OTC.10: Siemens unveils subsea power grid for ultra deepwater

Siemens Energy at the Offshore Technology Conference today unveiled a new concept for supplying power to subsea infrastructure in long-distance step-out scenarios in up to 3,000 m (9,843 ft) water depth.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON -- Siemens Energy at the Offshore Technology Conference today unveiled a new concept for supplying power to subsea infrastructure in long-distance step-out scenarios in up to 3,000 m (9,843 ft) water depth.

“Full subsea processing is unthinkable without an industrial, heavy duty, high reliability power grid directly on the seabed,” says Tom Blades, CEO of the Oil and Gas Division of Siemens Energy. “The depletion of onshore reserves is forcing oil and gas companies to exploit fields in the remotest places at ever greater water depths. However, the tremendous water pressure in subsea environments leads to a recovery gap as compared to traditional surface wells that can be as high as 30%. The Siemens subsea power grid is an enabler in closing this gap, opening the way for full fledged subsea processing.”

Siemens’ new subsea package includes power cables, transformers, switchgear and variable speed drives, to power and control electrical driven pumps or turbo-compressors, separators, and other processing equipment. The requisite power is provided by an industrial onshore or topside combined cycle power plant. Concurrently, the company is opening two new subsea competence centers in Houston and Rio de Janeiro.

The complete power grid system would be mounted on a single base frame directly on the seabed, explains Bjoern Einar Brath, who is responsible for subsea applications at Siemens Oil & Gas. A pressure-compensated design will lower the weight and increase the robustness of the system. Another unique feature of the system, he says, is its proprietary seal-less STC-ECO compressor driven by a bearing-free and hence “zero maintenance” integrated electrical drive.

The new subsea grid is expected to be available for deployment by late 2012.

05/04/2010

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