Wave energy+storage pilot to power subsea oil and gas production


Scottish wave power firm Mocean Energy and energy storage developers EC-OG have joined forces with Chrysaor, Modus, The Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) and Baker Hughes to fund the demonstration of a wave-powered renewable energy system for running subsea equipment.

The program will demonstrate how wave power coupled with underwater energy storage can be used to cost-effectively lower the carbon footprint of providing power to subsea oil and gas production equipment and autonomous underwater vehicles.

The project is anticipated to cost £1.6 million (US$2.2 million). Grant funding provided by OGTC has been matched by financial and in-kind contributions from the project partners. The demonstrator will be tested onshore at EC-OG’s facility in Aberdeen in July and August 2021, with ambitions to test the system at sea later in the year.

The program follows on from an earlier study in 2020, undertaken by the partners and part-funded by OGTC. The study established the environmental benefits of the design concept that will be used for the upcoming demonstration program

Cameron McNatt, Mocean Energy’s managing director, said: “The decarbonization of oil and gas operations is essential for the energy transition. Our technology uses renewable energy from waves to deliver low carbon power for subsea equipment, including tiebacks and future fleets of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV’s). In this program, we will demonstrate — in onshore conditions  — how our wave device will deliver power and communication to subsea equipment.”

Paul Slorach, business development director at EC-OG, adds: “EC-OG’s Halo smart subsea battery technology has been specifically developed for managing the intermittency of renewable power generation to reliably integrate renewable energy systems to high value subsea assets. Clean energy systems are an increasingly important building block of offshore developments and we’re aiming to be at the forefront of the delivery of renewable energy to the underwater environment.”

Nigel Ward, managing director at Modus added: “This project will demonstrate the capability to provide temporary or semi-permanent modular series residency for hybrid autonomous underwater vehicles (HAUV), recharged subsea and controlled from shore using ‘over-the-horizon’ technology. This innovative and flexible approach to survey and inspection will reduce the numbers of personnel required offshore, providing significant benefits and cost savings, without compromising quality.”

There is potential to use such systems in a number of subsea applications, including remediation of faulty umbilical cables in existing developments, as fast track solutions for single well tiebacks and as an enabler for ultra-long step out distances — greater than 200 km — where local renewable power generation could make these developments more environmentally and economically viable.

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