Wind powered offshore oil recovery to become a reality

win win illustration hiRezDNV GL is leading a joint industry project which has already determined that wind power could be used to power water injection in offshore oilfields

The project, known as WIN WIN (WINd-powered Water INjection) is now moving into its second phase, after the first phase confirmed that the concept is technically feasible, capable of meeting targets and is cost-effective in comparison to conventional water injection methods. This includes refining and testing electrical systems, and looking at broader applications for the technology. DNV GL has partnered with ExxonMobil and ENI Norge for the project.

The WIN WIN concept includes a floating wind turbine. This supplies power to a water injection process that includes pumping and basic water treatment. The second phase will focus on laboratory testing of electrical systems at a DNV GL facility in the Netherlands. This aims to mature the technical concept and expand system performance. Additionally, this phase will help further develop the economic feasibility of wind power and other renewables in complex environments, such as offshore oilfields.

“In this next phase of the project, we’ll use a small scale physical set-up to conduct tests on the systems,” said project manager Johan Slätte. “We aim to instil confidence in the industry that the system and components in this configuration will perform well over time with a variable power input. While phase one was a desk top study, this phase is a natural step before going into piloting with real prototypes. The second phase of WIN WIN is expected to run over the course of one to two years and will result in an application guideline document for the industry. If all tests are successful, a realistic timeline for a first full scale prototype could be around 2020.”

“We are encouraged by the success of the first phase and look forward to continued collaboration as the project progresses,” said Tom Schuessler, president, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company. “Recent advancements in wind technology, particularly in offshore oil and gas applications, are improving the economic feasibility and allowing for wind to contribute to the overall energy mix at a time when demand continues to rise.”

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