The World’s First Subsea Gas Compression Facility

Published by   – September 23, 2015

Statoil announced this morning, the world’s first subsea gas compression facility has come on stream, at 300m below the surface of the Norwegian Sea. 

Åsgard subsea gas compression project is seen as a major step towards Statoil’s subsea factory vision, which would enable a complete suite of processing technologies on the seafloor, thereby creating new possibilities to extract hydrocarbons in deeper, harsher waters, further from shore. 

Along with Åsgard, that uses technology developed by Aker Solutions, Statoil is also developing the Gullfaks subsea wet gas subsea compressor facility. This is also a first, as it will not require separation. Installed in July using a OneSubsea system, it is due to be tied back to Gullfaks C in later summer-autumn

 Photo courtesy of Statoil

Margareth Øvrum, Statoil’s executive vice president for Technology, Drilling and Projects, said; “Subsea gas compression is the technology for the future, taking us a big step closer to our ambition of realizing a subsea processing plant….”

Subsea compression helps maintain reservoir pressure and increase recovery rates. Traditionally, compressors are located on platforms, but, the closer to the reservoir the compression takes places, the more hydrocarbons can be recovered. 

At Åsgard, introducing subsea compression will add some 306 million barrel equivalents to total output over the subsea Midgard and Mikkel reservoirs’ lives, which will be extended out to 2032.

Moving the compressors to the seafloor also reduces the need for extra equipment topsides, is more energy efficient and reduces CO2 emissions.

The project involves two 10MW gas compressors, a scrubber, pump and coolers, electrically powered from the Åsgard A floating oil production vessel. The compressor station is measures 75m x 45m x 20m and weighs 4800-tonne with a 21cu m/d (gas) capacity

At Åsgard, prior to gas compression, gas and liquids are separated out, and after pressure boosting recombined and sent through a pipeline some 40km to the Åsgard B semisubmersible gas production platform.

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