ABB tests world-first subsea power technology system

ABB proves world first subsea power technology system signaling new era for offshore oil and gasSwiss firm ABB has completed a 3,000-hour shallow water test on its subsea power distribution and conversion technology system at a sheltered harbour in Vaasa, Finland

The US$100mn research, design and development project between ABB and Equinor brings the groundbreaking potential for a cleaner, safer and more sustainable offshore oil and gas production.

For the first time worldwide, energy companies will be able to access a reliable supply of up to 100 megawatts of power, over distances up to 600 km and down to 3,000 m water depth, at pressures that could shatter a brick, according to ABB.

This is all achievable with a single cable with little or no maintenance for up to 30 years, making oil and gas production feasible in far out and deep ocean environments.

ABB’s complete subsea power distribution and conversion system include a step-down transformer, medium voltage variable speed drives and switchgear, control and low voltage power distribution, and power electronics and control systems.

“This milestone marks an outstanding achievement and is the culmination point of an inspirational technology development achieved through tremendous dedication, expertise and perseverance. It is the result of intensive collaboration by more than 200 scientists and engineers from ABB, Equinor, Total and Chevron in a multi-year, joint effort,” said Peter Terwiesch, president of ABB’s Industrial Automation business.

“Moving the entire oil and gas production facility to the seabed is no longer a dream. Remotely operated, increasingly autonomous, subsea facilities powered by lower-carbon energy are more likely to become a reality as we transition towards a new energy future,” added Terwiesch.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
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