Getting Sleipner gas cleaner
Further reductions are being sought in the carbon dioxide content of gas from Statoil's Sleipner West field in the North Sea.
Being pursued during the current turnaround on Sleipner T, these efforts aim to cut the proportion of the greenhouse gas in this output from today's 3.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent.
That will bring the percentage in line with the requirements specified in sales contracts with European buyers, and compares with an original carbon dioxide content of nine per cent in gas from Sleipner West.
Until now, Statoil has been obliged to blend gas from Sleipner East or Troll with this output to reach the contractual volume of carbon dioxide.
The goal now is to upgrade the existing extraction plant on Sleipner T to bring production in line with the standards set.
That involves replacing the lining of one of the two carbon dioxide recovery columns on the platform, reports Arne Cock, field manager for the Sleipner area.
And the efficiency of the separation process prior to the actual carbon dioxide absorption phase will also be enhanced.
"This is an extensive job, but a step in the right direction," says Mr Cock.
The turnaround on Sleipner T runs from 16-28 June, and will resume at 75 per cent of regular production until 8 July because of the work on the carbon dioxide facility.
Normal output from this installation is 20.5 million standard cubic metres of gas per day. Sleipner West has been on stream since 1996.
For the first time, no turnaround is due on the Sleipner A platform this year, Mr Cock adds. Production from that installation is continuing at full pitch.