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Lloyds List: Ormen Lange partners proceed with subsea plant

Published: Mar 13, 2007

NORSK Hydro and its partners in the Ormen Lange gas project off mid-Norway are set to invest NKr2.5bn ($405m) in a subsea compressions station to halve development costs, writes Martyn Wingrove.

The Norwegian group, plus Shell, ExxonMobil, Denmark’s Dong and state groups Statoil and Petoro have decided to proceed with a pilot plant at the Nyhamna processing plant near Molde.

The partners want to qualify the technology, supplied by Norwegian engineering contractors Aker Kvaerner and Aibel, before installing a four train gas compression system on the seabed in 860 m of water.

If the subsea technology is successfully tested then its deployment will prevent the need to install a 25,000 tonne deepwater gas compression platform over the next seven years.

‘By using a subsea compression facility in order to increase pressure in the well stream, it will be easier to transport gas and condensate over long distances to a land-based processing facility,’ said Tom Rotjier, Hydro’s project director for Ormen Lange.

‘If we succeed on this subsea project we will be able to reduce Ormen Lange future offshore compression costs by 50% and will be able to halve operating costs over a 20 year period.’

The pilot plant will involve one subsea compression train to be tested in a pool built at the Nyhamna processing plant near Alesund.

The full plant could weigh 3,500 tonnes and include four gas compressors of 200 tonnes each.

Aker Kvaerner Subsea is developing and supplying the subsea compression system and Aibel is responsible for supplying a long distance power system for the compression station.

The 60 m long, 40 m wide station will be used to pump the well streams from the 860 m water depth at the field up the continental slope to the Nyhamna plant where condensate will be separated from the gas.

The first phase of Ormen Lange’s development involves gas produced at Nyhamna and sent to British gas markets via the 1,200 m long Langeled pipeline.

First gas deliveries are due at the Easington terminal this October.

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