a large adverse impact. For example, changes in production fluids were causing scale deposits that obscured phase fraction and pressure measurements, subtly influencing the accuracy of an operator’s multiphase flowmeters. Subsea Live service detected the changes and employed static flow conditions for recalibrating the meters. Ongoing surveillance and recalibration—totaling 7.9% over three years—gave the operator confidence in the accuracy of the continuous measurements for further optimizing production.

Within Subsea Live service are interactive avatars that represent subsea production technologies. The boosting and compression avatar has been particularly insightful for operators. For example, before restarting operations at a field that was temporarily abandoned due to a hurricane, an operator conducted a pump pressure test, which triggered an alarm indicating loss of barrier integrity. The avatar developed a procedure that the operator used to successfully restart the pump and verify the barrier system response. Personnel mobilization and pump replacement were not necessary, saving the operator USD 20–30 million. Another operator that was experiencing poor pump performance resulting in frequent service trips and extensive downtime began proactively mitigating performance issues predicted by Subsea Live service’s health insights to increase pump uptime to 95% and raise production by 10,000 bbl/d.

How does Subsea Live service fit in the bigger digital picture, from early engagement and field development planning through production?

Digital has become a critical part of the subsea production journey, enabling efficiency, collaboration, and better decision making across the asset life cycle. To that end, Subsea Live service is one of a suite of digital solutions that establish a continuous digital thread, from the initial planning phase through the life of the field.

Optimizing subsea asset performance begins in the Subsea Planner collaborative field development solution during the planning phase. The data and interpretation that will be needed during production are addressed by incorporating sensors into the design and detailing workflows to collect the most complete data possible.

By leveraging data from the preceding design and construction phases of a subsea project, Subsea Live service improves interpretation and insight generation during production operations. Integration with other Schlumberger solutions such as Performance Live digitally connected service and Process Live data-enriched performance service further expands and enriches the scope of monitoring and actionable contextual insight generation for optimization beyond the subsea network.

Christopher Bridge
Christopher Bridge, Domain Champion, Digital Life of Field
Article Topics
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