“Closer links between oil and gas and renewables, can reduce carbon emissions from oil and gas production and longer term actively support delivery of the UK’s net zero target through technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS)” – OGA, December 2019.
The OGA’s recent publication, entitled ‘UKCS Energy Integration – Interim Findings’, provides a high-level summary of five ‘offshore energy integration concepts’ that can be used to accelerate the energy transition. These are platform electrification, gas-to-wire, CCS, power-to-gas (H2) and energy hubs. Given the brief nature of the report, limited detail on the actual workings or level of development on each concept is provided. As ‘Gas2Wire’ is a focus area / specialism for MFDevCo, we would like to take this opportunity to supplement the information laid out, with our own findings.
Gas2Wire projects can:
• Deliver considerable energy efficiency gains. This is a critical area for the transition but one in which the pace has slowed over the past decade (1.2% in 2018 was half that seen in 2010). Gas2Wire requires no power for compression, liquefaction, regassification, associated maintenance or otherwise.
• Deliver considerable emissions cuts. Compressors, valves, flanges and the pipeline construction materials themselves leak considerable volumes of methane (CH4) directly into the atmosphere – methane is 25 times more potent a GHG than CO2 in the short-term, after which it breaks down into CO2. With Gas2Wire, what is commonly referred to ‘shrinkage’ is no longer a factor as no gas transport is involved.
• Provide a physical and commercial platform from which to deploy offshore renewable technologies. By combining renewable projects with a Gas2Wire project (creating an energy hub), the cost of linking up to existing cable infrastructure can be shared, if not covered entirely. Gas2Wire is an enabler for renewable technology.
• Provide a unique opportunity and platform for CCS. By generating power at the point of extraction emissions can potentially be captured and reinjected back into the reservoir, without having to be transported (which has energy efficiency and shrinkage gains comparable to the gas itself). This can also provide pressure support during depletion, whilst avoiding some of the issues linked to re-pressurising a depleted reservoir.
In the UK and around the globe, gas-to-wire is one of multiple offshore integration concepts that are technically feasible and viable for helping to lower the oil and gas industry’s carbon footprint and decarbonise the global economy. MFDevCo is making Gas2Wire commercially feasible now, which we have no doubt Phase 2 of the OGA study will confirm.