Norwegian Research Council Awards 3-Year R&D Grant to WiSub

Norwegian Research Council Awards 3-Year R&D Grant to WiSub

The Norwegian Research Council (NRC) has awarded a 3-year grant to Bergen-based underwater technology company WiSub for further development of technology designed to facilitate pin-less subsea data connections at data transfer speeds exceeding 1Gbps. Primary application of this innovative technology will be within the international subsea oil & gas industry, starting with the harsh environment in the North Sea on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Norway has a successful track-record for supporting innovation, continuing this tradition with support for WiSub R&D project “microwave-based communication for high performance wet-mate subsea connectors” under the NRC Petromaks program. Applying their patent-pending technology, the company will further develop underwater connector solutions that eliminate the need for pins in connectors. WiSub solutions provide an advantage over pin-to-pin mechanical connectors by having substantially higher data transfer rate, solid-state reliability, lower unit cost and installation time and substantially lower operational risk and cost during installation. Eliminating pins and moving parts increases the robustness of specialized wet-mate connectors and facilitates quicker and safer subsea equipment change-out, for instance with leak detection and environmental monitoring sensors. The technology will also be applied to Enhanced Oil Recovery applications, an area in which Norway leads the international O&G industry.

Recent discoveries in the NCS and Barents Sea that will be developed are remote, hostile and in deep water, requiring monitoring and control of data that support development of connection systems functioning with minimal operator intervention. Towards the year 2020 there will be 90 field developments on the NCS and Barents Sea. 15 will be equipped with fixed platforms, 60 to 70 will be developed with subsea solutions and 10 to 12 will be developed with floating facilities. Both the subsea and floating facilities in Norway and internationally can make use of this innovative technology. Commercial interest in WiSub technology is increasing, applied to a diverse range of applications.

WiSub R&D project partners include a constellation of industrial and academic institutions in Norway, Sweden, Poland and the UK. Early-phase support has been provided to WiSub by Innovation Norway and NCE Subsea.

Press Release, December 20, 2012