EMPIG, in collaboration with industry partners, is currently planning to pilot an Always-clean Cooling System (ACS) fully qualified for a subsea field installation. The ACS is a continuously producing subsea cooler for the oil and gas industry, that cools a multiphase flow from a producing well/field below the temperature for hydrate and wax formation, without the risk of downstream deposition or agglomeration.
A realization of this innovation will result in reduced costs for oil and gas production in existing fields, open fields further from existing infrastructure and enable connection to existing tie-in hubs. For new areas of development, where no infrastructure is in place, the technology has the potential to transport the resources to shore, eliminating the need for offshore production facilities. ACS will also significantly reduce the environmental footprint from oil and gas production.
EMPIG's wax and hydrate controlling technology (“core technology”) is currently at a Technology Readiness Level 4 (TRL 4 on a scale from 0 to 7, API 17 terminology) and patented by EMPIG AS. The core technology has achieved a proof of concept verified for a real field oil (high wax potential) at SINTEF Multiphase Flow Laboratory - close to real scale with real conditions.
Industry partners in the proof of concept were Lundin, Neptune and Kværner. SINTEF was research partner and the project received funding from the Norwegian Research Council (Petromaks2 269246): ACS: Always-clean Cooling System. The Petromaks2 project matured the core technology from TRL 2 to TRL 4 and demonstrated proof of concept for the core technology. The objective for the current proposal is to mature the technology to TRL 4 for a complete subsea system. The main demonstration objective is a complete marine demonstration in sea water for the complete cooler system, including all electronics and moving parts (heater, robotics), qualification of a field candidate fluid, and a total design on paper.