1. Oil and gas in the same pipe: multiphase transport
Imagine that you pump milk, yoghurt, air and breakfast cereal through a long pipe—and then separate everything back into its original state afterwards. That’s multiphase transport in a nutshell
Morten Drangsholt, Head of Research at IFE’s research laboratory
Head of Research at IFE's research laboratory, Morten Drangsholt, in front of one of the pipes where various multiphase streams are tested. This technology saw the light of day at this laboratory, and the work that has been carried out here has been developed further through cooperation with Statoil, among others.
Multiphase technology does something as simple as letting us transport oil, gas, water and condensates in the same pipe at the same time. It’s that simple—and yet, so difficult.
In 2012, in a competition in Norwegian national daily newspaper Aftenposten, multiphase technology trounced the paper clip and the cheese slicer as Norway’s most important invention. Alongside other familiar Norwegian innovations like the Tripp Trapp chair and the aerosol can, multiphase technology can seem a little mysterious. But it’s a technology that has saved billions for the oil industry and generated billions in revenue for the Norwegian state.
3. Staying in place without anchors: dynamic positioning
Natural gas takes up a lot of space, but liquefying it reduces the volume enormously—by a factor of 600.
In simple terms, that means that 600 litres of gas at room temperature can be compressed to only one litre of liquid if cooled below the boiling point of minus 162°C.
That’s very cold, but it makes maritime transport of gas profitable, despite the need for particularly strong focus on safety as well as certain special solutions.
One of these solutions are the spherical tanks developed by Moss Maritime. These characteristic tanks can often be seen on ships loading LNG at Melkøya in Hammerfest, northern Norway.