STAVANGER, Norway --StatoilHydro has started the first full-scale subsea compression test at its laboratory in the Kaarsto gas processing complex in western Norway.
The laboratory, known as K-lab, is used to analyze, test and qualify subsea compressors and pumps, separation equipment, multi-phase meters, valves and pipeline pigs in `realistic' conditions.
The $250 million-plus upgrade of the test facilities was financed by the partners in the Aasgard Minimum Flow Project. This is evaluating subsea gas compression as a means of boosting gas output from the Midgard and Mikkel area fields in the Norwegian Sea.
Over a two-year period, K-lab technicians will test MAN Turbo and Siemens prototype compressors.
"Aasgard is in many ways tailor-made as a front-runner for qualification of subsea compression," says StatoilHydro's Rolv Herfjord, "as the compressor unit on the sea bed will serve a number of wells and thus distribute the cost for qualification on a large gas volume.
"In addition, the motor drive (frequency converter) can be located on the Aasgard B platform…If the testing is successful, we can assess using subsea installations instead of offshore platforms."