Subsea power transformers: driving productivity and cost reduction through standardisation

11 October, 2016

Date: 11 October 2016

The Subsea Electrical Power Standardisation Joint Industry Project (SEPS JIP) today announces the publication of an international industry standard on the design, testing and qualification of subsea power transformers (SEPS SP-1002). Developed by SEPS JIP members Statoil, Shell, Total, Petrobras, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Woodside, the long-term aim of the standard is to reduce the costs of subsea field developments by bringing more uniformity to the planning and execution stages, as well as minimising the duplication of engineering efforts.

With the extremely difficult economic environment and the historic cost pressures on the subsea industry, there has been a growing need for promoting standardisation and unification in order to reduce the costs of subsea field developments. A key component of a subsea field, subsea power transformers reduce the high voltage to levels that can be used by pumps, water injectors, gas compressors, and so on. By standardising working practices for the design, testing and qualification of subsea power transformers across the globe, the new standard provides a stepping stone for improving the economics of subsea processing, which will eventually support enhanced recovery rates.

A leading expert in the subsea power community and a member of the SEPS JIP, Steinar Midttveit, comments: “The focus on standardisation has been on the rise and collaborative initiatives like SEPS are important contributors to progress towards reducing overall costs and complexity of subsea field developments.”

Established in 2010 to develop international standards for subsea power systems, SEPS JIP is managed by OTM Consulting, a leading firm of technology advisory consultants. The JIP published its first standard on subsea penetrators and connectors (SEPS SP-1001) in 2014 and is currently working towards producing a standard for subsea electrical motors (SEPS SP-1003).

“The need for transparency, collaboration and standardisation between operators, contractors and suppliers is greater than ever before,” says Michael Sequeira, Deepwater Practice Leader at OTM Consulting. “Unifying specifications and design requirements at the Operator level is the first step in achieving a commoditised market space and the results of this Operator-led JIP is testament to what can be achieved when the growing complexity and cost of advanced subsea systems dictates the need for cross-industry collaboration.”

The transformer standard document is available to download from the SEPS website ( Discussions are underway for the document to be published as a Joint IEC-IEEE standard.


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Lucy Beverley

Marketing & Communications Manager

+44 1372 822395



SEPS JIP (Subsea Electrical Power Standardisation) is a joint industry initiative, currently consisting of seven major operators, managed by OTM Consulting. Established in 2010, its aim is to standardise the design, testing and qualification requirements of subsea power equipment.


About OTM Consulting

OTM Consulting is an international oil & gas technology advisory, development and deployment consulting company. With over 22 years’ industry experience, we help oil & gas companies to maximise the value from their investments in R&D and technology.

Our services aim to help you understand market & technology opportunities, trends and risks; decide which technologies to invest in and how; develop innovative technology solutions; and deploy technologies better and faster. With science and technology at the core of everything we do, and a team of industry specialists in reservoirs, wells, subsea, deepwater, unconventionals and operations, we are committed to delivering insight and innovation and are passionate about seeing R&D serve our industry.

OTM Consulting is a Science Group company. Science Group provides independent advisory and leading-edge product development services focused on science and technology initiatives. It has six offices globally, two UK-based dedicated R&D innovation centres and more than 350 employees. Other Science Group companies include OTM Consulting, Oakland Innovation and Leatherhead Food Research.

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