Schlumberger Unit and ABB Finish Pioneering Test

Schlumberger Unit and ABB Finish Pioneering Test
ABB and OneSubsea team members monitor progress on the VSD and compressor submerged string test. PHOTO SOURCE: ABB

Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB) unit OneSubsea and ABB (NYSE: ABB) have successfully completed the world’s first full-scale subsea variable speed drive (VSD) and compressor submerged string test, ABB reported last month.

“The integrated test proves that we have a robust and reliable high-power subsea VSD for submerged pumps and compressors like OneSubsea’s WGC6000 and those from other manufacturers,” remarked Per Erik Holsten, ABB’s managing director in Norway, in a written statement emailed to Rigzone.

According to ABB, the test – conducted this past summer in a shallow-water pit at OneSubsea facilities off the coast of Bergen, Norway – demonstrated that eight-megawatt (MW) shaft power is available with a single VSD connected to a compressor. Funded by industry partners Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Equinor (NYSE: EQNR) and Total (NYSE: TOT), the test applied OneSubsea’s multiphase wet gas compressor (WGC6000) operating in a hydrocarbon loop, ABB added.

Holsten pointed out that completing the largely remote test amid lockdowns and social restrictions tied to COVID-19 represented a significant accomplishment in itself.

“Our team rose to the challenges presented by the pandemic restrictions to enable this test to take place,” he said.

With the test successfully completed, ABB’s VSD and OneSubsea’s multiphase compressor have hit the Technology Readiness Level 5 (TRL5) milestone and are ready for market deployment, ABB stated. The company contends the VSD and compressor together “offer a disruptive optimization of subsea processing and tie-backs.”

ABB noted the VSD forms a major component of the subsea and power distribution and conversion system that it commercially proved last year. As a Dec. 2019 Rigzone article about the technology states, the subsea power technology system is designed to help make oil and gas production feasible in more remote deep-ocean environments.

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