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Developing next generation separation equipment

StatoilHydro will, together with Chevron and Petrobras, develop a new compact deep-water separation plant, for work in water depths down to 2500–3000 metres. 

StatoilHydro will, together with Chevron and Petrobras, develop a new compact deep-water separation plant, for work in water depths down to 2500–3000 metres. 
 
Known technology elements will be assembled in an entirely new way. The new separation equipment will be far lighter and smaller than the existing solutions.
 
”The development of compact seabed separation plants is key to success in deep waters, such as in the Gulf of Mexico and off Brazil,” says the activity leader of the CompactSep JIP project, Olav Kristiansen, at StatoilHydro’s research and development centre in Trondheim.
Seabed processing allows tasks such as separation, pumping and compression to be performed on the seabed rather than on the platforms.
 
The project aims to develop a plant that will work in water depths down to 2500–3000 metres. Traditional separators are too heavy to be lifted down into such deep waters. They will also get a bulky wall thickness due to great external pressure. Reducing the weight and dimensions is crucial.
 
”We will build a three-metre high, six-metre long demonstration rig for extensive laboratory and function tests, using model fluids and real fluids, both under low and high pressure,” Kristiansen says.
 
The first tests will take place in StatoilHydro’s research and development laboratory in Trondheim. The entire separation system will then be tested in a high-pressure rig at the SINTEF research foundation, where larger high-pressure facilities exist.
 
Finally, StatoilHydro’s research and development centre in Porsgrunn will take over. Full-scale testing of the plant, using real gas and oil types, will be performed here. Parts of the system will at the same time be tested with well stream on the Gullfaks C platform in the North Sea.
 
The research project is managed and performed by StatoilHydro as a joint industry project (JIP), with the three companies as equal partners. The contract is based on the existing technology cooperation agreement recently signed with Petrobras and Chevron. The project, with a cost limit of NOK 54 million, will run until 2011.

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