OTC: BHGE Subsea Connect is a new vision to come to market

By Michele Cowart, Digital Editor on 5/9/2019
Photo: (from left) BHGE's Oilfield Equipment Global Commercial Leader Brian Cothran and V.P. Technology and Engineering John Kerr.

During OTC 2019, Baker Hughes, a GE company’s Oilfield Equipment Business Leaders Brian Cothran, global commercial leader for OFS, based in Houston, and John Kerr, V.P. engineering and technology, based in Bristol, held a press conference to discuss the status of its Subsea Connect technology at the six-month mark.
Subsea Connect was launched in November 2018 as the “most comprehensive approach to configure projects to meet customer priorities,” according to BHGE’s website. This technology was developed to create better connections across the development process and more integrated solutions, from the reservoir to topsides, to reduce time and risk, eliminate recycle and increase the certainty of subsea developments. “The traditional customer purchase process is gone,” according to Cothran. “Customers are engaging with us in a different way.”

The four pillars. Subsea Connect is based on four pillars of technology and business flow:

  • Project connect – starting with the outcome in mind, to reduce risk
  • Technology – from reservoir to topsides, including the Aptara TOTEX-Lite Subsea System and additional standard products, designed for the life of the field, to give operators more flexibility during installation, production and intervention
  • Flexible partnerships and commercial models – the right partnerships reduce complexity, integrate solutions and accelerate speed to market
  • Digital enablement – advanced analytics to inform field planning, production optimization and asset performance management.

Commercial. Last March, McDermott International, Inc., and BHGE were awarded subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) and subsea production system (SPS) equipment contracts by BP for the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim natural gas project, offshore Mauritania and Senegal. BP, BHGE and McDermott are working together to realize efficiencies, synergies and enhanced delivery times.

"Together with McDermott, we will deliver the best-in-class solution to BP with cost-efficiency and industry-leading safety. These awards demonstrate the value of early-engagement, collaborative partnerships and holistic project planning, which are very much central to our new approach to subsea developments, Subsea Connect," said Graham Gillies, BHGE's V.P., Subsea Production Systems & Services.

In addition, Beach Energy awarded BHGE a contract to supply subsea production systems for its Victorian Otway basin development project, offshore Victoria, Australia, as reported during OTC 2019. The contract was awarded in first-quarter 2019 and includes medium water horizontal Xmas trees and associated subsea control Semstar5 systems, in addition to wellheads.

“This project fits very nicely into Subsea Connect,” said Cothran. “This project was a bit different than the Tortue project. The BP project was an early engagement opportunity. With Beach, it was about speed.”

The third model that Subsea Connect has revolves around projects, similar to models established by Chrysaor in the North Sea and its Buzzard Phase II project. “We are working with customers very early on, said Cothran. “We are getting involved in the reservoir analysis, drilling program, drilling completions, the subsea production systems and providing a commercial model that could have an expanded scope, like an SPS SURF, but does have an outcome-based type of contract, based on well performance or production,” continued Cothran.

Aptara technology (video below). The individual products in the Aptara TOTEX-lite subsea system are up to 50% lighter, have shorter lead times, and are designed to be flexible enough to evolve to suit the changing needs over the life of your field

  • The lightweight compact tree has an innovative new flowpath that reduces the number of valves for functionality while complying with API 17D, 2nd edition.
  • A modular compact manifold addresses the industry's need for modular, pre-engineered manifolds that use off-the-shelf components, reducing cycle time cost and footprint.
  • The SFX wellhead solution is focused on improved fatigue resistance to maximize life-of-field options for the operator.
  • A modular compact pump (MCP) is the first subsea multi-phase pump without a barrier fluid system, designed to significantly reduce topside footprint and system cost.
  • Composite risers were developed to serve the deepwater and ultra-deepwater applications in water depths to 9,842.52 ft (3,000 m), cost-effectively.
  • And FLX360 is an innovative multi-quick connect (MQC) system that enables fast and reliable connections between all elements of the subsea distribution system.

“We’ve made great progress with the realization of this technology, since the Subsea Connect launch in November [2018] and subsequent BHGE AM in late January [2019],” said Kerr. “Great results technically. Great results physically.”
The technology is continuing to trend positively, and capital project investments will increase by >15% per year, according to Cothran. In addition, new tree awards are trending toward >300 per year.


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