Siemens leveraging offshore potential

Global energy demand is expected to rise by 50% by 2030.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON, Texas -- Global energy demand is expected to rise by 50% by 2030. Oil and gas exploration and production is moving to increasingly hostile environments, including polar latitudes and ultra deep waters. Complementing their diversification of portfolios, major players in the oil and gas industry are developing strategic partnerships and reevaluating existing technologies. For offshore applications Siemens offers a portfolio of rotating and electrical equipment, power generation, transmission and distribution systems, water management, process automation, instrumentation, and life-cycle services.

Exploration
Parallel to the further development of existing reserves, current energy demand projections imply a major surge in hydrocarbon exploration – on a global scale and in territory so far uncharted. Exploration is of singular importance to ensuring future production levels will meet demand. It is also part of the value chain that contains the highest risk.

Siemens solutions for offshore drilling and field development all work to achieving maximum efficiency, reliability and availability of operations, and keeping potential losses at a minimum.

Production
Recent developments in offshore production technology in a broader sense focus on three major goals. Considerable resources are invested in finding ways to advance field development and extend field life in order to maintain or even increase production levels. Much of this relates to smart-well solutions, field integration technologies, reduction of downtime, and predictive maintenance schemes.

Secondly, new approaches and solutions have been developed in order to optimize the efficiency of established operations. Land-borne high-efficiency power generation feeding offshore facilities through HVDC networks, as well as new driver concepts, offer ample scope for improvement, both in terms of flexibility and greenhouse gas emissions. Flare elimination through gas gathering and export or re-injection enables better use of resources environmental impact.

At the same time, technology is under development, some just tested and ready for deployment at new discoveries, including deepwater reserves and other unconventional resources.

Siemens offers a portfolio for production applications including compression and pumping, power generation and distribution, water management, and automation and control. Siemens research and development is active in all of these areas, the most recent and much acclaimed proof of innovation being a hermetically sealed electric motor-compressor unit designed for exploration and production on- and offshore as well as subsea. In a punishing saturated-gas field test, it has proved its concept and engineering. It is also proof, that innovation is not a result of mere incremental improvement, but at times requires a radically new approach.

Transportation
Ship operators must meet extremely tight receiving and delivery schedules along with increasingly stringent safety and security regulations and guidelines at loading terminals. Ships have to match an increasing number of environmental regulations and guidelines, affecting, for instance, power generation when moored.

Based on its medium-voltage coupling system, Siemens has developed a solution, which enables ships berthed in port to be connected to the medium-voltage network of local power utilities and supplies with electrical power. On-board diesel generating-sets, notorious for their exhaust gases, soot, fine dust and noise, can be shut down completely, reducing CO2 and NOx, an environmental problem of increasing concern. Compared with conventional ship-board power generation, this solution also results in savings in electricity costs.

Siemens' transportation portfolio covers products and solutions for compression, power generation and distribution, automation and control, and cargo handling. The portfolio for seagoing vessels further integrate all products and services needed for sustained maximization of ship performance, ranging from state-of-the-art solutions for integrated power generation and drive systems with dual-fuel 2-stroke diesel-electric or COGES schemes, to a host of process peripherals such as boil-off-gas compression. Dedicated ship-automation solutions are available covering all technological aspects of carriers, such as the cargo, bilge, ballast, and other machinery systems, ensuring lower operating costs and greater efficiency for shipyard, ship owner, trading partners, and crew alike.

Tomorrow's challenges
The quest for higher efficiencies and availability, better flexibility, and minimizing of environmental impact affects each and every step of offshore operations. At the same time, the classical thinking in clear-cut categories of upstream and midstream operations is challenged by radically new types of offshore installations.

Floating LNG (F-LNG)
A new type of seaborne facility, F-LNG vessels, enables the commercially viable exploitation of stranded-gas reserves of a mere 1 tcf or less. Mounted on converted tankers or custom-designed hulls, these floating liquefaction plants have to meet intrinsically different requirements compared to land-borne plants. Major issues include footprint, availability, maintainability of liquefaction trains under rough sea conditions, and a number of special safety regulations.

Gas To Wire (GTW)
Generating electrical power from locally produced gas, GTW is another example of a formerly land-borne type of facility moving to gas-production sites on sea. Massive power plants on dedicated floating installations will be linked via transmission lines to platform clusters and shore, allowing bi-directional energy transfer via sea cable and de-bottlenecking the energy balance of onshore grids.

From marinized gas- and steam-turbine generator sets to advanced high-voltage DC link technology, Siemens offers a range of efficiency-boosting solutions for seaborne power generation, transmission and distribution, as well as compression solutions for CO2 re-injection.

05/11/2009

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