OSLO, Norway --The partners in the Ormen Lange project offshore mid-Norway will commit $405 million to develop a subsea compression station. The equipment, to be at a depth of 860 m (2,821 ft), should halve the development and operating costs of an alternative development scenario involving a 25,000 metric tonne (27,577 ton) platform.
Under a full-size pilot test program, a prototype subsea compressor will undergo tests in a pool at the Ormen Lange onshore processing site in Nyhamna. The tests should start in 2009, with the aim of qualifying the technology by the end of 2011. At that point, the partners will decide whether to pursue this option or to opt for a platform for the Phase II development.
The 3,500 metric tonne (3,858 ton) subsea installation will include four compressor trains. The test facility will simulate conditions at Ormen Lange, and also will verify procedures for the installation and removal of the subsea module.
If the technology proves its worth, the compression station would be placed for on the sea floor between the field's two existing templates, 120 km (74.5 mi) offshore Kristiansund. Power would be provided through a cable laid directly from Nyhamna.