Breakthrough ABB subsea technology goes into operation

Zurich, Switzerland, June 26, 2000: Global technology group ABB said today the world’s first subsea separation system is now fully operational in an oilfield off the coast of Norway. The ABB installation for Norsk Hydro is located in 350 meters of water in the Troll field, about 60 kilometers west of Bergen, Norway, in the North Sea.

The ABB technology, called SUBSIS, separates water from the oil stream on the seabed, unlike conventional surface facility technologies. Monitored and controlled remotely, SUBSIS separates and pumps oil-free water from the oil stream directly back into the reservoir, rather than discharging the produced water into the sea, as is done in surface systems. SUBSIS also cuts the amount of chemicals needed in conventional surface systems to maintain the flow of oil, allows considerable energy savings, and improves the oil recovery rate as much as 50 percent. With SUBSIS technology, oil companies can reduce total field investments, operating costs and development time.

Gorm Gundersen, head of ABB's Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals segment, said the success of the SUBSIS technology "is the first step towards our vision of offshore oil and gas production running from the seabed directly to shore."

ABB said the global market for subsea oil and gas processing is growing, especially in the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and off the west cost of Africa, and is expected to grow to US$ 500-600 million a year within the next few years.

The ABB Group ( serves customers in power transmission and distribution; automation; oil, gas, and petrochemicals; building technologies; and in financial services. With novel IT applications, tailored software solutions, growing eBusiness and a fast-expanding knowledge and service base, ABB is building links to the new economy. The ABB Group employs about 165,000 people in more than 100 countries. (END)

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