UTC Award

ABB’s subsea electrification technology wins the 2021 UTC Award

UTC Award jury chair Bjørn Søgård presents this year’s award to Svein Vatland, Vice President Subsea Technology Program, at ABB.

A break-through subsea power system, able to distribute up to 100 MW of electricity over long distances and in ultra-deep water, has been selected as the winner of this year’s Underwater Technology Conference (UTC) Award.

ABB’s US$100 million Subsea Power Joint Industry Project (JIP) involved the development of subsea power and conversion technology able to work in down to 3,000 m water depth and over distances of up to 600 km.

The technology unlocks the ability to move entire process systems to the seabed, lowering emissions, reducing environmental impact, enabling greater digitalisation and integration with renewable energy generation and improving recovery rates. 

The project, which was supported by operators Chevron, Equinor and Total and Chevron, was one of the industry’s largest JIPs and, at peak, involved more than 200 scientists, engineers and specialists from ABB.

Following the completion of the JIP in 2020, the VSDs have successfully undergone the world’s first full-scale string testing with a OneSubsea multiphase compressor WGC6000.

The UTC Award, which is designed to recognize, celebrate and showcase the many outstanding achievements within the global subsea industry, was presented today (Thursday, June 17), during this year’s UTC event, to Svein Vatland, Vice President Subsea Technology Program, at ABB, who represented the ABB team that delivered the Subsea Power JIP. 

Svein Vatland says, “ABB together with our partners Equinor, Total and Chevron, are very pleased to receive this recognition for our innovative subsea power solution. The cutting-edge technology we have developed will be a key enabler for more sustainable oil and gas production and supports the ongoing energy transition. The Subsea Power JIP project is a clear evidence that cross company collaboration, bringing our experts together, creates a strong creative and innovative environment making the impossible possible.”

Marie Bueie Holstad, chair of the Underwater Technology Foundation (UTF), an independent entity aspiring to provide more insight into the subsea industry co-organiser of UTC, says, “The development of a subsea power distribution and conversion system capable of supplying power over long distances, and to deep waters, is an important enabler for low-carbon oil and gas production. We congratulate ABB who with the support from their JIP partners have made an important contribution to the subsea industry.”

UTC is the industry’s longest running and foremost subsea conference. Since its foundation by the UTF in 1980, UTC has been an open and collaborative forum for looking to the future of subsea technologies and systems – for pushing the technical limits, safely. Today, UTC is co-organised by UTF and GCE Ocean Technology, with organising partners the Society of Petroleum Engineering (SPE) and the Forening for fjernstyrt undervannsteknologi (Association for Remote-Controlled Underwater Technology) (FFU).

Read about the previous year’s winners below.

The winners of the 2019 UTC Subsea Award, Saab Seaeye’s Jan Siesjö, Chief Engineer, and Peter Erkers, sales director, drove the Saab eRobotic Spring Campaign 2019; a world first in subsea vehicle deep water residency capability, proving the potential for marine autonomous systems to take a greater role in underwater inspection, repair and maintenance methodologies.

The winners of the 2018 UTF Subsea Award were Kaj-Ove Skartun, Leading Subsea Engineer at Equinor, and Arve Iversen, ROV Operations Manager, Oceaneering, as leaders and representatives of the E-ROV project. The E-ROV concept is a battery-powered electric work class ROV which can be piloted from shore, via a communication buoy, without the support of a surface vessel.

The winner of the 2017, and third UTF Subsea Award was Åsgard Subsea Compressor. Lars Brenne, Statoil, Tor Bjørge, Statoil, Svend Tarald Kibsgaard, Statoil and George Kleynhans, MAN Diesel and Turbo all clearly demonstrated the value of Collaboration, Multidicipline expertise and last, but not least, Persistence to make a difference and drive technology and out industry forward.

The winner of the second UTF Subsea Award 2016 was OneSubsea® Multiphase Compressor. Bernt Helge Torkildsen and Simon Kalgraff, OneSubsea, and Jarle Ottar Hella and Caroline Bøe, Statoil was recognized for their significant contributions to the OneSubsea’s Multiphase compressor technology.

The first UTF Subsea Award was awarded Tracerco for their Discoveryᵀᴹ at UTC 2015. The jury recognized Discovery’s™ innovative technology, the large global potential, the fact the technology is field proven with excellent results and that it contributes to both operators, IMR companies and suppliers. Paul Featonby, Technology Manager and Tim Hough, Discovery Technology Lead, both at Tracerco, are recognized for the technology and project execution.