DNV GL announces successful results from the first stage of its wind-powered water injection JIP
One of DNV GL’s latest projects is harnessing two things the North Sea has plenty of: hydrocarbons and wind.
Last year saw the company unveil WIN-WIN, a joint industry project (JIP) exploring the use of wind as a potential power source for water-injection in oil and gas wells. It has since concluded the first phase of the JIP, finding that such a system is technically viable and – more importantly– commercially feasible. [use this as email blurb and link]
InnovOil covered the project’s early stages over a year ago, at which point it was seeking partners to help develop the idea. By October it had announced its final list of collaborators, with ExxonMobil, Eni Norge, Nexen Petroleum UK, Statoil, VNG, PG Flow Solutions and ORE Catapult all signing on. In December 2015, project sponsor and segment leader of floating wind turbines Johan Sandberg, explained that the broad support would prove helpful: “Together, they cover the value chain from wind production and operation, to pump manufacturing, to oil and gas operators.”
During OTC 2016, DNV announced the results of JIP’s first phase, adding that the concept it “is technically feasible, capable of meeting performance targets, and offers a cost-competitive alternative to conventional water injection solutions.”
Its case study offers more information on the injection equipment and the potential layout of wind turbine. Last year, initial concept designs used a floating turbine structure, and suggested housing pumps internally inside the tower itself. DNV’s published version still uses one floating 6-MW turbine, but mounts two 2-MW injection pumps on the topside of the spar platform, in addition to the filtration, chlorination and chemical injection systems.
As for the well itself, DNV’s reference case is a North Sea reservoir with two injection wells, located 30km from production host, 30 km from shore and in 200 metres of water. At maximum capacity, the system’s pumps can move 80,000 barrels of water per day, leaving a very wide margin above the well’s target injection rate of 44,000bpd.
In a statement accompanying the news at OTC, Sandberg added that this model demonstrated “a potential cost saving of approximately 20% compared to a conventional solution,” though conceded that “This will of course vary greatly between cases.”
While a 20% cost reduction is very promising, floating turbines are still in need of some qualification. The most progress so far has been made by JIP partner Statoil at its Hywind pilot project – a scheme which will moor five 6-MW floating turbines in 100m of water, 30km of the coast of Aberdeen. The technological similarities infer a heavy reliance on Statoil’s progress in this particular field – indeed, it is namechecked by Statoil’s head of renewable technology development Hanne Wigum in DNV’s release, who notes that: “Supplying clean power to oil & gas installations was part of the original idea behind Statoil's Hywind concept.”
Promisingly, DNV says that the study has found “no major challenges” to the concept, and that it is able to meet the partner’s injection volume targets, reliability criteria and need for minimised downtime.
A more detailed version of this story will be featured in InnovOil’s June edition, published May 23