The offshore pilot test of Exxon’s Submerged Production System (SPS) has reached a successful conclusion. This pilot test encompassed the entire spectrum of SPS equipment, spanning from the well completion intervals to, but not including, common surface processing and storage facilities. Since the SPS is designed to meet all the life cycle needs of a subsea field, one of the objectives of the pilot test was to evaluate both the techniques and the equipment used to install, operate, and maintain a prototype version of the SPS. The equipment under test was designed for use in water depths up to 2000 ft, but with minor modifications it is capable of operating in significantly greater depths. Evaluation of pilot test results has shown that the deep water installation techniques are practicable and that the deep water maintenance machinery is competent to repair any failures likely to occur in an operating system. One of the most significant problems in conducting the pilot test was achieving adequate quality control during equipment manufacture. The test results have demonstrated that, with relatively minor modifications, the SPS is suitable for commercial application.

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