The development of the Shah Deniz field raised several technical challenges such as high reservoir pressures, the deep-water location and complicated reservoir access due to its giant geographical spread. To overcome these challenges, the Shah Deniz project deployed the latest subsea and drilling technology, some of them being Caspian firsts, including:
- Subsea production at scale. The Shah Deniz subsea production system is world scale having 500km of flowline connecting 10 subsea manifolds and 26 subsea wells. It also uses new drilling and completion systems to produce gas from some of the most challenging high-pressure wells in the world.
- High Integrity Pressure Protection valve (HIPPS). The HIPPS valve is another first for the Caspian Sea. Capable of shutting in just 15 seconds if the pressure in the manifold increases above a pre-defined level, HIPPS allows Shah Deniz to achieve the very highest safety standards.
- Direct Electrical Heating. This state-of-the-art technology is required to prevent the oil and gas flow at the depths of 500m via hundreds of kilometers of pipelines deep on the seabed from cooling down and waxing and forming lumps of ice called hydrates that would quickly build up and block the lines.
- Tubing Hanger. This is a tiny device – only 7 inches in diameter that connects the pipes in the well to the subsea system helping increase the flow rate.
- Solid Expandable Tubulars. The tubulars enable deeper hole sections to be drilled and cased in a larger size than would otherwise have been possible.
- Waste Heat Recovery at the Sangachal terminal. These units are physically attached to the gas turbines of the compressors at the terminal. They take the exhaust from the gas turbine and use it to provide heat throughout the terminal. These heat exchangers alone are expected to reduce emissions by about 110,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.