The Anonymous Widower

13 Offshore Wind Projects Selected In World’s First Innovation And Targeted Oil & Gas Leasing Round

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on offshoreWIND.biz.

This is the sub-heading.

Crown Estate Scotland has selected 13 out of a total of 19 applications with a combined capacity of around 5.5 GW in the world’s first leasing round designed to enable offshore wind energy to directly supply offshore oil and gas platforms.

This paragraph outlines INTOG (Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas) and its objectives.

INTOG, which has been designed in response to demand from government and industry to help achieve the targets of the North Sea Transition Sector Deal through decarbonising North Sea oil and gas operations, is also expected to further stimulate innovation in Scotland’s offshore wind sector, create additional supply chain opportunity, assist companies to enter the renewable energy market, and support net-zero ambitions.

This is undoubtedly the most important news of the day.

  • When complete it will generate 5416 MW of electricity.
  • 4068 MW will be used primarily to decarbonise oil and gas platforms with surplus electricity going to the grid.
  • The amount of carbon dioxide released by oil and gas platforms in the North Sea will be reduced.
  • The gas saved by decarbonising oil and gas platforms, will be transported to the shore and used in the UK gas grid.
  • 449 MW will be generated in innovative ways in small wind farms, with a capacity of less than 100 MW.

One of the benefits of INTOG is that the UK will be able to reduce gas imports, which must increase energy security.

This map from this document from the Crown Estate Scotland, shows the INTOG wind farms.

This is a list of the farms.

  • 1 – Bluefloat Energy/Renantis Partnership – Innovation – Commercial – 99.45 MW
  • 2 – Bluefloat Energy/Renantis Partnership – Innovation – Supply Chain – 99.45 MW
  • 3 – Simply Blue Energy (Scotland) – Innovation – Supply Chain – 100 MW
  • 4 – BP Alternative Energy Investments – Innovation – New Markets – 50 MW
  • 5 – ESB Asset Development – Innovation – Cost Reduction – 100 MW
  • 6 – Floatation Energy – Targeted Oil & Gas – 560 MW
  • 7 – Cerulean Winds – Targeted Oil & Gas – 1008 MW
  • 8 – Harbour Energy – Targeted Oil & Gas – 15 MW
  • 9 – Cerulean Winds – Targeted Oil & Gas – 1008 MW
  • 10 – Cerulean Winds – Targeted Oil & Gas – 1008 MW
  • 11 – Floatation Energy – Targeted Oil & Gas – 1350 MW
  • 12 – TotalEnergies – Targeted Oil & Gas – 3 MW
  • 13 – Harbour Energy – Targeted Oil & Gas – 15 MW

Note.

  1. The five Innovation sites seem to be as close to the coast as is possible.
  2. I thought some Innovation sites would be closer, so supply difficult to reach communities, but they aren’t.
  3. Floatation Energy and Cerulean Winds seemed to have bagged the lion’s share of the Targeted Oil & Gas.
  4. Sites 6 and 7 sit either side of a square area, where Targeted Oil & Gas will be considered. Is that area, the cluster of oil and gas facilities around Forties Unity, shown on the map in this page on the BP web site?
  5. Harbour Energy have secured two 15 MW sites for Targeted Oil & Gas.

These are my thoughts on the various companies.

Bluefloat Energy

Bluefloat Energy has posted this press release on their web site, which is entitled Bluefloat Energy | Renantis Partnership Bid Success For Two 99mw Innovation Projects In Crown Estate Scotland’s INTOG Process.

The press release starts with these three bullet points.

  • BlueFloat Energy | Renantis Partnership offered exclusivity rights to develop its Sinclair and Scaraben floating wind projects north of Fraserburgh – leveraging synergies via its 900MW Broadshore project.
  • The projects seek to trial innovative floating wind technology solutions, kick-starting supply chain growth and job creation in Scotland and providing a ‘stepping-stone’ to the partnership’s ScotWind projects.
  • Bid proposals include the intention to develop a scalable community benefit model – creating a potential blueprint for floating offshore wind in Scotland.

