Statoil: Installation of Asgard subsea gas compression modules begins

Statoil has informed that the installation of the modules that collectively constitute Åsgard subsea gas compression has started on the Åsgard field located in the Norwegian Sea. 

Statoil says that this technology at a depth of 300 metres will create 282 million extra barrels from the Åsgard field.

According to the press release, a total of 22 modules will be installed and connected, which will comprise two identical compressor trains weighing 1,500 tonnes each.

During the summer, this technology will be put in place in the large subsea frame that was installed on the field in summer 2013.

Statoil says that the installation work is being carried out by the North Sea Giant vessel, which was rebuilt for the purpose.

The company further notes that all the modules are provisionally stored at Vestbase in Kristiansund, from where they are shipped following commissioning and testing in Egersund.

Crane system

As explained in the press release, the modules comprising the subsea gas compression plant vary in size. The smallest modules are being installed via the vessel’s so-called “moonpool”, a large opening in the bottom of the hull through which the modules are lowered. Modules with a maximum weight of up to 70 tonnes can be installed in this way.

Several of the modules to be installed in the subsea plant are too large to be lowered through the ship’s moonpool. Thus, the ship’s crane system has been modified to incorporate a so-called special handling system (SHS), Statoil reports in the press release.

According to the company, the lifting system is designed to carry a load of up to 420 tonnes and can operate in up to nine-metre high waves. Each module is lowered into the sea via a crane and guided into place with a ROV and cables.

Torstein Vinterstø, project director, says: “This crane system makes the installation work safer and more efficient. To ensure quality at every stage of the process, all operational crew have practised the operations in a specially designed simulator.”

“We have also performed a number of sea trials prior to installation.”

Snorre Grande, senior vice president for Åsgard subsea gas compression in Field Development, says: “I am very pleased that we have now commenced the installation work and that preparations for start up and operation are now underway.”

“The ship fitted with the new crane system will also be a good tool for us once the system becomes operational,” he says.

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