Floating production systems versus subsea tiebacks: the costs?

This model estimates the line-by-line costs of an FPSO project, across c45 distinct cost lines, in order to quantify the potential savings of a tieback or a ‘fully subsea’ development.

Our estimates drawing on four technical papers, as illustrated in the backup tabs of the model. For a full discussion, see our recent note ‘The future of offshore: fully subsea‘.

We estimate c$750M of cost savings for a tieback, and c$500M of cost savings for a fully subsea development, as compared against a traditional project with a traditional production facility.  Please download the model to see the different cost drivers, line-by-line.

Subsea Services: Patent Leaders?

This data-file captures all the subsea-focused patents from ten of the largest subsea service providers around the industry, to quantify who has a technical edge (chart above).

The balance has been shifting. During the oil downturn, large, industrial conglomerates effectively halved their pace of technology development, while some subsea service companies accelerated (chart below).

The relative rankings are interesting. The data-file shows clear leaders in the categories such as subsea pumps, wellheads or umbilicals. Other areas are more competitive, with 2-3 companies vying for leadership in, flexible risers, subsea power or pipe-lay. One large subsea EPC screens as ‘Top 5’ on most categories, but is facing strong competion across the board.

Covered companies include: ABB, Aker, Cameron, FMC,  GE, OneSubsea, Saipem, Siemens, Subsea7, Technip.

Development Concepts: how much CO2?

This data-file quantifies the costs and CO2 emissions associated with different oilfield development concepts’ construction materials.

We have tabulated c25 projects, breaking down the total tonnage of steel and concrete used in their topsides, jackets, hulls, wells, SURF and pipelines.  Included are the world’s largest FPSOs, platforms and floating structures; as well as new resources in shale, deepwater-GoM, Guyana, pre-salt Brazil and offshore Norway.

Infill wells, tiebacks and FPSOs make the most efficient use of construction materials per barrel of production. Fixed leg platforms are higher, then gravity based structures, then FLNG, and finally offshore wind (by a factor of 30x).

 

Subsea Separation: the elusive history

This database covers all 14 subsea separation projects across the history of the oil industry, going back to the “dawn of subsea” in 1969.

For each example, we tabulate the asset, region, operator, water depth, process technology, Service company, start-up year, power rating, oil capacity, gas capacity, water capacity and some notes.

What is interesting about the data is how elusive the technology’s ascent has been. Two of our projects were cancelled. The largest were 2.3MW. Subsea Boosting and Compression has been 4x more prevalent (chart below).

This matters for the Mero pre-salt field where an unprecedented, giant, 6MW subsea-separation project is being pioneered, to handle high gas and CO2 cuts.

 

Can technology revive offshore oil?

The appetite to invest in new offshore oil projects has been languishing, due to fears over the energy transition, a preference for share-buybacks, and intensifying competition from short-cycle shale. So can technology revive offshore and deep-water? This note outlines our ‘top twenty’ opportunities. They can double deep-water NPVs, add c4-5% to IRRs and improve oil price break-evens by $15-20/bbl.

Offshore Economics: the Impact of Technology

This data-file quantifies the impact that technology can have on offshore economics. We start with a 250-line field model, for a typical offshore oil and gas project. We then list our “top twenty” offshore technologies, which can improve the economics. In a third tab, we update our base case model, line-by-line, to reflect these twenty technologies. Finally, the “before” and the “after” are compared and contrasted.

Thermo-Plastic Composite: The Future of Risers?

We have estimated the costs of a subsea riser system, for a typical deep-water project; and the potential cost-reduction that can be achieved by using ThermoPlastic Composite Pipe instead (e.g., Airborne, Magma). Savings should be around c45%, or c$20M/riser. Our data-file also includes the order-history to-date for TCP: by project, operator, and geography (below).

Copyright: Thunder Said Energy, 2022.