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New Technology

Subsea Water Injection

Water injection is the most common way to increase oil production, but traditionally, this has required expensive and bulky topside equipment. With the Seabox™ subsea water treatment unit and SWIT™ Technology, the water treatment is done directly at the seabed and the treated water is pumped straight into the injection well.

The SWIT Technology provides the right quality water for water injection where it is needed, when it is needed. This fully flexible approach allows operators to optimize water flooding with the right quality water at any time and location to improve recovery.

Seabox subsea water treatment unit and SWIT™ Technology is a Norwegian subsea technology, developed during the last 10 years with support and sponsorship from major oil companies. The technology enables treatment of raw seawater directly on the seabed to the desired quality for injection into oil wells for pressure support, sweep and increased oil recovery.

The development started in 2003 and embarked on a series of Joint Industry Projects (JIP) backed by the Norwegian Research Council and major oil companies. Through these projects, the Seabox unit and SWIT Technology have been developed and are now ready for real applications.

As a part of National Oilwell Varco’s Subsea Production System, we are uniquely placed to work directly with oil companies, subsea contractors, engineering houses, and industry suppliers to provide the highest level of added value to the overall project. This philosophy ensures that the optimum constellation in any given project is always available to the client.

Research and Development

Since 2003, we have worked to increase and enhance oil recovery capabilities (IOR/EOR), by developing the Seabox™ subsea water treatment system. The first patent application was filed in 2003 for “Treatment of water”. Further development of the SWIT™ Technology has been a continuous process since 2003 until today.

We launched a pilot test in 2009, with the aim of proving the fit for purpose of this technology. The pilot was completed in 2010, after 15 months of operation. The results were excellent, with the unit producing superior water quality compared to traditional topsides systems. The pilot proves that the SWIT™ Technology has the potential to become a game changing technology for IOR/EOR.

Proving that the Seabox™ subsea water treatment unit works has enabled further technology development with regards to disinfecting seawater. The Seabox™ unit in combination with membrane technology can produce tailored water quality directly at seabed using surrounding water.

Value Creation

The SWIT™ Technology offers new ways of managing reservoirs and assets, to reduce cost and emissions and for IOR and EOR. It puts the reservoir engineer in the driver’s seat, optimizing oil production and recovery based on reservoir insight and opportunities.

Not limited by pre-set topside and slot constraints, SWIT Technology is an enabler for marginal satellite developments, and for optimizing area developments. The capability to produce any quality water at seabed will enable cost-efficient low salinity projects for EOR.


Water injection philosophy can be decoupled from topside processes and therefore provide advantageous flexibility in drainage strategy

Improved Recovery

Ability to tailor the injection based on reservoir behaviour and the possibility to inject any quality water in otherwise inaccessible areas of the reservoir.

Reduced CAPEX

Reduced overall investments and increase NPV by deferment of cost (WI added as/when required). Also reusability options

Reduced OPEX

Lower power consumption, long intervention intervals and reduced offshore manning requirements

Higher Regularity

Experienced high regularity, no rotating or moving parts, redundancy built into the system.

Water Quality

SWIT Technology provides superior water quality due to inherent benefits of moving treatment of water to the seabed as the process are not constrained by topsides limitations.

The SWIT Technology enables a step change in reservoir and asset management that accelerates production and increases recovery on both new developments and mature fields.

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