Gorgon LNG compressor train tests complete

GE Oil & Gas completed tests on the first of three liquefied natural gas (LNG) compressor trains being supplied for the development of Gorgon, one of the world’s largest untapped natural gas fields, off the coast of Western Australia.

GE is providing a wide range of LNG and subsea technology for Gorgon, which will produce 15 million metric tonnes per year of LNG and is the world’s largest carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration project.

Both performance and full load tests on the mixed refrigerant and propane LNG compressor trains were carried out recently at GE’s facility in Massa, Italy.

While the MR train includes a FR7 gas turbine, a centrifugal compressor and a 24MW electric motor, the PR train is composed by a FR7 GT plus the propane compressor (63MW-rated power), the HP MR compressor and a 24MW electric motor.

The low-pressure mixed refrigerant compressor has the highest world-wide power per single casing ever produced, with a rated power of more than 93MW. During internal tests, the unit reached power output of higher than 115 MW.

This large-power, horizontally split compressor has a large design pressure (43 bar-a) combined with a large internal diameter that makes it a leading technology in the industry. Hydro testing of the casing was carried out at 65+ bar-a (1.5 times the design pressure). The large impellers used in this machine are specifically developed for the range of flows and mach of the mixed refrigerant duty and are able to guarantee top operability and efficiency as confirmed by the full load-string test results.

“The tests were carried out as planned and the units met all the contractual requirements and acceptance criteria,” GE Oil & Gas applied technology general manager Riccardo Procacci said.

“Everything went smoothly, with no issues. The test was completed four months ahead of the contractual delivery date of the units, and the compressor performance exceeded our expectations.”

The Gorgon project is a joint venture that includes the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (47 per cent), ExxonMobil (25 per cent), Shell (25 per cent), Osaka Gas (1.25 per cent), Tokyo Gas (1 per cent) and Chubu Electric (0.417 per cent). The Greater Gorgon gas fields are estimated to contain about 40 trillion cubic feet of gas, comprising Australia’s largest known gas resources.