SKF has supplied magnetic bearings for use in the subsea gas compression system at the Asgard gas field in the Norwegian Sea.
SKF has been involved in the development of the project for five years, working in conjunction with MAN Diesel & Turbo, the manufacturer of the electric motor-driven centrifugal compressors that are a part of the overall gas compression system.
Traditionally, gas is pumped from the seabed to the surface, where it is compressed on platforms. At Asgard, the compression chambers are located on the seabed, near the wellheads, in order to maximise gas recovery and thereby prolonging the production lifetime of the gas field.
Ole Kristian Joedahl, Sales and Marketing Director, Industrial Market, said: “Our magnetic bearings played a key role in developing this autonomous subsea gas compression system, a significant step for the oil and gas industry. They simplify the system architecture by removing the need for lubricating oil, seals and gearbox. Furthermore, the magnetic bearings are frictionless, enabling higher rotation speeds, leading to smaller compressor modules and, ultimately, lighter processing plant infrastructure and reduced environmental impact.”
In addition to the magnetic bearings, SKF is also providing a remote bearing control and monitoring system which facilitates accurate maintenance planning.