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Sulzer Assists TechnipFMC with Innovative CO2 Pumps for Subsea Oil and Gas Separation
Sulzer Assists TechnipFMC with Innovative CO2 Pumps for Subsea Oil and Gas Separation

Sulzer Assists TechnipFMC with Innovative CO2 Pumps for Subsea Oil and Gas Separation

  • 05-Jun-2024 1:29 PM
  • Journalist: Kim Chul Son

TechnipFMC has chosen Sulzer Flow Equipment to partner in the creation of innovative subsea CO2 pump solutions for emerging technologies. Petrobras' groundbreaking high-pressure separation technology, HISEP®, allows for the extraction of CO2-rich natural gas from oil directly at the seafloor. This method holds promise for substantial improvements in energy efficiency and productivity for Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels, along with cost and emission reductions.

Presently, the CO2-rich gas associated with FPSOs undergoes processing atop the vessel, necessitating treatment and recompression via sizable, energy-intensive compressors. Although this process facilitates the reinjection of CO2 gas into the reservoir, it consumes significant energy. The innovative pump technology will facilitate the separation and immediate pumping of the CO2-rich gas back into the seabed reservoir, situated 2000 meters below the water surface. This advancement will enhance FPSO efficiency and decrease their carbon footprint, thereby bolstering production capabilities.

Since 2017, Sulzer Flow Equipment has collaborated with TechnipFMC in the development and testing of supercritical CO2 pumps for Petrobras’ HISEP® technology. After the staged development and validation of a prototype, the pump expert is now supplying three customized 6 MW high-pressure centrifugal (HPcp) pumps for Petrobras’ planned HISEP® pilot project in the Brazilian pre-salt oil region. Supported by Petrobras and its partners in the Libra Consortium, the HISEP® technology is poised for advancement. Upon delivery, the pumps will undergo rigorous testing and validation in a specialized laboratory at the Federal University of Itajuba.

Jonathan Lloyd, Head of the Flow Equipment Energy and Infrastructure Business Unit, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, "We are thrilled to collaborate with TechnipFMC and Petrobras to realize this remarkable new technology. By eliminating the necessity to process CO2 on the FPSO, this partnership offers substantial energy efficiency and topside space benefits. The project highlights Sulzer's longstanding heritage and dedication to innovation, solidifying its position as a frontrunner in new pump technology. It also underscores the value of close partnerships in advancing cleaner, more efficient, and profitable growth."

Luana Duffe, Executive Vice President of New Energy at TechnipFMC, remarked, "Through the HISEP® project, we aim to showcase once more how our leadership in subsea processing, technological innovation, and integrated solutions can yield tangible and sustainable advantages for our partners. Sulzer's expertise in providing top-tier pump solutions for the industry's most rigorous processes makes them the preferred partner for the Mero 3 HISEP® project. This endeavor has truly been a collaborative journey of innovation for all involved."

The HISEP® project by Petrobras will be implemented in the Mero 3 development within the Brazilian pre-salt oil region, characterized by fields typically comprising a 50/50 mix of oil and CO2-rich gas. Mero 3 is under development by the Libra Consortium, led by Petrobras (38.6%), in partnership with Shell Brasil (19.3%), TotalEnergies (19.3%), CNPC (9.65%), CNOOC (9.65%), and Pré-Sal Petróleo SA (PPSA) (3.5%), which represents the government in the non-contracted area.

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