Subsea Experts Combine to Propel Deepwater Oil Recovery

After working together to deliver the world’s first subsea compression system in the Norwegian Sea last year, ABB and Aker Solutions have announced agreements to further boost subsea technologies. Several years of collaboration between ABB and Aker Solutions included the delivery of the world’s first subsea compression system to the Åsgard field last year, an advancement that was expected to boost Statoil’s recovery from the Norwegian Sea field by the equivalent of 306 million barrels of oil. Now the two companies, leading up to the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), where both will be exhibiting next week in Houston, have announced further agreements to combine their strengths in subsea, power and automation technologies. The cooperation takes aim at efficiencies in offshore oil and gas production, and will integrate ABB’s subsea power and automation technologies and Aker’s subsea capabilities to create more effective, reliable and flexible oil and gas production systems. It will enhance how production equipment on the seafloor is powered and controlled by applications on shore or platforms, lowering costs and enabling economically viable production at fields far from existing infrastructure.
ABB’s involvement in the Åsgard subsea project delivered to Statoil last year included providing the power to the compression system. Transmitting 18 MVA at 120 Hz over 43 km set a new world record for distance, voltage and frequency between a drive on a floating production facility and a seabed compressor. “Power and automation are crucial to improving the effectiveness of compression, boosting and other solutions for increasing oil and gas recovery from subsea fields,” said Peter Terwiesch, president of ABB’s Process Automation Division. “This collaboration is part of our Next Level Strategy to engage in value-adding partnerships, and will bring together the expertise and technology needed to help better serve customers and strengthen our subsea power and automation solutions.” Subsea compression and pumping provides better oil and gas recovery rates, reduced production costs, improved safety and a lower environmental footprint, according to ABB and Aker Solutions. Going after increasingly challenging subsea electrical engineering, the initial focus of continued cooperation will include developing better subsea compression systems at lower costs and in less time. “Together we will further hone our focus on developing technologies for greater and more sustainable hydrocarbon recovery and help customers reduce costs by making existing subsea solutions more effective,” said Alan Brunnen, head of Aker Solutions’ subsea business. Though headquartered in Oslo, Norway, the collaboration will target global opportunities beyond Åsgard and Norwegian territorial waters.