STAVANGER -- StatoilHydro, Chevron, and Petrobras in a JIP are developing a new compact deepwater separation plant. The new separation equipment will be far lighter and smaller than the existing solutions, according to the JIP.
"The development of compact seabed separation plants is key to success in deep waters, such as in the Gulf of Mexico and off Brazil," says Olav Kristiansen, activity leader of the CompactSep JIP project.
The first laboratory tests will be performed in the low-pressure rig at the research and development center in Trondheim. The project aims to develop a plant that will work in water depths from 2,500–3,000 m (8,202–9,842 ft).
"We will build a 3 m (9.8 ft) high, 6 m (19.7 ft) long demonstration rig for extensive laboratory and function tests, using model fluids and real fluids, both under low and high pressure," says Kristiansen.
The entire separation system will be tested in a high-pressure rig at the SINTEF research foundation, where larger high-pressure facilities exist.
Full-scale testing of the plant, using real gas and oil types, will be performed in StatoilHydro's Porsgrunn research and development center. Parts of the system will be tested with well stream on the Gullfaks C platform in the North Sea.
The research project is managed and performed by StatoilHydro as a JIP, with the three companies as equal partners. The contract is based on the existing technology cooperation agreement recently signed with Petrobras and Chevron. The project, with a cost limit of $10.6 million, will run until 2011.