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Aker Solutions in 2015 delivered the world's first subsea compression system for the Åsgard field in Norway.
The system is expected to boost recovery from the Equinor-operated Norwegian Sea field by some 306 million barrels of oil equivalents.
Compressors are used to maintain output as reservoir pressure at gas-producing fields drops over time. These are typically installed on platforms above sea level but the compressor at Åsgard was placed on the seabed since the field uses subsea systems.
Putting the compressor on the seabed near the wellheads improves recovery rates and reduces capital and operating costs. Subsea compression also leaves a smaller environmental footprint and is safer to operate than a platform.
The Åsgard system consists of modules for two identical sets of compressors, pumps, scrubbers and coolers fitted together in an 1,800-metric ton steel frame. Since 2015, the two units at Åsgard have achieved design performance figures of more than 99% availability and with a significantly lower carbon footprint than a comparable topside installation.
Aker Solutions in December 2010 was awarded the contract to deliver the system. It took five years from the project's start to first gas on September 17, 2015. A close collaboration with Equinor and Aker Solutions' suppliers was essential to ensure the successful delivery of this break-through technology.
The technology is a major milestone for the subsea industry, opening new opportunities in deeper waters, harsh environments and in areas far from shore. The Åsgard system is designed for large flow rates, built to be reliable, efficient and flexible.
Aker Solutions is continuing to improve future versions, to deliver slimmer and more cost-efficient solutions. The company and MAN Energy Solutions in October 2015 formed an exclusive alliance to develop the next generation in subsea compression systems.