WASHINGTON, D.C. – The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy has selected three research and development projects to receive about $9 million in federal funding to enhance the potential for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in offshore settings.
According to the DOE, the projects aim to advance promising proof-of-concept technologies to reduce subsea facility complexity; increase control and monitoring; and enable greater tieback distances to production facilities. These projects will focus on maximizing the value of conventional resources in offshore settings.
The projects are expected to be executed in two phases. Phase 1 will involve proof-of-concept validation of tools, technologies, and processes in a laboratory or field analog setting. Phase 2 will consist of an integrated full-scale prototype demonstration in a relevant environment to persuade stakeholders to continue developing the technology to the commercialization stage.
The National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage the selected projects.
Honolulu-based Oceanit Laboratories Inc. has received $5.25 million ($3 million from the DOE) to mature existing underwater laser telecommunications and remote access (ULTRA) technology by marinizing and scaling-up modular units to demonstrate a high-bandwidth, scalable subsea communications system that enables near real-time data exfiltration for 4D seismic reservoir monitoring.
During this effort, the company will partner with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and continue its partnership with Shell and other operators to scale and demonstrate EOR subsea laser communications.
Houston-based Subsea Shuttle LLC has received $5,041,962 ($2,861,962 from the DOE) to deliver a safe, effective, low-cost solution to assist with the monetization of economically stranded resources via subsea wells tied back to existing host facilities. This two-phase project will construct and qualify a full-scale prototype subsea chemical storage and injection system for production chemicals enabling longer tiebacks (reaching resources that otherwise would not be recovered).
Columbus, Ohio-based Tech4Imaging LLC has received $5,323,276 ($2,999,931 from the DOE) to provide a means for EOR developers to measure and monitor multi-phase flows in situ for offshore installations. This project aims to reduce cost, increase efficiency, and provide early detection of changes in the production such as water breakthrough.
During the project, the multi-phase mass flow meter will be tested in a relevant subsea environmental chamber to demonstrate the mechanical integrity of the equipment in such an environment.