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Riser base gas-lift is one of several methods that have been proven to work in subsea developments for production enhancement. In some cases, gas-lift can be used to increase feasibility of blowdown for hydrate prevention. In addition, gas-lift can be used as an effective method to supress severe slugging that usually occurs with downhill inclination. Hence, this method has great potential to enable more compact subsea architectures, such as production loops, enhancing project economics, without reducing functionalities. Meanwhile, the necessity of gas-lift application is not always obvious because its effectiveness depends on reservoir performance, fluid properties, seabed terrain, subsea architecture, and flowline and riser specifications. In many cases, gas-lift for production enhancement is only advantageous at late life production, when oil production rates are low and water rates might be high enough. Whether gas-lift is suitable as an artificial lift method and where the lift-gas should be injected is a direct and objective analysis. On the other hand, its application in a flow assurance context is more subjective, being strongly influenced by operational philosophy and risk tolerance. Based on a typical envoltory from Brazilian pre-salt, concerning reservoir characteristics, fluid and production system, a set of simulations has been performed to evaluate the application of riser base gas-lift as a multi purpose solution. These include when gas-lift is beneficial for production enhancement and for flow assurance. The results of the application
of riser base gas-lift as a blowdown method are very promising. It is possible to complete remediation operations successfully, even for low gas injection rates. In prevention operations, it is possible to observe a reduction in residual pressure for all combinations of fluid and geometrical characteristics, specially in downward flow. For high productivity wells, riser base gas-lift is only disadvantageous in comparison with downhole gas-lift, from production enhancement point of view, when watercut is around 60 to 70 per cent.