Objectives/Scope

Kuwait Energy is exploring, developing, and operating four concessions located in the Western Desert and the Gulf of Suez in Egypt; the company implemented many projects that had a significant impact on saving operating expenses and reducing greenhouse emissions to preserve the environment. One of these recent executed projects was replacing scattered diesel generators with a Central gas-driven electric power grid in Al- Jahraa field in East Abu-Sennan concession. In this abstract, we present the challenges we faced during the planning phase and execution strategy applied to overcome these challenges.

Methods

Al-Jahraa Field includes 13 running wells, a waterflood station, and a main oil and gas production plant. The field electricity is supplied by 15 scattered diesel generators for wells and facilities, consuming 100,000 liters of diesel per month. During the feasibility study phase of the project, many challenges were faced which had a negative impact on the project’s economical assessment and that would result in cancelling the project, the challenges were summarized as following; the existence of wells at long distances from the site of the proposed main power station, which would require extending long lengths of electric power cables at a high cost, also the expected delay in the implementation and commissioning of the project resulting from the long delivery time of materials, especially copper cables and main switchgear during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several scenarios were studied for connecting the wells to the power station:

The first scenario was to connect all wells and field facilities directly to the main power station. In this case, the estimated power cable lengths required to be extended were 25,000 Mt, in addition to using two 1 MW generators, one in service and the other would be a standby generator to provide backup power during a repair or maintenance service. This option economic model showed negative NPV due to the high cost of cables and extended execution time. Therefore, this option was cancelled.

The second alternative was to connect each group of wells to three power stations to be operated using three diesel generators of 500 kVA for each station, with three backup generators. But the implementation of this option would lead to saving the cost of copper cables by 50%, but the cost of purchasing generators would increase due to the increase in the number of stations accordingly, in addition to the increase in operating expenses resulting from the increase in fuel consumption and maintenance cost compared to the first option.

The third alternative, in which the economics of the project proved to be the best, is to divide the wells into three groups. Each of the two remote groups of wells are connected to an electric distribution panel, and then the two panels are connected by a main cable to the main power station.

Moreover, the project cost was reduced by 50% due to the implementation of the following innovative optimization approach:

  • Re-using ESP cables instead of copper cables optimized both cost and delivery time as these materials are pulled from ESP wells.

  • These cables are designed for harsh downhole conditions increases its durability and extends its lifetime.

  • Using step-up and step-down transformers enabled us to reduce cable sizing, which also reflected on the lower cost of the project and, accordingly, increased its feasibility to be constructed.

  • An Incremental development approach, was followed in the management and implementation of the project, led to the speed of project delivery, and reduced the project risks and uncertainties.

Results

The project was completed and commissioned within the allocated budget and time frame, leading to:

  • 100% reduction of diesel fuel consumption levels.

  • +68% reduction in total emissions; emissions are reduced by 2.5tons per year on average.

  • reduced operational costs for each kilowatt hour generated due to using associated gas as fuel and releasing 13 rental generators.

  • With the replacement of 13 rental generators with just one, the amount of maintenance waste, such as batteries, used oil, oil filters, fuel filters, and so on, is significantly reduced.

  • These projects showed positive economic indicators (+NPV), with less than 1 years of payback.

Conclusion

From this project's planning, execution, and results, we can claim that if risk assessments, detailed scope of work, good resource and time management, and cost-effective choices were addressed carefully, shall result in outstanding performance.

The design of a high-efficiency electrical power supply system and use of associated gas in power generation reduces levels of fuel consumption, GHG emissions, and operational costs.

Power generation project is a repeated case performed in one of our own assets in Egypt due to positive results and are easily transferable to sister IOCs & NOCs.

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