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Statoil and DNV GL to drive standardisation of Subsea Factory interfaces

Subsea processing systems are tailor-made to meet field-specific requirements and components. Now Statoil is taking the initiative to standardise the interfaces for subsea processing plants on the seabed, also known as Subsea Factory. DNV GL is being asked as an independent party to initiate a Joint Industry Project (JIP) that will develop the standard. The JIP is open to operators to collaborate in ensuring major benefits throughout the subsea supply chain.

Subsea Factory
Margareth Øvrum, Executive Vice President of Technology, Projects & Drilling in Statoil

Subsea pumping is becoming more commonplace and the first subsea compression systems will be installed this year. However, developing these systems is costly and time-consuming, due partly to fields frequently having tailor-made solutions with extensive qualification programmes. Adding to the cost are the special installation tools required, often on specialised vessels.

By standardising tie-in technology and module sizes, it will be easier to combine different types of technology and modules to adapt developments to project needs.

“Think of the modules as LEGO bricks. By having standardised module dimensions which may be assembled using standard tie-ins, we may combine technology from different suppliers and also cover several needs through subsea solutions. This will reduce costs and increase volume,” says executive vice president of Technology, Projects & Drilling in Statoil, Margareth Øvrum.

“We’ve now commissioned DNV GL to run an industry collaboration which ultimately will define standard interfaces for the typical modules in a subsea processing system,” says Øvrum.

“Statoil believes that this standardisation initiative will help increase the number of business cases for subsea processing and reduce the cost of new projects. Standardisation will be important to secure a strong and coordinated approach to the supplier industry in order to achieve the goal of more profitable subsea developments,” she explains.

“DNV GL has about 170 established offshore standards for the O&G industry and we run a great number of collaboration projects every year. I’m very confident that this new initiative will benefit all parts of the supply chain. It’s also an important element in our ongoing projects with industry partners to standardise the subsea industry,” says Liv Hovem, Director of Division Europe & Africa at DNV GL.

She explains that a first step for the JIP will be to collect ideas and input from the supplier industry regarding the areas they believe will benefit from standardisation. “Our goal is to define standards for the interfaces, support structures and installation tools for the modules in a subsea processing facility. The Subsea Factory Interfaces standard will as far as possible build on open industry standards. The key issue is to leave ample room for innovation by standardising how the technology is packaged, connected and installed,” she concludes.