Advances in Power Feedthrough Connector Technology for HP ESP Applications
Emerging deepwater fields in the Gulf of Mexico pose significant
challenges for the deployment and operation of subsea tree ESP systems, where
reliability is crucial to the economic viability of the fields. Key challenges
include high initial reservoir pressures (13,500 psi), 1- to 2-year natural
flow startup conditions without affecting electrical integrity, 5-years mean
time between failures (MTBF) for the ESP system after startup of the pump, high
horsepower pumps (1,200 hp), restricted space at the tree interface, and the
need for integrated power and controls to the pump system. One of the main
system components is the power feedthrough connector through the wellhead. This
component has to be deployed into the wellhead as part of the cable hanger
assembly through a marine riser and subsequently connected to the tree cap
assembly remotely in up to 10,000 ft of water depth.
For effective well control, the connector systems have to maintain
pressure barrier seals for the life of the well in a 15,000-psi-rated tree. In
addition, the connector system has to maintain electrical integrity under
high-voltage conditions and be mated together consistently within the confines
of the tree system. Increasing qualification standards by operators pose even
greater challenges to the connector vendors.
This paper presents the latest connector technology developed by
OneSubsea to meet the extreme challenges and needs of high-pressure (HP) ESP
applications in the Gulf of Mexico.