Merits of subsea long step-out systems for future hydrocarbon recovery revealed

September 18, 2017, Oslo, Norway – ABB’s latest white paper explores the potential for using long step-out systems to power subsea pump and compressor applications as a way to economically and safely recover hydrocarbons.

The features, advantages and benefits of applying a long step-out system to subsea pumping and compression applications is detailed in a new white paper from ABB.

More oil and gas reservoirs are located at increasing distances and depths from a host facility or from shore and developing them brings high cost and risk, low efficiency and poor reliability. A long step-out system provides efficient and reliable electric power over a large distance from an offshore facility or offshore platform to subsea production systems, such as a subsea gas compression station. The paper describes the objectives behind installing subsea pumps and compressors, to increase the recovery rate of an existing field, or in the longer term, to build up a “subsea factory” instead of an offshore platform and enable subsea production from far away onshore.

The white paper discusses the many benefits of long step-out systems including cost efficiency, increased production and flow assurance, minimized risk and environmental impact and extended capacity and lifespan of oil and gas fields. For instance, long step-out increases the amount of oil and gas that can be recovered from new and existing fields by deploying compression or pumping systems at the seabed, thereby increasing the flowrate from wells. Furthermore, using proven technology such as variable speed drives, as well as cables and transformers that have been rigorously tested, designs out the likelihood of any failure. Meanwhile, maximizing the output from existing fields is essential to enabling more sustainable hydrocarbon recovery in economic, safe and environmental terms.


ABB’s Long step-out systems for subsea pump and compressor applications - Economic hydrocarbon recovery under extreme conditions” white paper discusses the many benefits of long step-out systems including cost efficiency, increased production and flow assurance, minimized risk and environmental impact and extended capacity and lifespan of oil and gas fields.

Several case references are cited to show the potential of long step-out systems. Since the first 1 MW system was delivered by ABB, with a step-out distance of around 7 km for the Topacio and Ceiba subsea projects, today’s solutions are delivering up to 20 MVA electric power to subsea loads and at a distance up to 43 km (Åsgard subsea project). The white paper considers recent power system studies that show feeding 20 MVA up to a significantly longer distance of 120 km is feasible.

While this paper is targeted primarily at engineering and design staff in oil and gas companies and EPCs, it is also relevant to all buyers and influencers. The aim is to stimulate discussions about future fields that can benefit from this technology.
To receive a free copy of “Long step-out systems for subsea pump and compressor applications - Economic hydrocarbon recovery under extreme conditions” visit ABB oil and gas.

ABB is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 132,000 employees. www.abb.com



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    Contact us

    • Loredana Tullio
      Media Relations, Oil, Gas and Chemicals
      Phone: +39 02 24147373
    • Rita-Wei Fu
      Marketing Communication, Subsea, Oil, Gas and Chemicals
      Phone: +47 2287 2673
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