Cost-Effective Transitioning of a Shallow-Water Exploration Well to Production

There are several ways to transition an exploration well into a standalone producer. Options include pre-installing a fixed platform, bringing in a MOPU (mobile offshore production unit) or using a low-cost retrofit conductor-supported platform (CSP).

Retrofitted wellhead platform

19 Jun 2018

David Goodfield

Senior Engineer, Woking

In this article, we’re going to take a look at the retrofit CSP in more detail and explain why it’s the most cost-effective method for transitioning a well.

Why is a retrofit CSP a good solution?

Fabricating and installing a structure for an exploration well increases the cost with no guarantee of return. However, once a well has been proven, shut-in or abandonment is a waste of time and materials. A light-weight retrofit CSP solves both these problems. It prevents up-front CAPEX but also provides a fast-track option for long-term production without the use of an expensive MOPU.

Wellhead platform template

What is a retrofit CSP?

A retrofit CSP is a structure that is installed on the well after the drilling campaign. Structural and/or supporting components are installed around the free-standing conductor prior to departure of the jack-up rig. This arrangement provides strength, stability and fatigue resistance over the extended life of the well. Production fluid can be exported through an offloading hose. A topside deck from which wells can be controlled and maintained can be included if beneficial to the field development. Similarly, slots for optional future wells can be included through additional support conductors.

Exploration well supported by jack-up

What should I consider when designing a retrofit CSP?

Be concise. Design creep is the kiss of death to this fast-track, light-weight structure. Consider the true functional requirements carefully and always revert to them when reviewing the design. Maintaining a minimum facilities mindset will ensure your structure does not become monstrous in size, weight, and of course, cost.

Be efficient. The design brief should minimise changes from existing platform designs and only include the use of readily available materials and local fabrication facilities, to minimize overall delivery time.

Be ready to go. The structures should be pre-fabricated and available on the quayside ready to transport before well-testing is complete so as not to interfere with rig drilling and testing operations or to unnecessarily delay rig departure.

Be flexible. Retrofit structures can be delivered within 6 months of project kick-off and are much smaller than their fixed platform counterparts making it entirely feasible to store them in a yard until needed (perhaps on the next well).

What makes a retrofit CSP different from a standard CSP?

The resulting platform is really no different from the industry-standard field-proven CSP solution that 2H has been successfully installing for over 10 years. The ability for it to be retrofitted after drilling is achieved by a combination of field-proven clamp designs and practical offshore experience.

Conductor Illustration

Fast-track, cost-effective solution for well conversion

A retrofit CSP can provide a field-proven, fast-track, cost-effective and versatile solution for converting your investment in an exploration well into a revenue-generating production well.

If you would like to know more about 2H’s retrofit conductor supported platforms or are interested in having a lunch and learn, please get in touch with our London office on or +44 1483 774900.

David Goodfield

Senior Engineer, Woking