The first three paragraphs expand the bullet points.

The BlueFloat Energy and Renantis Partnership has been offered seabed exclusivity rights to develop two 99MW projects under the innovation arm of Crown Estate Scotland’s INTOG (Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas) auction process. The auction saw ten projects bid to bring forward the development of small-scale innovation projects.

The Sinclair and Scaraben projects, located north of Fraserburgh and adjacent to the Partnership’s 900MW Broadshore project, seek to trial innovative foundation technologies, associated fabrication works and mooring systems with a view to maximising opportunities for the Scottish supply chain, driving local investment and job creation.

A key element of the bid proposals is the opportunity to test and adapt a community benefit model, governed independently, and directed by the communities in which the schemes will operate, through collaboration with our supply chain and project partners. The model could create a blueprint, shaping the future of community benefit from floating offshore wind throughout the whole of Scotland. This builds on Renantis’ successful track record of deploying similar schemes via its onshore wind farms in Scotland.

Note.

  1. Companies called Sinclair Offshore Wind Farm and Scaraben Offshore Wind Farm were registered a few months ago in Inverness.
  2. I couldn’t find the websites, so I suspect they’re still being created.
  3. These two projects appear to be pathfinders for the 900 MW Broadshore project, with regards to the supply chain and community involvement.

It certainly looks like the partnership are going about the development of these two projects in a professional manner.

BP Alternative Energy Investments

There has been no press release from BP as I write this, so I will have to deduce what BP are planning.

This map from this document from the Crown Estate Scotland, shows the Southern INTOG wind farms.

Note.

  1. Site 4 is the site of BP Alternative Energy Investments’s proposed wind farm.
  2. Sites 6 and 7 could be either side of the cluster of platforms around Forties Unity.

Consider.

  • In the wider picture of wind in the North Sea, BP’s proposed 50 MW wind farm is a miniscule one. SSE Renewables’s Dogger Bank wind farm is over a hundred times as large.
  • A cable to the shore and substation for just one 50 MW wind farm would surely be expensive.
  • BP Alternative Energy Investments are also developing a 2.9 GW wind farm some sixty miles to the South.
  • It would probably be bad financial planning to put large and small wind farms so close together.

For these are other reasons, I believe that there is no reason to believe that the proposed 50 MW wind farm is a traditional wind farm.

But if I’m right about sites 6 and 7 indicating the location the position of Forties Unity, it might open up other possibilities.

This document from INEOS, who own the Forties Pipeline System, explains how the pipeline works.

The Forties Pipeline System (FPS) is an integrated oil and gas transportation and processing system. It is owned and operated by INEOS and utilises more than 500 miles of pipeline to smoothly transport crude oil and gas from more than 80 offshore fields for processing at the Kinneil Terminal. At Kinneil the oil and gas are separated, with the oil returned as Forties Blend to customers at Hound Point or pumped to the Petroineos refinery at Grangemouth.
At the same time the gas goes to our LPG export facilities or is supplied to the INEOS petrochemical plant. FPS transports around 40% of the UK’s oil production supply and brings over 400,000 barrels ashore every day.

In Can The UK Have A Capacity To Create Five GW Of Green Hydrogen?, I said the following.

Ryze Hydrogen are building the Herne Bay electrolyser.

  • It will consume 23 MW of solar and wind power.
  • It will produce ten tonnes of hydrogen per day.

The electrolyser will consume 552 MWh to produce ten tonnes of hydrogen, so creating one tonne of hydrogen needs 55.2 MWh of electricity.

If BP were to pair the wind farm with a  50 MW electrolyser it will produce 21.7 tonnes of hydrogen per day.

Could it be brought to the shore, by linking it by a pipeline to Forties Unity and then using the Forties Pipeline System?

As the category on site 4, is New Markets, are BP and INEOS investigating new markets for hydrogen and hydrogen blends?

