ABB granted $120 million contract in compression project

By Keefe Borden23 August 2021

Chevron Australia and Aker Solutions have granted Swiss-based global technology company ABB a $120 million contract to provide power from shore at the Jansz-Io Compression project offshore Australia.

ABB will provide its power from shore technology for the Jansz-Io Compression project offshore Australia. The project is intended to ensure long-term gas supply from the Gorgon development to customers in Australia and Asia. Image courtesy of Chevron.

The Jansz-Io field is located about 200 km offshore the northwestern coast of Australia, at water depths of approximately 1400 m. The field is a part of the Chevron-operated Gorgon natural gas project, one of the world’s largest natural gas developments.

The J-IC project is a modification of the existing Gorgon development, which moves gas from the deepwater offshore Australia to shore. The project marks only the third time that subsea compression technology is being deployed globally and the first time outside of Norway, where ABB is also responsible for providing the EPS. The project will involve the construction and installation of a 27,000-tonne (topside and hull) normally unattended floating Field Control Station (FCS), approximately 6500 tonnes of subsea compression infrastructure and a 135 km submarine power cable linked to Barrow Island.

“The Jansz-Io Compression project is a major enabler in maintaining an important source of natural gas to customers in Asia Pacific. It will support energy transition across the region where many countries primarily rely on coal for energy generation,” said Peter Terwiesch, president, process automation at ABB.

“Burning natural gas produces around half as much carbon dioxide per unit of energy compared with coal. We’re proud to be leading the way in the global energy industry by pioneering innovative subsea power technologies that bring us closer to a carbon neutral future. This project reflects our close collaboration and trusted subsea history with Chevron and Aker Solutions.”

The technology reduces power consumption and emissions compared to power generated offshore by local gas turbines and compressors located topside, said Brandon Spencer, president of energy industries at ABB. “Subsea compressors are key to helping improve reservoir recoverability and ensuring optimal use of resources from existing fields,” he said.

“This is a very important project for us as it supports our commitment to enable lower-carbon oil and gas production and develop renewable solutions to meet future energy needs. We are pleased to once again be joining forces with ABB to take subsea solutions to the next level and accelerate the transition to sustainable energy production,” said Maria Peralta, subsea executive vice-president at Aker Solutions.

ABB will provide most of the electrical equipment, both topside and subsea, for J-IC. The project will combine two core ABB technologies - power from shore and Variable Speed Drive (VSD) long step-out subsea power - for the first time. The electrical system will be able to transmit 100 mVa over a distance of approximately 140 km and at depths of 1400 meters.

The contract was awarded following concept development and a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study. ABB said work will start immediately and the subsea compression system is expected to be in operation in 2025.

Chevron announced earlier this summer that its Australian subsidiary will proceed with the $4 billion Jansz-Io Compression project. Nigel Hearne, Chevron’s Eurasia Pacific exploration and production president, said J-IC represents Chevron’s most significant capital investment in Australia since the sanctioning of the Gorgon Stage 2 project in 2018.

“Using world-leading subsea compression technology, J-IC is positioned to maintain gas supply from the Jansz-Io field to the three existing LNG trains and domestic gas plant on Barrow Island,” Hearne said.

Construction and installation activities are estimated to take approximately five years to complete. J-IC follows the Gorgon Stage 2 project, which is nearing completion of the installation phase, to supply gas to the Gorgon plant from four new Jansz-Io and seven new Gorgon wells.

The Chevron-operated Gorgon Project is a joint venture between the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (47.3%), ExxonMobil (25%), Shell (25%), Osaka Gas (1.25%), Tokyo Gas (1%) and JERA (0.417%).

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