Photo: Ormen Lange; Source: Shell

Shell sanctions Norwegian subsea compression project

Oil major Shell has reached a Final Investment Decision (FID) for its Ormen Lange wet gas subsea compression project off Norway and submitted its development plan for the project to the Norwegian authorities.

Shell submitted its plan for development and operation (PDO) for the Ormen Lange field to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and minister Tina Bru on Monday 20 September 2021.

The submission of the PDO for Ormen Lange. Source: The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. Photo: Ella Bye / OED

Ormen Lange, located in the Norwegian Sea, is Norway’s second-largest gas field.

According to Shell, the project is designed to unlock an additional 30-50 billion cubic meters of natural gas, increasing Ormen Lange’s overall gas recovery rate from 75 to 85 per cent. This will be fed into the Norwegian gas export system.

A wet gas compressor system will be installed on the seabed at 900m depth close to the wellheads, increasing gas flow from the reservoir into the wells. The 120 km distance from shore to the installations sets a new world record for subsea compression power step-out, according to Shell.

Marianne Olsnes, Managing Director at A / S Norske Shell, said: “Ormen Lange ranks among the lowest carbon intensity fields in Norway, being powered with hydro-generated electricity from the national grid and processed in a closed system at the Nyhamna gas plant”.

Olsnes also noted that the project adds more than NOK 40 billion extra income to the Norwegian State.

Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru, noted that the project is a good example of what is needed on the Norwegian shelf in the future. “A project that provides increased recovery from fields in operation, at the same time as developing, qualifying and using new technology”, Bru said.

The ministry emphasised that this will be the first underwater compression system to be developed without any support from an offshore platform. The solution is both developed in and will be delivered from Norway with new technology based on Norwegian innovations for a global market. The subsea systems will be manufactured and installed by the supplier company OneSubsea.

Shell is the operator of the project with Petoro, Equinor, Ineos, and Vår Energi as partners.