Dresser-Rand Acquires Aker Kvaerner's Interest in MppT

Dresser-Rand has acquired Aker Kvaerner's 50 percent interest in Multiphase Power and Processing Technologies (MppT). Dresser-Rand now owns 100 percent interest in the venture.

MppT was formed in 1998 as a joint venture between Dresser-Rand (D-R) and Kvaerner. It connected D-R's experience in designing and manufacturing durable and reliable rotating machinery with Kvaerner Process Systems' expertise in separation technology. Its mission was to develop and market proprietary expanders and other equipment to separate gases and liquids and to generate power from previously wasted energy during oil and gas production.

D-R president and chief executive officer Vincent R. Volpe, Jr., said that obtaining full ownership of MppT reinforces Dresser-Rand's "Total Solutions" approach designed to offer clients significant value and complements our existing technologies in the global oil and gas industries.

"As one of the largest global suppliers of rotating equipment to the worldwide oil and gas industries, our approach is to add value to our clients' operations. We do this by developing technology and solutions that will increase the overall reliability and performance of their production facilities with an emphasis on lowering their total life cycle costs," Volpe said. "The technologies involved in this enterprise complement our existing offerings and address our clients' need for innovative solutions."

"These technologies have demonstrated their effectiveness at enabling oil and gas producers to reduce the overall size of production platforms and subsea modules," said Julian Smith, director of business development at Dresser-Rand, who will head up the Separator Strategic Business Unit for the company. "In addition, the systems serve to protect critical equipment from liquids and particles in the pipelines, which can cause extensive damage to compressors, thereby reducing downtime and production losses."

Since the beginning of the joint venture, much of its success can be attributed to the cooperation of the Joint Industry Project partners - Shell, BP, Chevron, Marathon Oil, Statoil and Norsk Hydro - who have supported the product development program. The result has been the introduction of three products for liquid and gas separation applications. Each provides superior efficiency in a smaller package when compared with previous separation methods.

The Biphase RST is a two-phase gas/liquid rotary separator turbine that provides superior efficiency in gas-liquid separation in a small package. The separator uses centrifugal forces from a cylindrical rotor to force liquids into a thin film, allowing the gas to be removed from the stream. The process, which takes only seconds, is more effective than traditional gravity separation systems and is not susceptible to the formation of foam and emulsion; nor is it affected by motion on floating oil platforms. More importantly, the complete Bi-phase RST system is approximately 50 percent of the total weight and footprint of a gravity system.

A Tri-phase RST separator offers an extremely efficient method of gas/liquid separation, while using centrifugal forces to separate oil and water and remove solids from the flow, protecting down-line machinery from potential damage. The Tri-phase RST is effective at reducing the oil content in a single process at the wellhead manifold to only 10 to 18 parts per million, allowing the filtered water to be reintroduced to the ocean. Like the Bi-phase system, the Tri-phase rotary separator is approximately half the size and weight of alternative systems, and it achieves greater efficiency.

The IRIS inline rotary separator fits directly in upstream gas pipelines to remove liquids from the flow. The bi-phase device, which ranges in size from 1.5 inches to six inches, can be installed quickly, and provides a separation efficiency of 99.99 percent over the design range. Because the unique design is so effective at removing virtually any liquids from the gas flow, it is just as applicable to pharmaceuticals, food processing, or any number of other process industries.

The agreement between Dresser-Rand Company and Aker Kvaerner took effect on August 1, 2005. The terms of the sale were not disclosed.

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