Cleaning of Gas Compressors Offshore

- in LESS than one week.

On several occasions, IKM Ocean Team saved customers a lot of time and money by conducting chemical cleaning of the customer’s gas compressors on-site without having to dismantle and disassemble the compressors, which is both expensive, difficult and time consuming.

Challenges with heavy layers of iron oxide on the inside of the gas compressors on board offshore production platforms have on several occasions caused customers to contact IKM Ocean Team.

Apart from our experiences from the North Sea, IKM Ocean Team has during 2011/2012 been in Brazil to clean three gas compressors for Teekay Petrojarl on board the local FPSO Sevan Piranema. 

IKM Ocean Team References
Dresser Rand D08R8B Back-to-Back compressor on board FPSO Sevan Piranema in Brazil.

Vast Production Loss due to Reduced Efficiency
The gas compressors on board the Piranema were used for increasing of the pressure for oil production in the wells by means of re-injection of natural gas. 

Due to heavy layers of iron oxide, the efficiency of the compressors was so strongly reduced that the Piranema was suffering huge losses of oil production.

Consequently, Teekay was facing an acute problem which had to be solved as soon as possible in order to minimize the quickly growing production loss.

The Well-Known Solution:
Mechanical cleaning takes at least 4-6 weeks.

The procedure normally used by the customer for removal of fouling in gas compressors was mechanical cleaning. However, such process would require the compressors to be dismantled and transported to a workshop ashore for disassembly and mechanical cleaning of each individual component.

This is a time consuming and expensive solution, which would take at least 4-6 weeks for each compressor, giving a total duration of at least 12-18 weeks.

In turn, the compressors would have to be transported ashore while the production is maintained by means of the two remaining compressors on the platform. To this should be added extra time used for logistics, planning of shutting down, and start-up of the compressors, respectively.

IKM Ocean Team References
Before cleaning.

IKM Ocean Team References
After cleaning.

The consequence for Teekay by using the well-known solution was considerable losses of production during the 4-6 weeks of cleaning of the first compressor, because of the strongly reduced efficiency on the remaining compressors.

IKM Ocean Team’s solution:
Chemical cleaning in less than 1 week

Due to the long time required for cleaning and the subsequent large loss of production, Teekay was actively looking for an alternative solution. IKM Ocean Team was able to offer a far quicker and more efficient solution: Chemical cleaning without having to dismantle, ship, or disassemble the compressors.

IKM Ocean Team removed the heavy layers of iron oxide in less than 1 week for each compressor, counted from the time it was taken out of operation until it was ready for operation again. This meant between 3-5 weeks saved in time for each compressor. 

Efficient Cleaning at one fifth of the Price
By using the solution offered by IKM Ocean Team the customer saved huge amounts for shipping and handling of the compressors. Together with money saved due to less working hours used, as a result of the shorter duration of cleaning, the total costs of the cleaning were only 1/5 of the calculated costs for shipping the three compressors ashore in turns and having them cleaned there mechanically.

The all-important advantage by using the solution offered by IKM Ocean Team was that the compressors could be cleaned on-site without having to be disassembled, which saved the customer large amounts of time and money.

The final result was that far sooner than expected the customer succeeded in stabilizing the production of the platform and getting the oil production back at a normal level again. 

IKM Ocean Team ReferencesHeavy layers of iron oxide on the inside of the gas compressors.