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World’s first subsea compression system completes five years in operation

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Oilfield Technology,

Equinor’s subsea gas-compression system at Åsgard, Norway has reached the milestone of five years in operation.

In September 2015, Equinor, broke new ground by putting the world’s first subsea, gas-compression facility into operation at the Åsgard offshore gas-field on the floor of the Norwegian Sea. It features two Subsea HOFIM® motor-compressor units from MAN Energy Solutions, which have since achieved a total of 80 000 operational hours with an availability of close to 100%.

Randi Elisabeth Hugdahl, Vice President of Åsgard Operations at Equinor, stated: “We are very proud that our subsea gas-compression facility has reached five years of successful operation. The pioneering subsea technology we implemented at Åsgard represents a quantum leap for the global energy industry. Putting the compression system on the seabed near the wellheads improves recovery rates, and reduces capital and operating costs. Moreover, it has essential advantages in the form of improved safety for our employees and a significant reduction of the carbon footprint. At the core of the subsea technology lie two MAN HOFIM® compressor systems, which have been operated at full load since start-up in 2015. Their overall performance throughout the five years of operation has exceeded our expectations.”

Basil Zweifel, Vice President Sales & Execution, Upstream and Midstream, at MAN Energy Solutions, said: “The achievement of 80 000 operational hours with practically no stops or interruptions since production-start in September 2015 proves the unrivalled reliability of MAN’s Subsea HOFIM compression systems.”

By the end of 2015, analyses indicated that the pressure in Åsgard’s reservoirs would eventually be too low to ensure stable flow and satisfactory production. The need for compression resulted in the installation of 2 × 11.5 MW HOFIM motor-compressor units operating 300 m below sea level to maintain the output as the reservoir pressure in the Åsgard gas field decreased over time. Thanks to the subsea technology, the reservoirs’ productive life was extended for another 15 years. Overall, around 306 million boe will be added during this period.

Zweifel added: “Together with Equinor and our Subsea Compression Alliance partner, Aker Solutions, we started a whole new chapter for the oil and gas industry five years ago. Our innovative, subsea technology makes offshore gas-recovery more sustainable and efficient. On top of that, our highly digitised, compressor system can be remotely operated, which makes it the ideal technology solution for topside applications where unmanned operation is required.”

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