Identification of criteria for selection of arctic offshore field development concept
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When the decision to study the development of an offshore field is taken, the concept phase of an offshore project development starts. The concept phase consists of the concept screening, conceptual engineering and concept selection stages. While concept screening and conceptual engineering stages represent a specific sequence of engineering calculations to determine technical feasibility and all aspects of each possible development concept for an offshore field, the concept selection stage represents a decision making process where a lot of factors should be considered in order to identify the optimal concept which satisfies all technical, economic and safety requirements along others. According to recent tendency in oil and gas industry, the Arctic offshore area has a great potential for future field developments. However high ecological risks, challenging environment for operation and construction as well as requirements for huge money investments impose accessorial liability on decisions taken in the early phases of the project and especially in the selection of the optimal development concept. The purpose of the thesis is concretization of the Concept selection process for Arctic offshore field development. Identification of the possible criteria influencing the definition of the optimal development concept is carried out. Prioritizing of each criterion according to its importance in the Concept selection process is then performed. Attention is given to the main Arctic specifics and challenges that could affect the field development concept. On the basis of this analysis the concept screening and the conceptual engineering steps for Arctic projects are discussed. The main driving factors for qualifying the development concept are defined. Their effects on the development concept in the Arctic are then considered. In the second part the Concept selection process for the Arctic offshore field development is considered. Criteria influencing the concept selection process were identified. Criteria identification is performed on the basis of wide literature survey which includes industry standards, scientific articles and English and Russian engineering books about offshore field development. Evaluation of the criteria’s importance is carried out by the help of experts’ judgment method. A questionnaire for criteria evaluation was prepared and a group of relevant people from the industry, who deals with the Arctic offshore field development, weighted each criterion according to their importance in the Arctic offshore concept selection process. As a result, a list of the most important criteria, representing the basis for selection of development concept for Arctic offshore fields, is prepared. The results of the work are presented in the form of a methodological tool for the Arctic offshore concept selection. The model is dedicated to the Concept Phase of the Arctic offshore project. Each stage at that phase is considered in the model. Parameters important in the screening stage are listed. Their imposed limitations on the development concept are identified. A list of criteria for comparison of possible development concepts is included in the model. Thus, the model represents a step by step approach for the implementation of the Concept Phase of an Arctic offshore project. The conclusion summarizes the acquired findings, provides reasonable recommendations for the concept selection of the Arctic offshore fields and gives the scope for the future work.
Master's thesis in Offshore Technology