Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has signed a contract with Premier Oil to supply its wave-harnessing PowerBuoy for the deployment in an oil and gas field in the Central North Sea.
The deployment is planned for the Huntington Field under a nine-month lease, which includes an initial three-month trial, followed by a six-month extension upon successful completion of the initial trial, the US-based wave energy developer OPT informed.
The project is expected to start in June 2018, while the deployment is anticipated in October of 2018, according to OPT, which also said the contract includes an option to extend the initial nine-month lease.
The OPT PowerBuoy will serve as a self-sustaining intelligent platform to provide communications and remote monitoring services at its North Sea site. During the deployment, Premier Oil will explore the PowerBuoy capabilities and its ability to monitor the local environment and alert shipping of its position, OPT said.
The first time wave power device to be deployed on UKCS oil and gas development, OGTC says
The project is also backed by the Aberdeen-based Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC), which has provided co-funding, support and technical input to the monitoring requirements for the buoy.
Chris Pearson, Small Pools Solution Centre Manager for the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, said: “The PowerBuoy is an exciting technology and the project represents the first time that a wave power device is being deployed on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS) on an oil and gas development.
“The system can provide monitoring to safeguard subsea safety zones and generate power with a view to operate subsea assets, meaning it fits well with our focus on reducing the cost of decommissioning and unlocking small pools.”
In parallel with the Huntington Field deployment, an evaluation is under way with Premier Oil to consider another longer-term deployment where, in addition to site monitoring services, the
PowerBuoy would be utilized to power and communicate with subsea control modules to monitor pressures and temperatures within the wells, according to OPT.
The planning could begin in late 2018, with potential installation in the summer of 2019, OPT noted.
George H. Kirby, President and Chief Executive Officer of OPT, said: “This commercial contract is a breakthrough for OPT and reflects our continuing commitment to support customers where decommissioning activities can benefit from an autonomous solution for surveillance and monitoring.”
Pieter voor de Poorte, Premier Oil’s Subsea Decommissioning Lead, commented: “We think this technology has a lot of potential and it aligns well with our goals of increasing safety, efficiency and operational effectiveness. It also opens up potential future applications for intelligent, remotely controlled small field developments.”