With the increasing number of subsea wells requiring some sort of interventions such as repair, measurements, plug zone isolation, chemical treatment, scale removal there is an increasing demand for an efficient subsea light well intervention service. Such a service has been in operation on the Norwegian continental shelf for the past three years and is systematically being improved from year to year. Currently, a long term commitment has been made by Norwegian operators to acquire a RLWI service for one provider for a period of five years. In conjunction with this long term commitment new and improved technology is developed to make this service more efficient. These new technologies include deployment systems, composite cables, coiled tubing from light vessels and advanced well control systems.
Presently there are 300 operating subsea wells by Norwegian companies on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Further, Norwegian companies are operating subsea fields in deep waters and arctic areas through their international efforts. Historically, some sort of well intervention is required often in subsea wells as large gap is found between wells on fixed platforms and subsea wells. It is mainly due to the lack of well intervention capacity and high cost for subsea wells. Hence, there arises a need to establish a RLWI service that can operate across asset borders.
Lowering down the cost of operations is the key driving force behind the development of RLWI technology. Such type of technology helps in carrying out cost effective operations into existing subsea wells thereby resulting in additional production volumes from mature subsea fields at highly competitive costs.
The technology comprises a lubricating system for injecting downhole tool packages into the wellbore under full pressure and without taking hydrocarbons back to the vessel. All the equipments to regulate the subsea wells are employed from the dynamically positioned monohull vessel without requiring anchors and workover risers. RLWI operations are generally carried out from a dynamically positioned built intervention vessel to carry out the following operations such as gauging, plugging, logging, re-perforating and various mechanical works to reduce the flow restrictions.
By converting well intervention work from expensive drilling rigs to light monohull vessels the well intervention cost is reduced drastically, thereby enabling large intervention work and gradually increased oil recovery. With advancements in technology subsea IOR project development is taking place and it has direct implications on the type of direct operation to be performed with Riserless Light Well Intervention vessel. The task of establishing a long term RLWI alliance is accomplished with the help of long term agreements between operators and service providers.
The cost of well intervention operations in subsea wells using drilling rigs is higher than conventional well operations. As a result, well interventions such as PLTs are not performed nearly as required from the data gathering point of view with less reservoir understanding. Thus, the newly procured services from the RLWI alliance constitute a solid basis for lowering the cost. Emerging economies and growing populations are some of the key drivers of the riserless light well intervention market. However, integration of new technologies with the existing technology can hinder the growth of the market. Huge opportunities are there for riserless light well intervention market as demand for energy is increasing at a healthy rate owing to the rapid industrialization.
Some of the key players in the business of riserless light well intervention market include FMC Technologies, Statoil ASA, FTO Services, Sapura Kencana Well Services, Aker Solutions and Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. among others.
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