Photo: Source: Aker Solutions

Aker Solutions and FSubsea to create new firm for boosting oil recovery

Norway’s Aker Solutions and its compatriot FSubsea have agreed to create FASTSubsea to help operators increase oil recovery in “a faster, simpler and more environmentally friendly way.” 

Aker Solutions said on Wednesday that multiphase subsea pumping technology has the potential to increase oil recovery rates by more than 20 percent, but cost, space limitations and sometimes complex solutions mean multiphase pumps are installed in fewer than 30 of the world’s 1,500+ offshore fields.

With FASTSubsea, this is about to change, according to the two companies.

Aker Solutions said  that the new company combines its multiphase hydraulic technology with FSubsea’s Hydromag technology to create the world’s first “topside-less” multiphase boosting system.

The pump-module solution being developed by FASTSubsea can cut capex by half and enable subsea boosting at fields where there is no available topside space. Getting more out of existing wells reduces CO2-emissions per barrel.

“Creating FASTSubsea enables us to increase our speed to the market, reduce risk and reduce investment in multiphase test facilities,” said Alexander Fuglesang, CEO of FSubsea, who will take on the role of Managing Director of FASTSubsea.

“Combining Aker Solutions’ subsea systems expertise and multiphase test facility with FSubsea’s Hydromag technology and lean mindset will benefit both companies, said John Macleod, Aker Solutions’ Chief Technology Officer.

“FASTSubsea has the potential to become a valuable addition to our portfolio of boosting recovery solutions.”

The agreement is subject to approval from the Norwegian competition authorities.


Boosting subsea boosting


The spread of subsea boosting technology has been hampered by cost and complexity. Conventional systems require a large amount of topside equipment on a platform or FPSO, including electric variable speed drives and supply systems for barrier fluid hydraulic oils. They also typically require several kilometers of hydraulic umbilicals between the pumps and the platform. This increases cost in the form of engineering and hardware spend.

Aker Solutions stated that the pump-module solution from FASTSubsea leverages FSubsea’s Hydromag technology, which is a unique combination of the world’s most powerful Permanent Magnetic coupling with an embedded hydrodynamic variable speed function, and Aker Solutions’ MultiBooster semi-axial impeller design, which has proven best-in-class pressure generation capabilities.

This system has built-in variable speed function and is barrier-fluid-less, which reduces capex cost with up to 50 percent. It unlocks opportunities with platforms that have no additional topside space but still can reap the economic benefits of increased recovery with subsea boosting system, Aker Solutions explained.

Aker Solutions and FSubsea will each hold a 50 percent of the outstanding shares in FASTSubsea and the board of directors will consist of an equal number of Aker Solutions and FSubsea representatives.

Alexander Fuglesang acts as Managing Director of FASTSubsea and Bastiaen van der Rest as Technology and Operations Manager.

The company’s “topside-less” multiphase pump will be marketed towards subsea integrators and operators directly, as well as through Aker Solutions. FSubsea will continue to market Omnirise product range directly to the marketplace and Aker Solutions will continue to market LiquidBooster and MultiBooster product ranges directly to the marketplace.

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