GE (General Electric) has opened a new US $500 million technology centre in Brazil focused on developing advanced subsea oil and gas technology.

The company says it is already working with Petrobras and the BG Group to develop advanced technologies for seabed processing solutions, with the Brazil Technology Centre focused on subsea research which will help GE win some of the “$1.2 trillion offshore market opportunity,” it said.

GE is working with Petrobras and BG on research projects to develop the technologies and equipment required to move production to the seabed, and help them also with the challenge of HP-HT drilling in the thick pre-salt layer. Related to the drilling challenge, with GE is tackling specifically with BG, it said that in Brazil’s pre-salt layer, the conditions “demand drilling equipment that is adaptable to changing conditions and as reliable as possible. BG Group and GE are exploring ways to make drilling systems smarter, increasing the amount of data they provide and helping operators utilize the data in real-time”. Creating an instant view of system performance, and the tools to put the data to work, will make the process of deepwater exploration more productive, efficient, and safer.

With Petrobras, GE is working with the operator on separation solutions. GE says researchers are discussing more effective and efficient ways to separate oil, water and gas on the seabed. GE’s separation solutions offer various configurations, such as gas/liquid, oil/water (liquid/liquid) and three-phase (oil, water, gas). All are designed for supporting increased production, with added benefits such as saving space topsides, and saving energy by moving less fluids to the surface. Eliminating the water subsea further frees up capacity for producing oil in the pipeline and topside facility, added GE.

Over the past decade GE says it has invested 5-6% of its industrial revenue in R&D.