As oil and gas companies extend their presence to remote and ultra-deep waters, one of their main challenges is to maintain environmentally responsible operations while maximizing returns on investment. Attention is directed to the increasing power demand offshore which triggers a quest for alternative and cleaner power supplies.
One proposed solution is presented through the conceptual study abbreviated OPera - the Offshore Power system for the new era. OPera consists of a highly efficient power hub and an electrical transmission system, supplying cleaner power to a network of offshore installations. To detail the OPera conceptual study, the Brazilian pre-salt area was selected as a case example.
The power hub has a gas fired combined cycle power plant that increases power generation efficiency by more than 15 percent, compared with conventional gas turbines alone. The power generation arrangement reduces CO2 emissions with approximately 40 percent. By consolidating power generation, the power hub also allows equipment to run at more optimal load. This is a major benefit, as it further reduces fuel consumption and overall emissions. The power hub is fueled by associated gas or parts of the export gas produced.
The OPera concept is highly flexible in size and configuration, making it relevant for different types of fields. The power plant consists of modular gas and steam units of 50 and 100 megawatt (MW) capacities, allowing the combined capacity to be tailored. Depending on water-depth, different platform and hull-designs can support the power plant. The power hub can connect with different numbers and types of installations, being located in different water depths.