DNV GL’s Wind-Powered Water Injection Tech

On 10 November, DNV GL gathered in Norway for a launch meeting on their industry project, wind-powered water injection system. In this fairly cosy setting, the industry leaders and experts came together to explore possibilities of expanding this line of business as future development of combining the technologies of water injection and wind energy (in particular, offshore wind). The ultimate goal is ironically, to lower the cost and raise efficiency of extracting oil reserves near the shore. I’m unsure what the environmental offsets to such a technology is. This is clearly a hybrid of both clean technology and traditional one, with the latter being the main driver (and the former as a tool to support this).

DNV GL suggest new EOR concept: wind powered water injection

The main challenge the project seeks is: how to lift the oil off the ground with reduced CO2 emissions and lower cost. I watched the video from DNV GL’s website and learned quite a fair bit about the wind technology portion. Here are some of my takeaways:

Wind is the largest energy source in energy storage capacity. Then, 30% is PV (Solar) and 5% is coal. In China, it is targeted to increase to 200 Gigawatt by 2020. The technology now is gearing towards floating wind turbines. However, the dominating one is still onshore wind which stands about 85% now. Offshore taking about 10-15% of the pie.

Offshore wind turbines can generate about 3 times the energy of onshore ones. The benefits of offshore ones are that bigger components can be used. There are 3 types of offshore turbines: 3 MW, 3.6MW and 5MW with tripods.

The focus is increasingly on floating offshore turbines as opposed to fixed offshore ones. Floating offshore turbines are made of stronger materials and can go deeper into the waters, allowing for bigger blades, higher capacities. Prototypes of floating offshore turbines are already installed in various countries like Norway (forefront), Scotland, Spain France and Portugal. USA and Japan as well. Japan is slightly special due to Fukushima incident and loss of major nuclear plant. 7MW turbines were since installed there.

It was difficult to perform a cost analysis on this new technology. Questions were mostly centered on how much cost savings it can achieve. There are also other things to consider such as regulatory requirements and commercial frameworks (buying equipment vs renting), system reliability and uptime.