  • Some of the latest electrolysers don’t need pure water and can use sea water. This makes them more affordable.
  • Do BP and/or INEOS have the capability to extract the hydrogen as it passes through the Cruden Bay terminal, to provide the hydrogen for Aberdeen’s buses and other users?
  • INEOS and BP probably have some of the best oil and gas engineers in the world.
  • How many other places in the world have an offshore oil or gas field set in a windy sea, where floating wind- turbine/electrolysers could generate hydrogen and send it ashore in an existing pipeline?
  • Several of these offshore oil and gas fields and the pipelines could even be owned by BP or its associates.
  • Remember that hydrogen is the lightest element, so I suspect it could be separated out by using this property.

This BP site, is to me, one of the most interesting of the successful bids.

  • BP probably have a large collection of bonkers ideas, that have been suggested during their long involvement with offshore oil and gas.
  • Some ideas could be even suggested by employees, whose fathers worked for BP fifty years ago. I’ve met a few BP employees, whose father also did.
  • Will the wind farm, be a floating electrolyser at the centre of a cluster of a few large floating turbines?
  • Will each turbine have its own electrolyser and the substation only handle hydrogen?
  • Will the floating electrolyser have hydrogen storage?
  • Have BP got a floating or semi-submersible platform, that could either go to the breakers or be repurposed as the floating electrolyser?
  • Repurposing a previous platform, would make all the right noises.

So many possibilities and so far, no clues as to what will be built have been given.

See also.

Further Thoughts On BP’s Successful INTOG Bid

Cerulean Winds

In What Is INTOG?, I said this about Cerulean Winds.

Cerulean sounds like it could be a sea monster, but it is a shade of blue.

This article on offshoreWind.biz is entitled Cerulean Reveals 6 GW Floating Offshore Wind Bid Under INTOG Leasing Round.

These are the two introductory paragraphs.

Green energy infrastructure developer Cerulean Winds has revealed it will bid for four seabed lease sites with a combined capacity of 6 GW of floating wind to decarbonise the UK’s oil and gas sector under Crown Estate Scotland’s Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) leasing round.

This scale will remove more emissions quickly, keep costs lower for platform operators and provide the anchor for large-scale North-South offshore transmission, Cerulean Winds said.

Note.

    1. It is privately-funded project, that needs no government subsidy and will cost £30 billion.
    2. It looks like each site will be a hundred turbines.
    3. If they’re the same, they could be 1.5 GW each.
    4. Each site will need £7.5 billion of investment. So it looks like Cerulean have access to a similar magic money tree as Kwasi Kwarteng.

Effectively, they’re building four 1.5 GW power stations in the seas around us to power a large proportion of the oil and gas rigs.

For more on Cerulean Winds’s massive project see Cerulean Winds Is A Different Type Of Wind Energy Company.

So does it mean, that instead of 6 GW, they were only successful at three sites and the other or others were in the six unsuccessful applications?

There is a press release on the Cerulean Winds web site, which is entitled Cerulean Winds Wins Bid For Three INTOG Floating Wind Sites, where this is said.

Cerulean Winds and Frontier Power International have been awarded three lease options for the Central North Sea in the highly competitive INTOG leasing round, the results of which were announced by Crown Estate Scotland today.

The sites, in the Central North Sea, will enable the green infrastructure developer and its partners to develop large floating offshore windfarms to decarbonise oil and gas assets. The scale of the development will enable a UK wide offshore transmission system, that can offer green energy to offshore assets in any location and create a beneficial export opportunity.

Nothing about unsuccessful applications was said.

This map from this document from the Crown Estate Scotland, shows the Southern INTOG wind farms.

Note.

  1. Sites 7, 9 and 10 are Cerulean’s sites.
  2. Sites 6 and 11 are Floatation Energy’s sites.
  3. Site 4 is BP Alternative Energy Investments’s Innovation site.
  4. Sites 8, 12 and 13 are much smaller sites.

It looks like Cerulean and Floatation Energy are well-placed to power a sizeable proportion of the platforms in the area.

ESB Asset Development

ESB Asset Development appear to be a subsidiary of ESB Group.

The ESB Group is described like this in the first paragraph of their Wikipedia entry.

