Asia's first rigless subsea stimulation was executed in 2018, with intervention performed upon three target wells offshore Sabah Malaysia, at a water depth of approximately 1400 m (4,593 ft). Significant changes in reservoir performance prompted an acid stimulation and scale squeeze treatment, designed to remedy fines migration and scaling issues within the well and production system. Treatment fluids were delivered subsea by an open-water hydraulic access system, using a hybrid coiled-tubing downline. Access to the subsea trees was permitted via a patented choke access technology, allowing for a flexible, opex-efficient, and low-risk intervention. The intervention system was installed upon a multi-service vessel, with the downline deployed via the vessel moonpool. A second support vessel was used as required to provide additional fluid capacity without disturbing primary intervention operations. This enhanced the flexibility of the operation, permitting changes in the treatment plan to be accommodated for without impact to critical path stimulation activities.
The full intervention was delivered as an integrated service, with all elements supplied by a single provider, via one contract. An established network of in-house equipment, expertise, test laboratories, and operational bases supported the planning and execution of the project. This was complemented by select external providers for vessels, remotely operated vehicle services, and other specialist contractors.
The challenges faced during this new market entry included completion of a comprehensive treatment fluid test program, importation and logistics of equipment from around the globe, and managing operational risks, all within a condensed timeline to satisfy a brief intervention window. By leveraging the diverse global network of the service provider, the technology and people required for the project were accessed and brought together to achieve a collaborative solution. This was enhanced by the inclusion of performance based elements within the contract. The provision of a highly efficient and flexible well access technology also supported rapid mobilization and operational risk reduction.
Post-stimulation well testing confirmed an average increase in oil productivity of 86%, with a corresponding productivity index factor (PIF) gain of 3.4. These results, combined with the efficient execution of the campaign, confirm the appropriateness of open-water hydraulic access using coiled-tubing for performing cost-effective stimulations on complex subsea wells.
Successful entry to the region was highly dependent upon the integrated nature of the service. Access to the service providers global network permitted a high degree of influence upon the ultimate performance of the stimulation. Examples include the PIF results achieved and the responsive actions taken to remedy offshore challenges such as reservoir lock-up on well #3.