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DNV GL suggests new EOR concept: wind powered water injection

DNV GL is proposing a new concept that combines mature water injection technology with the newest developments in offshore wind power to achieve more cost effective Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR).

Now, industries are invited to join DNV GL in developing this concept further in a joint industry project. Initial studies show it will reduce the cost of water injection, avoid costly topside modifications and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

DNV GL studies suggest there are opportunities for a new generation of autonomous injection systems used to increase the reservoir pressure. There are clear indications that such a wind-powered water injection system could reduce both CAPEX and OPEX and drive innovation of new technology. It could be installed without costly retro-fittings on the platform, provide access to systems normally located subsea, increase the flexibility of injection location and reduce the installation time. The system would also be possible easy to move and use at new locations after the closure of a well or field.

“We want to take this concept further together with both the wind energy and O&G industries and invite them to participate in a Joint Industry Project (JIP) to carry out an in-depth study -- ‘WIN WIN – WINd powered Water Injection’. The combination of the two technologies can open up an era of synergies and mutual benefit for both industries. I see this as a very important part of the oil & gas industry’s work to reduce cost and with less emissions as a positive effect,” says Johan Sandberg, Service Line Leader - Offshore Renewable Energy at DNV GL, and who is project sponsor of the initiative.

DNV GL’s concept intends to integrate the compressor and water treatment equipment into the sub-structure of a floating wind turbine. Combining the newest developments within offshore wind power and enhanced oil recovery may be a highly beneficial partnership. On the one hand, floating wind turbines have recently emerged as one of the most interesting sources for offshore power generation, allowing relatively stable production, and flexibility regarding locations and water depths. This power can be used with a variety of water injection technologies, ranging from raw seawater injection as the simplest to LowSal water injection (low salinity water from a reverse osmosis process) as the most complex.

“Our studies show that such a stand-alone system can quickly become cost competitive to traditional solutions for injection wells far from the platform, and even more when one considers the retrofitting water injection equipment into an existing facility and cope with the disruptions that this modification can have on production. Operators can obtain a new and cost-efficient way to develop marginal reservoirs and enhance production in mature fields. The financial benefits will vary depending on several factors, such as the reservoir characteristics and step-out distance from the production well. Traditional injection systems normally have a significant CAPEX investment, CO2 tax, and exposure to fuel costs, and hence provide a substantial incentive for assessing alternative solutions,” says Christian Markussen, Subsea Business Development Leader at DNV GL - Oil & Gas.

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