Floating production platforms and their applications in the development of oil and gas fields in the South China Sea
This paper studies the current available options for floating production platforms in developing deepwater oil fields and the potential development models of future oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea. A detailed review of current deepwater platforms worldwide was performed through the examples of industry projects, and the pros and cons of each platform are discussed. Four types of platforms are currently used for the deepwater development: tension leg platform, Spar, semi-submersible platform, and the floating production system offloading. Among these, the TLP and Spar can be used for dry tree applications, and have gained popularity in recent years. The dry tree application enables the extension of the drilling application for fixed platforms into floating systems, and greatly reduces the cost and complexity of the subsea operation. Newly built wet tree semi-submersible production platforms for ultra deepwater are also getting their application, mainly due to the much needed payload for deepwater making the conversion of the old drilling semi-submersible platforms impossible. These platforms have been used in different fields around the world for different environments; each has its own advantages and disadvantages. There are many challenges with the successful use of these floating platforms. A lot of lessons have been learned and extensive experience accumulated through the many project applications. Key technologies are being reviewed for the successful use of floating platforms for field development, and potential future development needs are being discussed. Some of the technologies and experience of platform applications can be well used for the development of the South China Sea oil and gas field.
Keywordsfloating platform deepwater development oil field development deepwater technology platform host
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