OTC Spotlight Award: A smaller, more powerful subsea boosting system

This story profiles one of the Offshore Technology Conference’s 15 Spotlight on New Technology Award winners.

By Ford Gunter

In the exploration and production game, finding hydrocarbons is only half the battle.

Extracting them and getting them to market is the other.

As offshore drillers go deeper and deeper, and into harsher and harsher subsea environments, the need for ample power on the sea floor to draw the oil and gas out of the well and pump it up to the surface is paramount.

To address the issue, FMC Technologies and Sulzer Pumps have developed a high-speed, helico-axial multiphase subsea boosting system that can withstand pressures up to 5,000 psi and runs on a 3.2 megawatt permanent magnet motor.

“The permanent magnet motor technology requires less maintenance and provides greater speed, efficiency and power than other subsea boosting systems,” said Patrick Kimball, FMC’s manager of public relations.

“The addition of the permanent magnet motor delivers a subsea boosting system that is smaller, more durable and more powerful that competing solutions.”

The pump is a combination of Sulzer’s pump hydraulics and FMC’s high-speed permanent magnet motor technology and subsea design.

The two companies have been working on the pump for four years, completing the qualifying tests at Sulzer’s facility the United Kingdom last summer.

Read about more OTC Spotlight Award technologies: