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Howden screw compressors aid vapor recovery in first of its kind floating production system

Howden contributes to emission control in Gulf of Mexico

Hundreds of miles off the coast of Louisiana, a floating production system (FPS), the size of a small city, will soon extract oil and gas from the seabed floor, recover waste vapors and lower emission levels in the Gulf of Mexico—with support from Howden.

Oil and Gas Company LLOG Exploration, along with Audubon Engineering Company, is refurbishing a former production facility that was previously decommissioned. The resulting Salamanca FPS is the first of its kind in the Gulf and, according to Audubon, is expected to reduce emissions by about 70% compared to the construction of a new unit. The facility, partially submerged in 6,400 feet of water, will be capable of producing 60,000 barrels of oil per day and 40 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. Initial production is slated for mid-2025.

One of Howden’s largest machines—weighing in at 30,000 pounds—will support the Salamanca with its proven high-integrity, low-maintenance solution for the gas compression application that collects the vapors that would otherwise be released into the environment. This large 510 compressor and a smaller 255 compressor will be built in Renfrew, Scotland in collaboration with one of Howden’s premier packaging partners. The vapor recovery unit (VRU) arrangement is highly efficient, complying with API Standard 619; the 510 machine feeds the 255 compressor in series. The variable drive motor will also contribute to operational efficiency and high energy savings.

Howden has the widest product range for vapor compressor applications and is a trusted provider of reliable compression solutions across the oil and gas industry. Howden manufactured the world’s first operational screw compressor and further developed the technology in the 1960s with the introduction of the oil injected twin screw compressor. Howden is an expert in highly efficient vapor recovery systems that support a more sustainable world.