Laboratories House International CooperationWed, 01/20/2016 - 18:32
Despite the way in which the current oil price environment has affected ongoing deepwater projects in other parts of the globe, certain diverse exploratory processes can be undertaken during which PEMEX and more operators can test and find the right pieces of equipment. This space has enabled a series of notable collaborations between the private and public sector and between national and international entities. A great example of these sorts of ventures is the laboratory currently being installed in Boca del Rio, Veracruz, which will seek to test and qualify the most advanced technology available for fluid separation and processing in deepwater subsea applications. These facilities are being built with ICA as the main contractor and are the result of a technology-sharing agreement between ProlabNL and IMP. The laboratory is considered an exact replica of the only other one with these same
capabilities in Arnhem, in the Netherlands, also operated by ProlabNL. One of the companies closely involved in the supply and development of the technology being tested is Petrogas. Coen van Munster, Manager of Petrogas for the US and Latin America, explains that having the best processing and separation equipment in deepwater subsea fields is an advantage because processing of the well fluids is often creates a bottleneck that results in excessively high production costs. He adds that the laboratory allows users to test these technologies at full scale and with “live” hydrocarbons that behave in the same way as actual oil and gas mixtures at high pressure conditions like those present in a real oilfield installation. All kinds of subsea installations, especially multiphase separators and flow meters, will be tested in the laboratory, where it is possible to simulate every type of oil that can be extracted. This equipment will eventually be moved to deepwater environments of between 1.5 and 3km below sea level. IOCs such as Exxon Mobil are already testing their own equipment in these facilities, as onshore testing in these controlled environments also prevents them for having to incur in the downtime necessary to field test these technologies offshore.