Saudi Aramco breaks world's longest cable record

Installation part of plans to upgrade Safaniya offshore field

Saudi Aramco is the world's largest oil and gas company.
Saudi Aramco is the world's largest oil and gas company.

Saudi Aramco has achieved a landmark by energising its largest tie-in platform with a 230 kilovolt 46 km submarine composite cable -- the longest of its kind.

The tie-in platform, named 'TP-20' lies in the world’s largest offshore field, Safaniya, and energising it was the first phase of long-term plans to upgrade the Safaniya offshore field, referred to as the Safaniya Master Plan, the company said.

TP-20 will be the main crude oil gathering and power supply hub for North Safaniya offshore field, located about 165 miles north of Dharan, Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf.

It is designed to provide 152 megawatts (MW) of electric power via a 46 km, 3-core 230 kV submarine composite cable (power and fibre) from a Saudi Electricity Company, newly-built 380/230 kV onshore substation.

The 46 km, 3-core 230 kV submarine composite cable is the longest of its kind in the world and was installed as a single piece without a field splice.

“Considering the value of equipment at stake, the laying of the submarine cable was an extremely critical and complex operation,” Saudi Aramco said.

“The entire length of the submarine cable was transported from the manufacturer on a single vessel, known as a deep water cable laying vessel. Then, with the help of a shallow water cable laying barge, the cable was installed from onshore to offshore TP-20.”

“With the complete 230 kV electrical substation, the weight of TP-20 exceeds 6,000 metric tons. This staggering load cannot be handled by an industry standard marine crane. Therefore, the installation of TP-20 was performed using a unique float-over method,” it added.

Under the same project TP-18 and nine wellhead platforms in central Safaniya field were also successfully energised.
TP-18 is designed to provide 62 MW of electric power being fed via a 44 km, 3-core 115 kV submarine composite cable from a newly -built 230/115 kV onshore substation.

A complete electrical power system delivers power to Safaniya’s remote offshore loads and has increased crude oil production more than 70 MBOD from the central Safaniya field – all this after a complex and challenging commissioning operation, Aramco said.

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