New innovation project will reduce CO2 emissions from offshore oil and gas production

Thursday 30 Apr 20

The idea of carrying out offshore production of oil and gas using green energy from wind and wave power and hydrogen might sound wild. However, it might present itself as an important step in the energy transition. In collaboration with Total and a group of other project partners, DHRTC will explore the potential through a new innovation project.

Extracting oil and gas from the underground requires a lot of energy, so the offshore oil and gas industry has increased the focus on reducing its energy consumption and CO2 footprint. Total is supporting a group of knowledge institutions and companies in exploring the potential for using renewable energy sources to improve the footprint of Danish oil and gas production.

The O/G Decarb innovation project is a feasibility study, in which researchers will examine the possibility of using a combined wind and wave technology on a floating foundation to store wind and wave energy that can convert electricity into hydrogen via electrolysis.

"This is an exciting and innovative project, which Total is supporting because it has the potential to solve one of the challenges of electrifying production platforms using offshore wind produced near the platform," says Ole Hansen, Head of Development, Business & JV Management at Total E&P Denmark. "By examining how wave and wind energy can be converted into hydrogen, the study can help create a reliable green energy supply for platforms that can be used on days without wind," he continues.

The project also presents some major technological challenges. Centre Director of DHRTC, Morten Willaing Jeppesen, sees the project as a perfect opportunity to explore the potential for significantly reducing CO2 emissions from offshore oil and gas production.

"It will allow us to identify technological gaps that we need to fill on the journey towards an alternative energy supply with a greater share of renewable energy," he says.

Reducing the climate footprint

Besides Total and DHRTC, the project partners are Floating Power Plant A/S, DTU Wind Energy, Hydrogen Valley, the Danish Gas Technology Centre and TechnipFMC. The project is facilitated by the Energy Innovation Cluster and supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

In addition to ensuring that the production platform has access to a stable source of renewable energy, the project will also examine the possibility of integrating any surplus production of hydrogen into the gas sent ashore.

"If we can reduce the climate footprint of energy-intensive oil and gas production while integrating a larger proportion of hydrogen into the natural gas produced, we’ll be a step closer to climate-neutral offshore energy production. The new innovation project is therefore relevant for Denmark," says Glenda Napier, CEO of the Energy Innovation Cluster.

Identifying the potential

In recent years, offshore wind has developed extremely positively. The price has dropped and offshore wind energy can now be produced in deep-water and harsh environments – for example, using floating foundations. Anders Køhler, CEO of the company Floating Power Plant, sees a market.

"It’s not profitable to establish traditional offshore wind at the depths where offshore production typically takes place, but floating offshore wind has potential. We’re thankful that Total and the Regional Development Fund share our vision to explore this new market," he says.

The project will run until the end of 2020.

OG Decarb

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About the project

Today, production platforms are supplied with power from gas turbines, which mainly use natural gas as fuel. The project will look at the possibility of electrifying production platforms, thus replacing natural gas with renewable energy and hydrogen as a power source, which will reduce CO2 emissions from production. Furthermore, it will be possible to add surplus hydrogen production to the natural gas produced.

The O/G Decarb innovation project (full name Renewable energy-driven Integration of Hydrogen in the Danish Offshore O&G sector) will focus on studying three concepts and business cases for integrating renewable energy into Danish oil and gas production.

  1. Supplying oil and gas production with renewable energy.
  2. Making the energy supply for the production of oil and gas fossil-free in the long term.
  3. Adding 5-15% hydrogen from renewable energy to the natural gas produced, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of Danish North Sea production

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7 MAY 2021