Petrobras targets reliable subsea production with order of motor boosting system

Petrobras targets reliable subsea production with topside-less technology 

Brazilian state-owned oil and gas giant Petrobras has appointed a North Carolina-headquartered company to deliver a seal-less canned motor boosting system for its field in the Campos Basin with the aim of enabling reliable subsea production.

Curtiss-Wright Corporation has signed a technology cooperation agreement with Petrobras to design, manufacture, test, and provide operational support for a subsea canned motor boosting system, to be deployed mudline at a Petrobras production field in the Campos Basin offshore Brazil.

The two partners are working jointly to develop a subsea boosting system for unprocessed hydrocarbon fluid consisting of a mixture of oil, gas and particulates that will operate at a 1,500-meter water depth.

Curtiss-Wright is performing the design, manufacturing, and water-based testing at its Cheswick, Pennsylvania, facility within its Naval & Power Segment. Multiphase testing with hydrocarbons will take place at a facility in Brazil.

The first subsea canned motor boosting system is expected to be ready for operation in 2027.

“We are excited to be working collaboratively with a leading technology developer and experienced end-user of downhole pumping and mudline boosting systems for demanding applications,” said Lynn M. Bamford, Chair and CEO of Curtiss-Wright Corporation. “These efforts will allow us to apply our proven canned motor technology expertise to this adjacent market, thereby enabling an all-electric subsea production system, while providing an opportunity to bring tremendous value to Petrobras.”

According to Curtiss-Wright, the canned motor pump technology is expected to enable reliable subsea production with fewer topside support systems, and also provide flexibility to deploy these systems on lighter-weight, lower-cost vessels, which are more readily available than the larger handling vessels required in today’s operations.

This “topside-less” technology is set to support Petrobras’ objective of all-electric subsea boosting systems to enable long tie-back production arrangements. Additionally, the design provides flexibility to deploy future Curtiss-Wright topside-less subsea boosting systems scalable to 6 MW for multiphase applications, in alignment with Petrobras’ technology development roadmap.