Photo: MAN Energy Solutions

MAN gets new subsea compressor order after world’s first units reach operational milestone

Equinor has awarded MAN Energy Solutions with a new contract to supply a subsea compressor unit for the Åsgard gas field offshore Norway in order to enhance production and extend the field’s lifetime. The order comes as the existing MAN subsea compression trains achieved 100,000 operational hours six years after start-up.

The scope of supply for the new order comprises a subsea HOFIM compressor unit, with compressor frame size RB 45, with an integrated MAN motor, size M43.

To increase the overall pressure-ratio capability, the unit features a new, overhung compression stage on the opposite side of the motor. The motor compressor unit is designed for continuous liquid injection, making it a wet-gas compression solution.

It will be developed, manufactured and tested at MAN’s premises in Zurich, Switzerland, with delivery planned for March 2023.

Åsgard became the world’s first subsea gas compression facility to commence operation 300 meters below sea level in 2016.

The field features two MAN Subsea HOFIM motor-compressor units that have run for more than six years, accumulating 100,000 operational hours without any intervention and with an availability of close to 100%, MAN said.

The existing subsea compression modules are being upgraded to accommodate a higher compression ratio, thus maintaining output and enhancing recovery as the gas reservoir’s pressure naturally declines.

According to MAN, the need to further develop the subsea compression technology was identified early on as part of the initial Åsgard Subsea Compression project. The aim is to safeguard the total, additional production of around 306 million barrels of oil equivalents.

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Equinor contracted Aker Solutions at the end of 2021 for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the subsea compression module to be installed at the Åsgard field.

“We are pleased to be awarded another important contract by Equinor and honored to continue our role as part of the groundbreaking Åsgard project together with our subsea alliance partner, Aker Solutions,” said Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Energy Solutions.

“100,000 operating hours is an impressive achievement that demonstrates the unique value of our subsea-compression technology, which has a major part to play in making tomorrow’s offshore-gas recovery more sustainable and efficient. This closely aligns with our company’s aim to transform energy into sustainable progress.”

The Åsgard field development is located in the Norwegian Sea, around 200 kilometers off mid-Norway, in water depths of around 240-310 meters.

The gas from the Åsgard field is piped, via Kårstø, to continental Europe, and, according to Equinor, the field supplies about 11 billion cubic meters of gas annually to European customers.

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