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First of a kind subsea compression module for deepwater gas fields. (Pipeline & Gas Journal's International/Offshore Report).

GE Oil & Gas, based in Florence, Italy, and Kvaerner Eureka of Norway have jointly developed a subsea compression module to reduce deepwater oil and gas field exploitation costs. Representing a technology breakthrough for subsea projects, the module features a 2.5-megawatt Blue-C[TM] Subsea Centrifugal Compressor developed by GE Oil & Gas. The module is the first of its kind for the industry.

The joint development effort was among the projects approved for the DEMO 2000 program launched by the Norwegian government in support of subsea systems to economically recover natural gas from deepwater fields. Until now, it has not been profitable to exploit those at depths of 1,490 feet (500 meters) or more, largely due to the cost of conventional offshore platforms.

"Technological developments such as the Blue-C will lead to a significant increase in seabed oil field exploitation," said Claudi Santiago, president and CEO of GE Oil & Gas. "Developing and implementing reliable subsea technology is clearly a tough challenge but it will produce huge benefits in the oil and gas industry in the years ahead."

The Blue-C compressor module is a turnkey system capable of handling natural gas at pressures up to 130 bar. It will be installed on the seabed and can transport the well stream to a central platform or directly to an on-shore site at distances of up to 50-62 miles (80-100 km).

The subsea compressor module includes a variable-speed electric motor, a planetary gear box and a centrifugal compressor. The booster station also includes a separator module to divide the incoming fluid into gas and liquid; and a multiphase pump for pumping the liquid. The entire module is pressurized at inlet pressure, eliminating the need for dry gas seals.

Because the new module is designed for deepwater installation, reliability is a critical requirements. To validate the innovative design and minimize any risks in the field for future systems, developers have completed rigorous thermodynamic, mechanical and endurance testing on a prototype, 850-kilowatt power unit at GE Oil & Gas test facilities.

The first 2.5-megawatt subsea module to be built will undergo a technological qualification process under actual operating conditions, on a subsea gas field. Initially the module will be installed on a platform to perform pre-qualification tests, then it will be submerged in 984 feet (300 meters) of water to continue the testing. Feasibility studies with several oil companies have already been performed to determine potential locations in the North Sea, for both gas boosting and gas re-injections applications.

The development of the subsea module began with the refurbishment and testing of the experimental and prototype unit originally built by GE Oil & Gas and Kvaerner Eureka in 1992. The earlier unit was tested to validate the concept and to identify technology gaps before completing the detailed design of the new, more powerful module. Plans to develop an even larger 5-megawatt module are under way.

For more information, contact: Dennis Murphy, GE Power Systems +1 770 859 6948,, Ken Darling or Howard Masto, Masto Public Relations +1 518 786 6488,,
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Title Annotation:GE Oil & Gas
Comment:First of a kind subsea compression module for deepwater gas fields. (Pipeline & Gas Journal's International/Offshore Report).(GE Oil & Gas)
Publication:Pipeline & Gas Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2003
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