Bergen, Norway 11 – 13 June, 2019

Rising to the subsea challenge

by Elaine Maslin –

Faced with a threat to its viability, the subsea sector is rising to the challenge. While capital spending is still slight, the projects that are coming forward show that there are alternatives and that innovation is very much possible.

What were once concepts, such as all-electric subsea systems and subsea resident robotics, are now firmly in operator road maps and are seen as an essential part of the subsea processing system, especially for deepwater development and longer stepouts globally.

Instead of incremental change, companies have been asking “how can we do this differently.” This is being done in several ways. Companies are working together differently, but also using computing power, to better understand systems and flow regimes, enabling both simplification and an ability to push the boundaries of design. Digitalisation is also becoming part of how the industry gets more from its systems – more efficiency, increased recovery, less down time.

This year’s Underwater Technology Conference (UTC) in Bergen will host discussions on all of these topics and more. Industry leaders will discuss what the strategic drivers are for the industry, as we move forward, while leading contractors and operators will be presenting subsea technologies from concept through to deployment, operations and optimisation.

At this year’s UTC Bergen, we will hear how contractor vendor relationships are shaping a new cost environment for projects, such as the reduction from more than US$80/bbl to less than $35/bbl on Statoil’s Johan Castberg development. Here, vertical Xmas trees and a new DC/FO combined power and communications infrastructure also helped to make this project cost competitive and innovative.

Other case studies will include plans to boost recovery on the Askeladd and Troll Phase 3 projects, which will also include new 7in vertical Xmas trees as part of addressing the system requirements for long distance subsea tiebacks, and why Aker BP is opting for electrically heat traced flowline on the Ærfugl gas condensate field in the Norwegian Sea.

The event will also hear how changing the cost environment has meant Statoil has been able to move forward on its Snorre expansion project as a subsea development, instead of a platform solution, but also how subsea boosting technology developed and proven in Norway, on the Draugen field, is helping unlock the world’s deepest subsea development, Shell’s Stones in the US Gulf of Mexico.

The next big step for subsea production systems is to go all electric. This doesn’t just mean new technology has to be developed and proven, it also means regulations will be challenged. DNV-GL has been working with the industry to understand just how, including how electric and electro-hydraulic systems compare, and how all-electric challenges traditional safety principles. DNV-GL will report on progress to date during the conference.

Meanwhile, ABB will update on its subsea power transmission, distribution and conversion joint industry project with Statoil, Chevron and Total. ABB is developing a system for up to 600km step-outs, taking up to 10MW of power down to 3000m water depth, with a 3000-hour shallow water test due to complete in 2019.

A whole suite of other new technologies, including subsea seawater treatment, thermoplastic composite flowline for hydrocarbon service, Statoil’s Thermoil subsea tieback concept and an automatic subsea pig launcher, will also be presented during UTC Bergen.

UTC 2018 will be the 24th Underwater Technology Conference, and 700 professionals and 40 exhibitors are expected to attend the conference, held in Bergen’s Grieghallen from 12-14 June, 2018.

The event will host nearly 40 technical sessions covering: field development/system solutions; subsea completion and well maintenance; asset management/increase recovery solutions; digitalization, power, controls and umbilicals; and subsea umbilical, risers and flowlines (SURF), subsea production systems (SPS), and marine operations. There will also be keynote speeches from leading operators and panel debates.

Since 1980, Bergen has hosted the UTC, which is driven by the Underwater Technology Foundation (UTF) and GCE Subsea, with organizing partners SUT and SPE Bergen Section.

To view the full program, click here

Register for UTC Bergen 2018 by clicking here