Just one year after the first subsea compression systems went on stream at Statoil’s offshore Åsgard field, industry giants Aker Solutions and MAN Diesel & Turbo now aim to cut the size and weight of such systems by at least 50 percent.
Compressors are used to maintain output as reservoir pressure at gas-producing fields drops over time – typically installed on platforms above sea level. The two 11.5 MW HOFIM motor-compressor-units at Åsgard are said to be the world’s first to operate on the seabed. The field, located on the Halten Bank in the Norwegian Sea, approximately 200 kilometers off mid-Norway, has water depths ranging from 240-310 meters.
Running with hardly any stops or interruptions in the first year, the Åsgard compression systems will reportedly help recover an additional 306 million barrels of oil equivalents more cost-effectively, safely and with a smaller environmental footprint than a traditional platform, according to Aker Solutions, who delivered the system in collaboration with partners such as MAN and Statoil.
“We're proud to have played a leading part in developing this groundbreaking technology, which is proving its value as we now mark one year of strong operations since going on stream,” said Hervé Valla, chief technology officer at Aker Solutions.
The next step: a system that is leaner and even more cost effective. Aker Solutions and MAN Diesel & Turbo came together in October 2015 to build upon their Åsgard experience, and the two expect to reduce the size and weight of future systems by at least half, greatly lowering investment and installation costs.
“Together with MAN we're taking this technology further to deliver slimmer and lower-cost compression systems without compromising on effectiveness,” Valla said.
“The next generation of subsea compression systems will be based on proven technology and contribute to major improvements in both the recovery rate and lifetime for a number of gas fields,” said Basil Zweifel, head of Oil & Gas Upstream at MAN Diesel & Turbo in Zurich. “Aker Solutions and MAN will provide reliable compression systems for use at small subsea fields as well as large deposits such as Åsgard.”