To main content

Subsea power supply

Subsea power supply

For many years, offshore oil and gas production from the Norwegian continental shelf has led the industry to use innovative subsea technology combined with long distance multiphase transport.

The challenges of the project was mainly related to three specific scenarios:

  • Utilization of existing infrastructure and tail production
  • Development of new and remote areas with no or little infrastructure
  • Specific arctic requirements

All these challenges have one thing in common: the need for reliable power supply to subsea installations.

The ability to supply enough and reliable power to subsea installations as the power need is growing, the depths are getting larger and the step out distances are getting longer, is in itself a challenge that must be overcome. This is in line with the recommendations of OG21, which has pinpointed subsea power supply as one of the areas where fundamental research is needed. 

The Research Council of Norway (RCN), through Petromaks, awarded funding for three competence building projects in the area of subsea power supply to SINTEF Energy Research. A large consortium of industry partners was also involved in the projects.

The projects covered more or less the total power supply chain from production site (platform/floater or shore) to the consumer (motor drives, pumps, compressors etc.), and consisted of the following:

  • Electric Power Systems for Remote and Deepwater Processing and Transportation of Oil and Gas
  • Feasible Power Electronics for Demanding Deepwater Applications
  • Electrical Insulation Materials and Insulation Systems for Subsea High Voltage Power Equipment

These projects had competence building and education of new experts as their main objectives. The outcome is fundamental knowledge needed to develop good system solutions for transmission and distribution of electric power to the subsea installations, to design and manufacture the necessary components needed for these systems, and testing and qualifying of these solutions.

SINTEF Energy Research was the lead executing partner in the projects. SINTEF ICT and SINTEF Materials and chemistry did also contribute to the execution of the projects. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) contributed through education of PhDs within the projects.

Published 29 July 2014
Research Director

Project duration

2009 - 2013