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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Design and operating guidelines for subsea oil systems have been developed to ensure the control of hydrates, wax, and other solids, which may impede flow. System designs are primarily driven by the need to avoid the formation of a hydrate plug in any portion of the system. Remediation of hydrate plugs may require system shut-in for weeks or even months. Design and operation guidelines for wax management are also well developed. Asphaltenes present a new challenge to subsea system design and operation. A number of projects now under development (Europa, Macaroni) are likely to experience some asphaltene deposition in flowlines and wellbores. Strategies have been developed to manage asphaltenes, but have not yet been tested in the field. The design and operating guidelines for control of solids in subsea oil systems are a product of the flow assurance process.

by S. E. LORIMER & B. T. ELLISON, Shell Deepwater Development Inc.


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