The oil & gas industry is looking for cost efficient subsea solutions that can replace and/or reduce complexity and functions/operations on major topside installations.
The ambition is to enhance the recovery rates by installing production/processing equipment closer to the reservoirs. The move from topside to subsea oil and gas production and power distribution has very large positive effects on the energy efficiency of installations and emission levels for CO2. Significant savings in material from topside will further decrease the number of offshore operations and i.e. staff and transport.
Benestad Solutions has picked up on this challenge by developing a Wet Mate Connector (WM) for use in a Connection System (WMCS), a solution that will enable such a simplification of power distribution subsea.
The WM will enable new delivery models by reducing the number of interfaces, hence also the risk distribution. This includes systems related to subsea pumps, compressors and other electrical distribution equipment that can then be placed on the seabed. The WM can as well be relevant for the upcoming growth of renewable energy production offshore such as wave, tidal and offshore wind power generation, in particular power distribution in-between floating production units and from these units to shore.
Today, high power wet mate connectors are one of the main cost drivers that reduce profitability in new fields as well as when modernizing existing fields. Introducing the WMC will be an important element in driving overall field development cost down on any type of field configuration.
Our subsea connectors will reduce product cost driven by size and complexity up to 50% compared to available solutions in today's market. Overall size for a complete WMCS (weight and volume) will be minimized, which reduces cost on interfacing subsea modules, installation and maintenance.
The project has so far developed and tested several small-scale prototypes with success. During 2021 have the Connector been subjected to high voltage testing with a safety factor of five times nominal voltage with good results. The Wet Mate connector is being assembled for qualification testing with planned commercialization next year.