High pressure application of twister technology for sub-sea processing of natural gas.

Subsea gas processing using the revolutionary twister
technology. The aim is to gain knowledge of high pressure
natural gas and complementary sub-sea equipment essential
for the development of a sub-sea twister installation.

Directly after its extraction, natural gas is processed to remove water and hydrocarbon liquids (with carbon chains larger than C3, the so-called 'condensates'). The purpose of processing is to prevent corrosion of the pipes and to improve combustion characteristics of the gas. For off-shore production of natural gas, another important drive is to prevent multi-phase flow in the long transport pipelines to shore (combined liquid/gas transport can cause hydrate plugging, damaging hammering effects and high pressure losses). Alternative measures to prevent multi-phase flow, such as chemical injection or heating, have proven to be complex, too costly for transport over longer distances and environmentally-unfriendly. Conventional gas processing facilities to remove water and condensate from gas require off-shore platforms with large amounts of equipment. Major disadvantages of these off-shore platforms are the high costs, complexity and safety issues. Furthermore, receiving the required licences and public acceptance is often a problem. For effective separation of gas of off-shore wells, it would be sensible to remove the water and condensates directly at the well at the sea-bed. This would lift the requirement for a nearby processing platform at the sea surface and potentially reduce the cost of gas production significantly. Conventional methods of natural gas processing, however, hold a number of restrictions and can not be placed sub-sea. Recently, TWISTER B.V. in THE NETHERLANDS has developed the revolutionary TWISTER Technology for gas processing (more details are given in section 2.2). Simplicity and reliability are key success factors in the sub-sea market. The TWISTER Technology is currently the only gas-processing technology in the market or under development that scores high on both counts, by not needing chemicals and not having rotating parts. Sub-sea gas processing which includes TWISTER technology would eliminate the requirement for a nearby processing facility on a off-shore platform at the sea surface. TWISTER is therefore generally recognised as the missing link for sub-sea gas processing. Subsea gas processing takes place a lot closer to the reservoir than conventional gas processing, and requires gas processing at high inlet and exit pressures. No actual experience exists with high pressure processing of gas in general, nor with high pressure application of TWISTER Technology. Therefore, this project is aimed at gaining the required knowledge of high pressure natural gas, necessary for predicting the functioning and for the design of TWISTER Technology at high pressure. High pressure tests will be performed, which are essential for the development of a sub-sea TWISTER. In addition, this project is aimed at research and development of the required complementary sub-sea equipment and the lay out of a sub-sea platform. Shortly, a feasibility study focused on sub-sea application of the TWISTER Technology will be completed by TWISTER B.V. and FMC KONGSBERG SUBSEA in NORWAY. The results up to now indicate that sub-sea application of the TWISTER Technology is feasible. During this feasibility study, knowledge gaps and technology gaps have been/are identified. The goal of the High pressure TWISTER project is to fill the knowledge gaps and technology gaps identified during the feasibility study. After concluding this project, the information gained will be used for the further development of a sub-sea platform based on TWISTER Technology. Keywords: natural gas processing, sub-sea, high pressure.
Project ID: 
2 681
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
4 500 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.