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China's first offshore 'shore power' project is put into operation

Author : PCEC

27 September 2021

On September 23, the shore power application demonstration project of the Bohai Oilfield Group was put into operation. This is China's first offshore oil field group shore power application project, and is also the world's largest offshore oil field AC transmission voltage shore power project.

Image: CNOOC
Image: CNOOC

Offshore oil and gas development usually uses the associated natural gas or crude oil developed in the oil field for self-generation for platform use. However, the platform's self-generation has disadvantages such as low efficiency, high energy consumption, and unstable power supply. Bohai Oilfield will achieve a crude oil output of 30 million tons in 2021, making it the largest oilfield in China. Bohai Oilfield currently has 145 generating units with an installed capacity of nearly 1300MW, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption level of a medium-sized city.

Beginning in 2018, CNOOC has carried out technical cooperation with State Grid of China, exploring construction models, and realising the transmission of electricity from onshore power grids to offshore oilfields through submarine high-voltage cables. Crude oil and natural gas used for power generation will be better utilised, and emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants such as carbon dioxide will also be greatly reduced.

According to the plan, the shore power application project will be implemented in three phases. 5 land switch stations and 8 offshore power supply hub platforms will be built in Hebei, Shandong, and Liaoning. The project will build a 980MW power network, covering more than 150 production facilities in 7 oilfields in Bohai.

Zhao Chunming, Deputy General Manager of CNOOC Tianjin Branch, said that after all shore power projects are put into use, peak electricity consumption will reduce crude oil consumption by 175,000 cubic metres and natural gas consumption by 2.38 billion cubic metres each year. Compared with self-generated electricity, it can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 1.75 million tons. With the continuous increase of the proportion of renewable energy online, the carbon reduction effect will be more obvious.

After shore power is used, offshore platforms will no longer need to build generator sets. This will streamline the scale of the platform, effectively shorten the construction period and commissioning period of offshore oilfield projects, and speed up the construction of oil and gas production capacity.

Image: CNOOC
Image: CNOOC

Wang Jianfeng, Deputy General Manager of the CNOOC Development and Production Department, said: “In the future, 70% to 80% of the new oilfields in the Bohai Oilfield will be developed using shore power. This lays a solid foundation for the Bohai Oilfield to produce 40 million tons of oil equivalent."

Simultaneously with shore power, there is also the construction of digital, intelligent, and unmanned offshore oilfields. The laying of a fibre optic communication network together with submarine cables will enable Bohai Oilfield to access the information highway, solve maritime communication problems, and accelerate digital construction.

CNOOC Chairman Wang Dongjin said that shore power application engineering is a powerful measure of CNOOC's green development action plan. CNOOC will use shore power engineering and other projects as an important means to fully promote enterprises to increase reserves and production, technological innovation and green development. At present, the Hebei Coastal Power Project has basically been implemented, and Shandong Coastal Power and Liaoning Coastal Power continue to follow up, and it is expected that all of them will be completed and put into operation by 2023.

In addition to the advantages of low-carbon, environmentally friendly, economical and efficient, and intelligent interconnection of shore power, the construction of Bohai Coastal Power has considered the intelligent construction of offshore power substations to lay the foundation for the later intelligent construction of the entire oil field.


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