Aker Solutions

Multiple players join forces to scale up oil & gas field decarbonisation

On a quest to decarbonise oil and natural gas field operations, four companies – Valverde Power Solutions, MISC Berhad, Clean Energy Systems, and Aker Solutions – have teamed up on the execution of an agreement to specify and fund preliminary front-end engineering design (pre-FEED) to assess and demonstrate two North American emission-free power projects.

Illustration; Source: Aker Solutions

This will be done utilising Clean Energy Systems’ Oxy-Fuel burner technology, which will meaningfully reduce or eliminate oil field operations’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and convert stranded and contaminated natural gas feedstocks into emission-free power with 100 per cent CO2 capture.

According to these four firms, the main objective of the Hestia Demo Project is to demonstrate the robustness of the Oxy-Fuel burner technology in an oil and gas field setting to generate emission-free power, reduce or eliminate oil field GHG emissions, sequester CO2 and provide a solution for stranded natural gas reserves.

Commenting on the Hestia project, Gareth Roberts, Valverde’s CEO, remarked: “Providing emission-free electrical power from abundant natural gas reserves is a critical component in ensuring a successful energy transition. The next stage of the project will provide a consortium structure that will allow for scale and rapid oil field deployment of Oxy-Fuel technology for each participant. We believe that Oxy-Fuel is the most effective technology of its kind for the decarbonisation of oil and natural gas field operations.

“Globally, there are numerous onshore and offshore applications, especially for contaminated gas streams. Valverde has identified 28 initial oil field decarbonisation projects requiring an estimated $4.6 billion in capital expenditures that collectively can sequester/eliminate approximately 8.6 million tonnes per year of CO2. The world-wide oil field decarbonisation market segment is very large and is an important way to address GHG emissions.”

By utilising the Oxy-Fuel burner, Hestia Demo Project expects to show the ability to meaningfully address both Scope I and Scope II GHG emissions while the project team plans to capitalise on the significant carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technical and engineering expertise among the project participants.

Truls Normann, Senior Vice President of Aker Solutions’ Power Solutions segment, highlighted: “The CCUS technology being piloted in the Hestia project is unique and could prove to be a major tool in oil and gas field decarbonisation. It produces affordable, reliable, and safe power at the oil and gas field while capturing the CO2 as part of the combustion, thus allowing it to be reinjected into the very same gas field. Short-traveled gas and short-traveled CO2.

“We believe this has the potential of reducing the cost of carbon capture to a level where meaningful scaling towards emission reduction objectives can be achieved. It also lends itself to offshore applications which is Aker Solutions’ domain. In particular, we see great potential for producing emission-free power for offshore installations. It could also act as base power for offshore wind and complement green hydrogen production. Regarding the latter, excessive oxygen from green hydrogen production could be used to boost efficiency.”

The Oxy-Fuel burner technology, licensed by Valverde and owned by Clean Energy Systems, is designed to provide 10 MW to 100 MW of emission-free electrical power to meet the customer’s specific project requirements. Valverde management has been involved in CO2 operations, sequestration and transportation since the late 1990s and will serve as project integrator and manager for the project.

Alexander James Brigden, Vice President of Offshore Business, MISC Berhad, stated: “MISC is committed to advancing sustainable solutions as we transition towards low carbon operations to meet our net-zero GHG emissions agenda by 2050. Oxy-Fuel power generation technology is potentially a critical enabler to decarbonise the energy industry. It complements MISC’s efforts to achieve our sustainability goals by providing clean electrical power for our offshore assets and operations.”

The companies claim that CES Oxy-Fuel combustion systems produce clean, high-energy gases for use in industrial processes and the generation of electrical power, based on proven rocket technology. By using nearly pure oxygen instead of air, the only products of combustion are steam and CO2, which can be easily separated for carbon capture and permanent storage.

In addition, the Hestia team will be joined by the Dutch engineering and project development group, TriGen Energy, and Alberta-based Craft Power. The latter will participate as Valverde’s partner in oil and gas Oxy-Fuel developments in Canada. The Hestia project plans to have its first North American carbon-free facility online by 2025.

Keith Pronske, CES President and CEO, said: “We are excited for the opportunities the Hestia project offers to help advance our industrial decarbonisation efforts. We look forward to collaborating with such an experienced and innovative team.”