Chevron, SatCon Pioneer Use of STS Technology to Increase Production

SatCon Technology says that it has sold to PT. Chevron Pacific Indonesia (CPI) -- a wholly-owned oil, natural gas and power production subsidiary of Chevron Corp. a medium-voltage static transfer switch (STS) and related equipment that will increase output from two oil fields in Indonesia by virtually eliminating power interruptions.

The power reliability project - the first known application of STS technology for oil production - was developed through Chevron Energy Solutions, Chevron's subsidiary providing energy efficiency and power reliability services.

Storms, lightning strikes and other factors frequently cause power outages that disrupt island-based oil field operations, resulting in many hours of lost production. In the event of an electrical disturbance at CPI's Kelok and Tilan oil fields on Sumatra, the STS will automatically switch the power to a secondary line in a fraction of a voltage cycle - less than one-sixtieth of a second - ensuring continuous power to the fields' pumping equipment.

"This is a great pilot project for CPI. We believe that it will deliver the results as planned, and we're looking forward to increasing our annual production through this technology," said Noor Bambang Siswoyo, CPI's General Manager Power Generation and Transmission. "With the STS, we expect to be able to prevent 20 to 30 power disturbances each year. That translates to 30,000 additional barrels of oil we can produce annually."

Over the past decade, the medium-voltage STS has enhanced reliability in semiconductor and semiconductor tools manufacturing facilities. If successful, this new application for improving oil production operations could open up a new market for the STS technology.

"There is growing demand for solutions to increase production in upstream oil operations," said Jim Davis, President of Chevron Energy Solutions. "This type of application may hold promise for remote oil fields that are interconnected to a power grid but are facing reliability issues. Over time, we hope to be able to offer similar solutions to other upstream operations."