Unmanned wellhead platforms (UWPs)

Chapter 4: Recovery

Producing small discoveries and marginally profitable resources on fields calls for cost-effective development solutions. Subsea installations have been a genuine and important option, but reservoir conditions or other considerations have hindered their use on some discoveries and Fields.

In other cases, the resources may exist for development with a platform solution, but the basis or need for a conventional unmanned platform or process facility is not present.

A new and simpler UWP has now been developed and is planned for use on Oseberg Vestflanken 2. Approved in the summer of 2016, this project represents further development of new and existing deposits on Oseberg


(Artist’s impression: Statoil)

This project is the first to adopt the UWP concept on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), and others in the industry are now drawing lessons from this. The solution is being assessed as a solution for further development projects on a number of fields. A UWP can also be utilised for developing discoveries, but will then need to be tied back to another installation which has processing and export capacity.

The UWP is a simple structure without helideck or overnight accommodation. It provides easy access to wells, since the wellheads are placed dry on the topside. That contrasts with a subsea development, where the wellheads stand wet on the seabed.

This concept could provide a cost- and production-effective solution in shallow water, particularly in cases which involve a large number of wells.

More information: New report positive to unmanned wellhead platforms