BERGEN, Norway—Statoil’s aspiration to complete its first subsea factory is within reach as work on the Åsgard and Gullfaks subsea gas compression projects pushes ahead offshore Norway.

Åsgard will start up in third-quarter 2015 followed by Gullfaks in the fourth quarter, Margareth Øvrum, Statoil’s executive vice president for technology, told delegates June 17 at the Underwater Technology Conference in Bergen, Norway.

“We are doing installation work on the two projects at the moment. On Åsgard nine of the 11 modules on the first compressor train are now installed. The installation work has been carried out by the North Sea Giant vessel,” Øvrum said. “The inlet cooler modules were installed last week. The inlet cooler together with the frame is 388t and the lift was done by a special handling unit.

“Asgard subsea gas compression with its two trains, separators, mixers, pumps, spoolers and compressors is for all practical matters our first subsea factory in place,” she added.

The Åsgard project is expected to add 282 MMboe, the equivalent of developing a small- to medium-sized field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

“We have qualified 43 different technologies in this project and that is amazing,” Øvrum said.

Meanwhile, she said installation of the two subsea wet gas compressors and cooler modules on the Gullfaks Field will probably kick off June 18.

“On Gullfaks we will increase recovery by 22 MMboe and I think the combination of large gas fields and long tiebacks of subsea wells will create large demand going forward for subsea gas compression,” she said. “We are looking for more implementation opportunities.”

More than 50% of Statoil’s equity production comes from subsea and the company currently has 540 subsea wells in operation.

“We will take subsea technology longer, deeper and colder,” Øvrum continued.

The first subsea production well was drilled on Gullfaks almost 30 years ago. The adventure continues in 2015 with the start of subsea compression on Asgard and subsea wet compression on Gullfaks.

“Subsea gas compression is no doubt a crucial technology and a key delivery to our mission of the subsea factory. With subsea compression we now have all the vital elements for a subsea factory in place,” Øvrum said. “We can control the production flow. We can separate oil gas and water on the sea floor, and we can inject water back. We still need to further develop and refine several elements, for instance extended reach power supply and much better oil and water separation.”

Subsea gas compression is the last vital stepping stone and will be ready within the year, Øvrum added.