Novel Methods to Install Deep Water Subsea Production Systems
NineSigma, representing an international Oil and Gas company, is looking for new approaches to install large, deep water subsea systems (tree, manifolds, risers, flowlines, etc.). Currently the use of expensive specialized installation vessels is the major installation method. With the expectation that future installations will be at increasingly greater depth, we are looking for cost effective alternatives to installation vessels.
The exploration and production of oil and gas reservoirs in a variety of water depths is a challenge, especially because these subsea developments are moving further offshore and into deeper waters. Next to the technical challenges of such projects, the costs involved are also continuously increasing.
Subsea production systems have several components like christmas trees, manifolds, jumpers, riser systems, and subsea flowlines. The deployment of these systems requires specialized and expensive equipment. Conventional drilling rigs and specialized crane barges are used to lower structures to the seabed. The costs of using an installation vessel may be US$750,000 per day or greater. At sea the weather conditions can change rapidly and operations regularly have to be stopped, although the daily vessel costs continue to add up.
NineSigma’s client expects to potentially install at least 1 new subsea production system per year for the next decade and is therefore interested to identify cost effective approaches to current methods.
Key Success Criteria
The successful technology will have the following specifications:
Ability to install heavy structures at the seabed
Weights from 50 to 60 tons for christmas trees and 250 to 300 tons for manifolds
At depths up to 3,000 m, preferably up to 4,000 m
Ability to continue operating safely in bad weather conditions would be a bonus as this may decrease the installation duration; this may include operation in up to and beyond a significant wave height of 3 meters, a wind speed of 20 knots, or a current speed of 3 knots.
Pose no additional risk to the personnel operating the method, the assets, or the environment
NineSigma’s client is not in a position to provide manufacturing or integration facilities. All needed work to produce a new installation method is to be provided by the participant or third parties
Exclusivity is not a requirement and suitable new solutions can be offered to other customers
Proposals from academic researchers will be evaluated if the path towards practical use is clear
Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:
Remotely operated submersible equipment
Buoyancy based solutions
Novel types of barges
Solutions coming from the defense industry
Novel methods being developed within the oil and gas industry
Approaches not of Interest
Solutions that cannot ensure safety or control of offshore installation operation
Research proposals that might deliver against the requirements at some indefinable future point
Items to be Submitted
Your response should not contain any confidential information and address the following:
Non-Confidential description of proposed method or equipment
Supporting data or technical rationale for conceptual approaches
Technology maturity (concept, prototype, suitable for practical use)
Estimated development requirements (e.g. for prototype development, field trials, etc.), including timing and estimated budget
Intellectual property status
Preferred business relationship
Short overview of team behind the proposal and expertise in this or related fields
The client will review submitted proposals and possibly ask clarifying questions before selecting the most suitable candidates for evaluation. During the selection process, the client may execute non-disclosure agreements (NDA) with selected respondent(s), seek further information disclosure, and discuss specific targets.
Client will evaluate all responses and choose those of greatest interest for direct discussions that could lead to contractual engagement or other commercial arrangements with selected respondent.