Seabox subsea water treatment module with blue sky background

Seabox Subsea Water Treatment Technology

Optimize oilfield recovery by disinfecting raw seawater and settling suspended solids at the seabed, tailoring water quality to your reservoir needs.

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Description

We have the technology and know-how to provide full process solutions from incoming wellstream fluid through to export. Whether a topside, subsea, or a hybrid combination system, our water management solutions cover the life of a development. From concept to greenfield to brownfield, our solutions can optimize existing facilities or extend field life. With expertise in produced water and seawater treatment, we understand the process flow detail and develop the optimal solution for the end user.

The purpose of subsea seawater treatment

Subsea water treatment can serve different types of applications. Typically, our oil and gas industry customers are interested in using the treated water for water injection purposes to optimize recovery from oil reservoirs.

Our Seabox™ subsea water treatment technology and SWIT™ ultrafiltration and membrane system are world firsts with pioneering technology that increase oil recovery. Both technologies have been awarded OTC’s Spotlight on New Technology Award Seabox received the award in 2018, and the SWIT facility was awarded in 2020.

The subsea water treatment system consists of different stages, with each stage having different processing purposes. The general system function, outcome, and impact on the typical reservoir is outlined in the specifications tab. 

Features

  • Independent, standalone, and easy add-on solutions
  • Flexible timing of water treatment phasing
  • Superior water disinfection at the point of usage
  • Improved reservoir sweep efficiency
  • Zero hazardous discharge
Resources
  • Seabox Brochure
Rendering of the Seabox subsea water treatment module

Seabox and Ultrafiltration

The Seabox module can be combined with ultrafiltration at the seabed to enable removal of suspended solids with an absolute filtration down to 0.1 µm. The disinfection and sedimentation capabilities of the Seabox module allow for effective use of ultrafiltration while at the seabed. Treated seawater will be supplied to the respective ultrafiltration trains, where the ultrafiltration is based on a dead-end filtration principle. The filtrate quality will be independent of the feed water quality (suspended solids and turbidity loading). To maintain the flux through the filters for continuous production of the required quantity of filtered water, the filters are backwashed with filtered water. The filters are kept clean with backflushing only, and no chemicals are necessary due to the Seabox feed water's superior quality. The Seabox subsea water treatment module and ultrafiltration are controlled by Seabox’s Subsea Control Module (SCM), an all-electric solution, giving unique control of valve operations and filter performance.

The water from the Seabox module and ultrafiltration is well suited for matrix flooding, avoiding fracturing of the reservoir and preserving injectivity in tight formations.

Rendering of Seabox flow base, Ultrafiltration (UF) pump, and Nanofiltration

Seabox, Ultrafiltration, and Nanofiltration

The combination of the Seabox module, ultrafiltration, and nanofiltration can provide completely disinfected and particle-free water with low total sulfate content, typically to less than 40 mg/L. A subsea membrane feed pump is used to push water from the Seabox water treatment and ultrafiltration modules through the nanofiltration.

Combined with complete, maintenance-free operations on the seabed, our advanced technology is designed for more than 2 years of continuous operation with all membranes functioning at full capacity before any membrane replacement will be required.

Rendering of the Seabox flow base, Ultrafiltration (UF) pump, and Reverse Osmosis (RO) skid

Seabox, Ultrafiltration, and Reverse Osmosis

This combination of Seabox, ultrafiltration, and reverse osmosis (RO) technology is part of our SWIT technology applications, and together this configuration removes sulfate.

A subsea membrane feed pump is used to pump the water from the Seabox water treatment and ultrafiltration modules through to the reverse osmosis membranes. The required flow rate for the pump is 40,000 bpd with a differential pressure of 25 to 50 bar depending on the required final water quality.

The technology provides a completely disinfected and particle-free water with salinity levels according to a defined specification, typically a total dissolved solids (TDS) of 500 to 5,000 ppm and a total sulfate content of less than 2 mg/L. It enables us to tailor water quality for injection to exact specifications using different combinations of subsea water treatment equipment.

Combined with complete, maintenance-free operations on the seabed, our advanced technology is designed for more than 2 years of continuous operation with all membranes functioning at full capacity before any membrane replacement will be required.

Seabox water treatment module being deployed offshore
Aerial view of Seabox being deployed subsea by crane from offshore platform
Seabox flow base, Ultrafiltration (UF) pump, and Reverse Osmosis (RO) skid arriving offshore
Seabox water treatment module being lifted by crane from offshore platform for subsea deployment
Worker using the controls for the Seabox subsea water treatment module

Seabox Subsea Water Treatment System Installation

The development of Seabox started in 2003 with a series of joint industry projects (JIPs) backed by the Norwegian Research Council and major oil companies. Through these projects, the Seabox module and SWIT technology have been developed and are now ready for real applications.

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