Statoil to install ‘world’s first wet gas compressor’ (Gallery)


Statoil has informed that the world’s first subsea wet gas compression system is ready to be installed on the seabed and tied back to the Gullfaks C platform in the North Sea to provide another 22 million barrels of oil equivalent from the Gullfaks South Brent reservoir. 

“I’m very proud of this project. Subsea compression is a game changer for subsea processing and an important technology to increase recovery and lifetime for gas fields,” says Margareth Øvrum, executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling in Statoil.

By adding 22 million barrels of oil equivalent from the Gullfaks South Brent reservoir the compressor will help extend the field’s productive life.

According to Statoil, this is the world’s first wet gas compressor, developed in collaboration with OneSubsea with large parts of the compressor station built by suppliers and sub-suppliers in western Norway and in the Bergen region.

“Competitive global suppliers from Norwegian suppliers are important for us and for Norway. We must continue promoting innovative solutions together with suppliers to ensure profitability and competitiveness,” says Øvrum.

Ready for installation

Since October last year, the wet gas compressor station has been through the final system integration tests at Horsøy outside Bergen. The results have been very positive, and the project is now entering a new phase – installation, Statoil said.

The delivery from OneSubsea consists of a 420-tonne protective structure, a compressor station with two five-megawatt compressors totalling 650 tonnes, and all necessary topside equipment for power supply and control of the plant.

In April, the compressor station will be out of sight and installed on the seabed. The following months the umbilical will be installed as well as the modules within the compressor station. Everything will be hooked up to the Gullfaks C platform during this summer. Start-up is scheduled for this autumn.

Important for subsea factory future

Subsea gas compression represents a considerable technological leap forward and is one of its most important measures for delivering volumes on existing fields on the Norwegian continental shelf, Statoil said. When the reservoir pressure falls below a critical level, subsea wet gas compression will help maintain high gas production, the company explained.

Compression on the seabed provides greater effect than a conventional topside compressor, Statoil further noted. In addition, the platform avoids the extra weight and space required by a topside compression module. The advantage of a wet gas compression facility is that it does not require any treatment of the well stream before compression. This makes for smaller modules and simpler construction on the seabed.

Statoil is currently developing two subsea compression projects together with its partners, on Åsgard and Gullfaks. These projects represent important pieces of the jigsaw puzzle of designing the subsea factories of the future, Statoil concluded.

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