Subsea Electrification and Seafloor Oil and Gas Processing

Conventional oil and gas reserves are diminishing, which is driving the need to explore new unconventional resources that are more difficult to access.

Imagine ultra-deep water off-shore fields 100 kilometers from land and nearly two miles deep in the sea. The distance itself is daunting, but other challenges exist for enabling production in these new environments. The conditions and elements can be harsher. In some cases, you might be dealing with sour gas that is more corrosive on your equipment. And the pressures and temperatures can be more volatile.

Advanced electric system architectures and seabed processing technologies are required to achieve production that is reliable, economical and minimizes environmental impact. GE Global Research is developing a suite of technologies to help GE’s Oil & Gas business address these needs:

  • Subsea Electric Power: Being able to deliver electric power to hard-to-reach places like the ocean floor will increase the extraction of unconventional oil and gas resources
  • Advanced Fluid Processing: This will address the challenges of oil and gas compression, pumping and transport. For example, further developments to multiphase pumps that can improve recovery from more mature subsea wells and more effectively handle the mix of liquids and sands that can be involved with this recovery
  • Monitoring and Control: To ensure safe and reliable systems that can function effectively in harsher environments, more robust and advanced sensing and monitoring tools will be required

GE is currently involved in the Ormen Lange pilot, which is the world’s first subsea processing test bed. More than 90% of the technologies involved in this pilot are GE technologies, and it is serving as a great proving ground.

In addition to the Pilot, GE has state-of-the-art lab facilities at its Niskayuna facility where scientists working on electrification solutions can test new technologies under simulated subsea well conditions. The goal is to enable reliable, safe and efficient oil and gas recovery on the seabed floor.