Performing complex operations such as gas compression can be challenging enough on dry land. Now Statoil wishes to do the same on the seabed, and the project is already underway.
Published: 26 June 2015
Photo by Statoil
The world's first subsea wet gas compressor
When it comes to major technology shifts within the subsea industry there is always a lot of work behind them. The compressing of gas on the seabed is one of these shifts, and Statoil is determined to realize an advanced process. The goal is a production facility on the seabed, and in April this adventure was in full swing.
- In short, this is a compressor that the well stream is run through. Both wet and dry components are run through the same pipes, instead of separating the two, informs project manager at Gullfaks Subsea Compression, Bjørn Birkeland.
The platform to be equipped with the world's first subsea wet gas compressor is Gullfaks C. The aim is to simplify and optimize the operation. When reservoir pressure drops below a critical level, the subsea wet gas compression can help maintain a high gas production level.
- This results in a higher gas extraction from the Gullfaks South Brent reservoir by providing additional compressive force, Birkeland says. Statoil estimates that the installation will be able to yield 22 million extra barrels on Gullfaks C and thus extend the lifetime of the field.
Innovation Increases Production
It is not the compressor itself that is new, but the use of it on the seabed. - By compressing the gas on the seabed the pressure in the pipes is increased. There is no need to separate liquids and gases in this system, Birkeland says.
By running both wet and dry gases through the same pipeline the gas will flow more easily to processing. The wells can therefore carry on producing with higher gas rates, and more gas may be retrieved from the reservoir than would otherwise be possible.
This article was first published in the NCE Subsea supplement to Dagens Næringsliv, distributed 13 May 2015.