Offshore wind has huge potential to cut emissions from offshore oil and gas assets by providing them with clean electricity, a study finds.
A study by the Net Zero Technology Centre, the Cygnus JV – comprising Neptune Energy and Spirit Energy – and Sealand Projects explored the potential to electrify an offshore platform with power from offshore wind, using the Neptune-operated Cygnus platform in the UK Southern North Sea as a case study.
The Southern North Sea is home to numerous planned and existing offshore wind farms increasing the potential sources of power for platform electrification.
By 2030 there will be 6.8GW of wind power within 50km of Cygnus, increasing to 14.1GW within 100km of the asset, making it a suitable case study for the investigation of electrification using offshore wind.
The study examined four options that offer a potential pathway to electrification, including:
- Local offtake with a power purchase agreement
- Local offtake with an offshore transmission owner
- Reallocation of turbines
- Dedicated offshore wind farms serving a platform
The North Sea Transition Deal (NSTD) has set a target to reduce offshore production emissions by 50 percent by 2030. Most of these emissions are a result of power generation offshore from open cycle gas turbines (OCGT). Providing this power from offshore wind has the potential to deliver a large portion of the emissions savings targeted under the NSTD.
“The size of the prize is significant if we can establish a viable way to leverage the existing infrastructure to supply power to offshore oil and gas assets. We have several barriers to overcome including regulatory challenges and establishing a way to make one of the four proposed options economically viable. However, the engagement levels from stakeholders have been hugely promising and there is definite appetite to maximize the opportunity for electrification of oil and gas assets,” said Graeme Rogerson, Senior Project Manager, Net Zero Technology Centre.
“We continue to explore opportunities to reduce emissions as part of our commitment to store more carbon than is emitted by our operations and the use of our sold products by 2030,” added Mungo McLeish, Director of Global Operations and Electrification at Neptune Energy. “Collaboration across oil and gas and renewables sectors can improve our understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with the electrification of assets in the Southern North Sea.”
Electrification of platforms has a key part to play on the path toward reaching the industry’s decarbonization targets according to Kenneth Cunningham, Senior Project Engineer, Sealand Projects. “Tying into a windfarm is an innovative opportunity that raises challenges, however, the level of engagement across regulatory bodies and industry was hugely encouraging, and we remain thankful for the support and advice. It is through this collaboration that electrification opportunities, and ultimately the route to net-zero, can be delivered,” he said.
The UK Government will support the NZTC with a $103.5 million investment, with UK Government Minister for Scotland, Malcolm Offord noting that the electrification of offshore platforms will help reduce emissions and facilitate the transition of the North Sea to a net-zero economy.
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Published at Mon, 05 Sep 2022 13:00:00 -0700