Subsea completed wells and underwater infrastructure have been among the most important technology developments within the oil and gas sector over the last decades. The increasing volume of underwater infrastructure, depletion of developed reservoirs, increasing flow assurance issues, and trends towards ever increasing water depths have since driven the logic for taking topside processing technology and applying it subsea. Rystad Energy was hired by a subsea equipment supplier to assess the potential of all subsea processing technologies, including separation, boosting, and gas compression. The aim of the study was to consider the viability of each technology in order to make the right R&D investments and to address the most promising future markets.
Starting with field-by-field resource and production figures taken from UCube, Rystad Energy developed a model of the subsea processing market. By considering the additional recovery effect of applying different subsea processing technologies across all viable fields, discounted cash flow valuation was applied to each candidate to assess the operator’s increased value from installing subsea processing systems. By combining this model with knowledge of the operators’ degree of technology acceptance and with an outlook for the global subsea equipment installation capacity, a likely 10-year market development scenario was created.
Significant market potential was identified and confirmed across all subsea processing technology segments and with some areas standing out as particularly interesting to pursue. The client applied the knowledge attained through the study to redirect some of its R&D efforts towards the most promising technologies.