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Curtiss-Wright and Petrobras collaborate on subsea seal-less canned motor boosting system

Curtiss-Wright Corp 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 in the Campos Basin, Brazil.

Image © MR.Zanis - Adobe Stock.

The two companies 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. The system will use Curtiss-Wright’s canned motor technology, as well as Petrobras’ expertise in flow assurance and offshore hydrocarbon production and processing, to ensure the subsea boosting system will perform according to field requirements. It is expected to serve as an effective and reliable alternative to current subsea pump technologies by reducing unplanned outages and production interruptions.

“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. “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.”

Curtiss-Wright’s 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 will support Petrobras’ objective of all-electric subsea boosting systems to enable long tie-back production arrangements.

Curtiss-Wright is performing the design, manufacturing, and water-based testing at its facilty in Cheswick, Pennsylvania within the company’s 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.