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Subsea Sand Management - Goals and Objectives of FSM Module 10 (B-FSM-172)

We now move on to Facilities Sand Management training module FSM-M10 pertaining to Subsea Sand Management. The module goals include the following items;

  • Identify drivers for subsea facilities sand management
  • Provide a focal point for discussion on subsea processing with focus on “What to do with the sand?
  • Identify and analyze conventional, unconventional, and unique options to reveal technology gaps
  • Approaches include neutralizing effects, improving conventional design, and separation with disposal
  • Investigate technology analogues from other industries

For those that may have recently started reading this blog series I will restate some of the background information so that everyone understands the basis of this technology series.

Facilities Sand Management (FSM)

In this series, which started July 28, 2017 with blog post B-FSM-001, I am covering the entire contents of my training course entitled Facilities Sand Management. This is a training course originally designed for the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and has been given both at SPE and private-corporate events around the world. This course is now available on-line at www.eprocess-training.com, and covers both the design and operating philosophy, as well as unit-operations, for handling sand and solids in oil & gas production at the operating facilities.

Some basic assumptions for all the training modules in this series are;

  • Facilities: oil & gas upstream surface/subsea equipment for separation, cleaning, and energy addition (e.g., wellhead to custody transfer)
  • Sand: tiny loose pieces of rock
  • Management: to handle or direct with a degree of skill

FSM is not simply a waste stream treatment exercise…it is a critical Flow Assurance issue.

The stated objective is to increase / maximize hydrocarbons production…while reducing / minimizing operating costs.

20 Years of Progress

In April 2002 I chaired a workshop in Houston, TX entitled “Facilities Sand Management: Getting the Beach out of Production”. This was the world’s first workshop solely focused on all aspects of sand management in the facilities. Feedback from the attendees after the event listed the Top 5 Technologies Needs going forward in our industry – listed as follows.

  1. Seabed separation & disposal
  2. Integrated subsurface/surface
  3. Sand cleaning
  4. More case studies/examples
  5. Instrumentation

Subsea sand management was the number one item identified as “needed” in our industry. Through these next series of blog posts we will see how this technology has progresses in the intervening time.


  1. Rawlins, C.H. and Ditria, J.C., 2019. “The Subsea Sand Management Challenge – What to do with the Sand?”. Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, TX, 6-9 May, OTC-29278-MS. https://doi.org/10.4043/29278-MS
  2. Rawlins, C.H. 2019. “Enhanced Production Through Surface Facilities Sand Management.” SPE Distinguished Lecturer presentation. Link here

Next week I will start with the discussion of why the oil & gas industry uses subsea processing.

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