Statoil have announced a world first, as it confirms first gas from its offshore Gullfaks subsea wet gas compression module.
The compression modules were installed in the North Sea in June 2015 after years of design, engineering and testing.
The world first will be the 2nd for Statoil in as many months, after first gas was achieved in September from the Åsgard field’s subsea gas compression modules.
Gullfaks Subsea Wet Gas
Statoil claim the ground breaking technology will increase the amount of recoverable gas reserves by 22 million barrels of oil equivalent, whilst extending the production plateau of the Gullfaks by two years.
Statoil’s executive vice president for Technology, Projects & Drilling (TPD), Margareth Øvrum, said: “We are very proud that we have been able to complete such a demanding pioneering project with start-up ahead of the original plan,”
“Subsea processing and gas compression represent the next generation oil and gas recovery, taking us a big step forward,” she says.
The major advantage in wet gas compression is that unlike conventional methods, gas and liquids do not need separation prior to compression. This greatly simplifies both system and compression module.
The knock on effect will see the new technology help reduce capital spending on subsea infrastructure as well as costs related to the ongoing running and maintenance.
Journey To The Seabed- The 650 Tonne World’s First Subsea Sea Wet Gas Compressor
The Next Technological Leap
Statoil’s senior vice president for the operations west cluster, Kjetil Hove, said: “We see great opportunities for wet gas compression on the Norwegian continental shelf.”
“It is an efficient system and a concept that can be used for improved recovery on small and medium-sized fields. We are searching for more candidates that are suitable,”
The technology is now likely to be extended, increasing it use across the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.
Statoil have confirmed that it is possible to tie existing subsea pipelines into the subsea compressors. The Gullfaks wet gas compressor has already been prepared for further subsea tiebacks.
The successful installation and implementation of both subsea gas compressors will move the global offshore oil and gas industry one step closer to the dream of ‘subsea factories’, an era where little or no topside infrastructure is required to produce oil and gas offshore.
Although Statoil is firmly in the front seat of the new technology, the world’s offshore oil and gas companies will be watch from the sidelines with baited breath for sure.
The Gullfaks field is a Statoil operated offshore oil and gas field, with joint venturers: Statoil 51%; Petoro 30%; OMV 19%.