The Electricity Supply Board is a state owned (95%; the rest are owned by employees) electricity company operating in the Republic of Ireland. While historically a monopoly, the ESB now operates as a commercial semi-state concern in a “liberalised” and competitive market. It is a statutory corporation whose members are appointed by the Government of Ireland.

This press release, is entitled ESB Offered Exclusive Rights To Develop Innovative 100MW Floating Offshore Wind Project In The Malin Sea.

These two paragraphs outline the project.

ESB today welcomes the outcome of Crown Estate Scotland’s latest seabed leasing process which has resulted in the offer of exclusive development rights to ESB for a 100MW floating wind project in Scottish waters off the north coast of Northern Ireland. The successful project, Malin Sea Wind, is a collaborative bid between ESB and leading technology developers Dublin Offshore Technology and Belfast-based CATAGEN. The outcome underscores ESB’s growing capabilities and expanding presence in the offshore wind industry.

The Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) seabed leasing process, run by Crown Estate Scotland, aims to drive cost reduction in the offshore wind sector by enabling the deployment of new and innovative technologies, and to harness wind energy to decarbonize the oil and gas sector. Malin Sea Wind aims to support the reduction of floating offshore wind costs by demonstrating Dublin Offshore’s patented load-reduction technology. Furthermore, the project will support decarbonisation of the aviation sector by powering sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production technology currently under development by net-zero technology specialists, CATAGEN.

Note.

  1. I’ve just looked at the Technology page of the Dublin Offshore Technology web site.
  2. In the 1970s, I built large numbers of mathematical models of steel, concrete and water cylinders in my work with a Cambridge University spin-out called Balaena Structures.
  3. I believe, that an experienced mathematically modeller could simulate this clever system.

That would prove if it works or not!

This Google Map shows the Malin Sea.

Note.

  1. Malin Head is marked by the red arrows on the Northern Irish coast.
  2. The most Westerly Scottish island is Islay and the most Easterly is the Isle of Arran.
  3. Between the two islands is the Kintyre peninsula.
  4. Portrush can be picked out on the Northern Irish coast.

By overlaying the two maps, I suspect the centroid of the wind farm will be North of Portrush about a few miles North of the Southern end of Arran.

I suspect that if all goes well, there could be a lot of floating wind turbines in the area.

This Google Map shows the River Foyle estuary and Foyle Port to the North-East of Londonderry/Derry.

Note.

  1. Coolkeeragh ESB and Lisahally biomas power station on the South bank of the River Foyle.
  2. Lisahally biomas power station has a capacity of 16 MW.
  3. There appears to be a large substation at Coolkeeragh ESB.
  4. A tanker of some sort seems to be discharging.

Until told, I’ve guessed wrong, it looks to me like Coolkeeragh ESB could be the destination for the electricity generated by Malin Sea Wind. Given that this project’s aim is cost reduction, a 100 MW wind farm could make a difference.

In addition could Foyle Port be used to assemble and maintain the floating turbines?

Floatation Energy

Floatation Energy have posted this press release on their web site, which is entitled Flotation Energy and Vårgrønn Awarded Exclusivity To Develop Up To 1.9 GW Of Floating Offshore Wind In Scotland.

The first part of the press release, has a graphic.

It shows how their proposed system will work.

  • A floating wind farm will be placed between the shore and oil and gas platforms to be decarbonised.
  • The wind farm will be connected to the shore by means of a bi-directional cable, so that the wind farm can export electricity to the grid and when the wind isn’t blowing the grid can power the platforms.
  • A cable between the wind farm and the platforms completes the system.

It is a simple system, where all elements have been built many times.

Floatation Energy must have been fairly confident that their bids would be successful as they have already named the farms and set up web sites.

The websites are very informative.

The Timeline for 2019-2021 on the Green Volt web site describes the describes the progress so far on the project.

2019 – As construction of the Kindardine offshore floating wind farm kicks off, Flotation Energy identifies the Buzzard oil facility (a relatively new oil and gas platform with a long field life and high electrical load) as the optimal starting point for a significant contribution to the North Sea Transition Deal – the process of replacing large scale, inefficient gas-fired power generation with renewable electricity from offshore wind.

