In 2015, Åsgard became the world’s first subsea gas compression facility to commence operation 300 meters below sea level – featuring two HOFIM motor- compressor units by MAN Energy Solutions Switzerland Ltd. The compressors have clocked 50,000 hours of operation successfully, according to the OEM. “In the early days we just had a few valves on the sea floor. Now there’s almost a complete factory down there,” explains Roald Sirevaag, Chief Engineer Subsea Technology of Equinor. “With Åsgard subsea gas compression, we are one step closer to realizing our vision of a subsea factory. MAN’s technology for subsea gas compression represents an essential factor for the successful operation of the Åsgard facility.”
By carrying out compression on the seabed, the operator clearly benefits in the form of improved energy efficiency. Compressors are used to maintain output as reservoir pressure at gas-producing fields drop over time. The closer the
compressor operates to the well, the higher the efficiency and production rates
The subsea technology also contributes to improvements in recovery rates and lifetime of gas fields. By the end of 2015 analyses indicated that the pressure in Åsgard’s reservoirs would have been too low to ensure stable flows and
satisfactory production. Thus, compression was needed – the MAN units, which are currently in operation, help to extend the reservoirs’ productive life for another 15 years. Overall, around 282 million barrels of oil equivalent will be added. “The two HOFIM compressor systems in service at Åsgard Subsea have been operated at full load since start-up in 2015 and have delivered reliability and availability above 99% since the beginning. The overall performance has exceeded all expectations and ensured reliable gas deliveries from Åsgard to Europe” states
Lars Klevjer, VP Operations Åsgard and Stig Folgerø, Leading Advisor Rotating Equipment at Equinor.
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