The purpose of this paper is to share the knowledge and experience that Saudi Aramco went through during the execution of the "Upgrade Crude Gathering and Power Supply Facilities, Phase I - Safaniya Field" project. The paper focuses on the challenges associated with providing reliable power supply to the Safaniya field via a high voltage power system that includes high voltage submarine cables and the required topside substations and structural facilities.

The project will interface with SEC's 380 kV gas insulated switchgears (GIS) at Ma'aden and Manifa BSP substations. This project will expand Manifa 380 kV GIS to allow for the tie-in of the 380 kV transmission lines to be installed at Safaniya under this project . Additionally, the project will connect to Ma'aden 380 kV GIS. Additionally, the project will interface with existing 69 kV GIS switchgear at TP-17 and TP-19. The project shall disconnect existing 69 kV cables and preserve them (for emergency use) at both TPs and connect new 69 kV cables from TP-20.

With the aging of oil wells and the increase in water cut, Saudi Aramco decided to implement artificial lift solutions by installing electric submersible pumps (ESPs) in Safaniya field wells. This solution requires significant power upgrades as each ESP has is designed for 500 horse power (HP), leading the over power requirement to reach 200 MW in the North Safaniya field alone. To support the artificial lift approach, Saudi Aramco designed, procured, constructed and installed dedicated offshore power supply facilities including the world’s longest subsea 230 kV three-core, cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) cable.

The implementation of the solution has gone through several challenges associated with the high voltage submarine power cable design, supply and installation, and the topside tie-in platform sizing and installation. This paper presents the challenges, the steps taken to overcome them and the unconventional installation technique that was successfully implemented.

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