2020 – Flotation Energy begins environmental surveys on the Ettrick/Blackbird oil field, a redundant site nearby Buzzard, which is in the process of decommissioning. The “brownfield” site is confirmed as an exceptional opportunity to create an offshore floating wind farm, with water depths of 90-100m and high quality wind resource.

2021 – Flotation Energy works with regulators to understand the potential for project “Green Volt” to decarbonise offshore power generation for Buzzard. Flotation Energy completes and submits an Environmental Scoping report to Marine Scotland, reaching the first major milestone in the Marine Consent process. Crown Estate Scotland announces a new leasing round for Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas Decarbonisation (INTOG).

On a section on the Cenos web site, there is a section called Efficient Grid Connection, where this is said.

The power generated by the wind turbines will be Alternating Current (AC) and routed to a substation platform. AC power will be exported to the oil and gas platforms.

For efficient export to the UK grid, the substation platform will include a converter station to change the AC power to Direct Current (DC) before the power is transported to shore. This is due to transporting AC power over long distances leading to much of the power being lost.

Cenos is working in partnership with the consented NorthConnect interconnector project, to utilise their DC cable routing where possible. Cenos will also use the NorthConnect onshore converter station planned for Fourfields near Boddam, which then has an agreed link into the Peterhead Substation. This collaboration minimises the need to construct additional infrastructure for the Cenos project.

That all sounds very practical.

Note.

  1. Floatation Energy delivered the Kincardine offshore floating wind farm.
  2. Both wind farms appear to use the same shore substation.
  3. Buzzard oil field is being expanded, so it could be an even more excellent oil field to decarbonise.
  4. NorthConnect is a bit of an on-off project.

Floatation Energy seem to have made a very professional start to the delivery of their two wind farms.

Harbour Energy

The Wikipedia entry for Harbour Energy describes the company like this.

Harbour Energy plc is an independent oil and gas company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is the United Kingdom’s largest independent oil and gas business. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

But if you look at news items and the share price of the company, things could look better for Harbour Energy.

On their map of UK operations, I can count nearly twenty oil and gas fields.

As they have other oil and gas fields around the world, decarbonisation of their offshore operations could increase production by a few percent and substantially cut their carbon emissions.

That is a philosophy that could be good for profits and ultimately the share price.

So has the company gone for a very simple approach of two identical floating wind turbines?

They have been successful in obtaining leases for sites 8 and 13.

  • Both have a capacity of 15 MW, so are the farms a single 15 MW wind turbine?
  • I think this is likely, unless it is decided to opt for say a 16 MW turbine.
  • Or even a smaller one, if the platform is in a bad place for wind.
  • The wind turbine would be parked by the platform to be decarbonised and connected up, to a simple substation on the platform.
  • I would recommend a battery on the platform, so that if the wind wasn’t blowing, power was still supplied to the platform.
  • There would be no need for any cable between shore and wind farm and the only substation, would be a relatively simple one with a battery on the platform.

It could be a very efficient way of decarbonising a large number of platforms.

Once Harbour Energy have proved the concept, I could build a simple mathematical model in Excel, to work out any change in profitability and carbon emissions for a particular oil or gas platform.

Who Is Britannia Ltd?

In this document from the Crown Estate Scotland, there is a section that gives the partners in each project.

Listed for site 8 are Chrysaor (U.K.) and Britannia Limited and for site 13 is Chryasaor Petroleum Company UK Limited.

This page on the Harbour Energy web site gives the history of Chrysaor and Harbour Energy.

This is the heading.

Chrysaor was founded in 2007 with the purpose of applying development and commercial skills to oil and gas assets and to realise their value safely.

This is the history.

The Group grew rapidly over the years through a series of acquisitions. With backing from Harbour Energy – an investment vehicle formed by EIG Global Energy Partners – Chrysaor acquired significant asset packages in the UK North Sea from Shell (2017) and ConocoPhillips (2019) to become the UK’s largest producer of hydrocarbons.

