Shell in Norway takes a leap in technology

Uploaded by Shell on 09.01.2012

Here, on the weather-battered coast of Norway lies Nyhamna.
This is the location of the onshore plant for
the Shell-operated gas field, Ormen Lange.
At Nyhamna, gas from Ormen Lange is treated before being exported
via the world’s longest pipeline to the UK.
At full production, Nyhamna delivers up to 20 per cent of UK’s gas needs.
This is equal to Norway’s total energy consumption.
Ormen Lange is one of Norway’s most complex and technologically
demanding field developments.
No other Norwegian field produce at such deep waters, under such tough conditions
and with such advanced equipment.
All installations are located on the ocean floor, at a depth of about 1,000 metres.
Today, the natural pressure in the reservoir gives the gas
enough velocity through the pipeline, to be able to climb
the long and steep ascent to Nyhamna.
However, the more gas we recover,
the more the natural pressure from the reservoir will drop.
In order to maintain production on the field we will eventually
need pressure support in the form of compression.
The increased pressure will give the gas the ‘push’ it requires
in making the journey to Nyhamna from the reservoir.
Together with the licence partners, Shell will decide which type of compression
or as subsea equipment on the seabed.
Until the choice is made, both alternatives are undergoing parallel planning.
Here, Shell will qualify subsea compression for the Ormen Lange field,
through a pilot project which involves design, construction and testing
of a full-scale compression system.
The subsea alternative for future compression on Ormen Lange
is the first of its kind.
For the first time ever, the entire compressor station,
including all power supply modules, will be located on the seabed.
This is a ground-breaking development project that can ensure
an increased recovery rate, quicker recovery of gas
and greater profitability for Ormen Lange.
It has taken three years to raise the high tech test centre at Nyhamna.
The equipment is of huge dimensions.
The largest and heaviest module transported was the process module.
It weighs 900 tonnes and serves as the pilot’s “laboratory”.
The 18-metre high module came to Nyhamna on a barge
and was transported through the onshore facility with extreme care and precision,
and with clearance of only a few centimetres in certain spots.
A new hall was built in Egersund to house the pilot’s components.
Parts and components from many different suppliers have been assembled,
thoroughly tested and qualified in this hall.
After this, the pilot was taken apart again, before being transported,
module by module, to Nyhamna in the spring of 2011 to be installed in the test pit.
Here it was assembled back together and completed mechanically.
The project reached a milestone during the autumn of 2011
when the test pit was filled with seawater for the first time.
It took 22,000 m3 of water to fill the pit.
Shell has now reached the final stage of the technology qualification.
The pilot will be tested with gas and condensate from Ormen Lange
in a closed loop.
This includes testing the plant’s performance, reliability and endurance.
The results of the testing will be used as a basis when Shell,
together with the licence partners, decides whether subsea compression
is the best alternative for Ormen Lange.
The subsea compression project at Nyhamna represents
a considerable technology leap.
And regardless of whether subsea compression is chosen for Ormen Lange,
the test project marks an importantmilestone in the development
of subsea technology.
The pilot project at Nyhamna includes over 50 different technology qualifications.
This technology can be used on the seabed, but also on platforms and onshore
where one wouldn’t want personnel involved, such as in Arctic regions.
In a world where the demand for energy is increasing,
we need smart solutions to be able to recover
more from the resources we already have.
This is important for the development of the Norwegian continental shelf,
where the challenge is increasing the value from each single field.
A compression solution can be installed and operational on Ormen Lange
sometime at the end of this decade.
This will contribute to delivering gas from the Ormen Lange field to shore
for many decades to come.
either from a floating platform