One of the most technically demanding developments on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, the Ormen Lange field is located 120 km offshore in 1000 meters water depth in the Møre Basin in the Southern part of the Norwegian Sea. It is a complete subsea development comprising four wellhead templates that tie back to an onshore gas processing facility at Nyhamna, where gas is dried and compressed before export to the Langeled pipeline via the Sleipner platform to the UK. The deep water and the seabed conditions have made the development very challenging and have necessitated novel technologies for the base project. The need for depletion compression was recognized from the initial development stages of the field and the Permit to Develop and Operate required the license partners (Shell, Statoil, Petoro, ExxonMobil, and DONG Energy) to develop subsea compression technology. This has resulted in the development of a full scale operational pilot plant to prove that subsea compression technology is viable. This paper explores the challenges that the license and Shell as operator as well as the subsea industry have overcome in developing this novel technology and outlines the future plans for the eventual selection of subsea compression as the development concept for depletion compression on Ormen Lange and elsewhere.


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