Immense effort is required to access new oil and gas deposits, as boreholes have to be prepared and created. It can take years of preparation before a new oil field comes online. For offshore wells, oil producers now frequently are opting for a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading Unit (FPSO). The FPSO is flexible and can be used to store, process and load the extracted crude oil or natural gas, as well as for pumping. Particularly for offshore operations, using FPSOs means that expensive pipelines at the point of production are no longer necessary. That means even fields with a short life span or far from the coast can be developed cost-effectively.
In January 2018, one of the world's largest oil companies decided to deploy just such a flexible production unit off the coast of Great Britain. Once the planned eight boreholes have been drilled, the FPSO will be one of the largest investments the group has made in the British North Sea for decades. Up to 45,000 barrels per day will be produced at the new site in the future. Efficient operation is important to the company, especially in view of volatile oil prices, so the company wanted the system to be profitable even at world market prices of less than 40 US dollars per barrel. Efficiency is therefore also a priority for the technology used on the platform, both for the primary tasks associated with oil production and for secondary processes such as crude oil processing. The oil company's partner in charge of engineering and construction therefore turned to NETZSCH Pumps & Systems for the pumping technology. See here how NETZSCH solved this challenge!