In 2021, Chrysaor merged with Premier Oil to become Harbour Energy plc.

So that explains the use of the Chrysaor name or Chryasaor as someone misspelt it on the Crown Estate Scotland document.

I asked myself, if Britannia Ltd. could be a technology company, so I checked them out. The only company, I could find was a former investment trust, that was dissolved over ten years ago.

But Britannia is an oil and gas field in the North Sea, which is partially owned by Harbour Energy. It has a page on Harbour Enerrgy’s web site, which is entitled Greater Britannia Area.

This is said about the Britannia field.

Britannia in Block 16/26 of the UK central North Sea sits approximately 210-kilometres north east of Aberdeen. The complex consists of a drilling, production and accommodation platform, a long-term compression module of mono-column design and a 90-metre bridge connected to a production and utilities platform. Britannia is one of the largest natural gas and condensate fields in the North Sea. Commercial production began in 1998. Condensate is delivered through the Forties Pipeline to the oil stabilisation and processing plant at Kerse of Kinneil near Grangemouth and natural gas is transported through a dedicated Britannia pipeline to the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation (SAGE) facility at St Fergus.

Looking at the maps on the Crown Estate Scotland, Harbour Energy and others, it looks like site 8 could be close to the

Greater Britannia Area or even the Britannia field itself.

Simply Blue Energy

Simply Blue Energy are developing the 100 MW Salamander wind farm.

I wrote about this project in The Salamander Project.

Did it get chosen, as it was a project, where the design was at an advanced stage?

TotalEnergies

I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that TotalEnergies have gone a very similar route to Harbour Energy, but they are trying it out with a 3 MW turbine.

Conclusion

They are an excellent group of good ideas and let’s hope that they make others think in better and move innovative ways.

Politics will never save the world, but engineering and science just might!

 

March 25, 2023 Posted by | Energy, World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Flotation Energy, Vårgrønn Take First Permitting Step For Another Oil & Gas-Powering Floating Wind Farm

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on offshoreWIND.biz.

This is the sub-heading.

Flotation Energy and Vårgrønn, who recently filed a Marine Licence application for their 500 MW Green Volt floating wind farm in Scotland, have now submitted a Scoping Report for the 1.4 GW Cenos floating offshore wind farm to Marine Scotland.

And this is the first paragraph.

The developers have submitted leasing applications for both Cenos and Green Volt as part of the Crown Estate Scotland’s Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) leasing round, whose winners are expected to be announced in the second quarter of this year.

Both wind farms have web sites, where you can find more information.

It’s beginning to look like applications for the INTOG leasing round, are going to use quality floating technology and generate very large numbers of megawatts.

In Cerulean Winds Is A Different Type Of Wind Energy Company, I wrote about their plans for a 6 GW proposal for INTOG, spread around four sites in the North Sea.

It looks like we have several companies flexing their technologies to harness the dragons of the Celtic Sea and now it appears, the new giants of the wind are preparing to make a good fist of decarbonising oil and gas in the North Sea.

March 2, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Volt On Track To Power UK Oil & Gas Platforms By Mid-2020s

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on offshoreWIND.biz.

This is the sub-heading.

Flotation Energy and Vårgrønn have submitted a Marine Licence application for the Green Volt floating offshore wind farm.

These two paragraphs outline the project.

This consent application could allow the project to start generating power in the mid-2020s, making it the most advanced oil and gas decarbonisation project in the UK, the developers said.

Flotation Energy and Vårgrønn are applying for a lease for Green Volt under the Crown Estate Scotland’s Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) round.

Green Volt wind farm already has a web site, which gives these details of the wind farm.

  • It will be 50 miles off Peterhead.
  • 300-500 MW
  • Operational in 2027.

The offshoreWIND.biz article also says that the project has the potential to generate enough green power to electrify all major oil and gas platforms in the Outer Moray Firth area.

I can’t wait for the successful INTOG bids to be announced in April.

Engineers are creating exciting times.

February 9, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment