SEA highlights latest in subsea developments and what to look for at AOG 2015

Feb 11, 2015

With billions of dollars in Capex being out-laid on subsea developments in the region and subsea being a major component of the AOG 2015 programme, it is timely to speak with Mike Robinson, Chairman of Subsea Energy Australia (SEA) about his views on where this highly specialised sector of the oil and gas industry is headed.

AOG: Mike, thanks for joining us. I wonder if we could start off with your views on what the Australasian subsea market is looking like going forward?

Mike Robinson (MR): Thank you and nice to join AOG on this important discussion. Opportunities do exist in the local subsea market, however, the large mega projects are fewer and further apart compared to the large amount of activity which occurred between 2010 and 2012.

Woodside’s Browse is the mega project that everyone is looking at, with an expected FID around the end of 2015. One of possibly three FLNG vessels installed locally with associated subsea hardware and ongoing Life of Field support, this is a significant subsea project that has everyone’s attention.

Woodside is also progressing with its Persephone and Greater Western Flank projects in 2015, with opportunities for Australian industry participation in both projects. On the other side, projects such as GDFSuez’ Bonaparte FLNG development have been delayed, while there is a hold on Hess’ Equus development off the West Australian coast.

Add-on or ‘infill’ wells for existing projects such as Gorgon and Wheatstone, as well as Concerto, may slide to the right based on current information, however new equipment will be needed to maintain gas production levels for the LNG/FLNG facilities.

The well-known sale of Apache’s gas assets to Woodside may influence decisions on future add-on systems to Julimar and other potential Apache developments such as Zola. Oil developments are fewer, but still around with some possible work on Eni’s Kitan, pending drilling results, as well as Woodside’s Greater Enfield and the recent Apache/Carnarvon find. However, the current oil price woes may impact decisions and timing on these projects.

AOG: What have been some of the major new technical developments in the subsea sector?

MR: The advent and expansion of the utilisation of large bore Vertical Subsea Trees, as first used by Woodside on Perseus over Goodwyn (PoG), Pluto and Angel – are now being supplied and installed in their latest versions for Wheatstone, Prelude, Xena and Ichthys.

Acceptance of the use of subsea processing has taken a significant step forward with one major operator prepared to consider subsea gas-liquid separation on essentially equal terms to those used on a topside facility.

So the future for subsea is for the increased use of single and or multiphase boosting, as well as gas-liquid, and or, liquid-liquid separation.

Raw and or treated seawater injection is also attracting interest for reservoir pressure maintenance.

Long distance tiebacks for stranded gas is now part of the portfolios of many global oil companies, with Australia having more than its fair share. So the use of new technology, such as processing, subsea wet or dry gas compression, along with the implementation of long distance controls (either in electro-hydraulic or all electric), are key parts of the strategies being used to unlock these opportunities.

AOG: What are some of the exciting subsea related events attendees will see at AOG 2015?

MR: Subsea Energy Australia supports the AOG Conference in association with the Society of Underwater Technology (SUT). We see the event as a key technical and commercial conference with top class technical and pertinent, commercially focused presentations and workshops.

Attend Subsea at the AOG Conference on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 March. These sessions help drive efficiency, share knowledge and help to maintain Australia as a leader in the oil and gas industry. Single day passes $550 inc. GST or purchase a two day pass for $950 inc. GST.

Visit for more info and to purchase your conference passes today.

SEA is a not-for-profit industry association aimed at championing Australian subsea industry capabilities to the wider regional and global markets. The association, along with, Society for Underwater Technology (SEA) and Subsea UK (SUK) has played a key role in putting together the subsea streams and subsea zone at AOG 2015.


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