Norwegians Unveil Plan to Connect Draugen Platform to Floating Wind Farm

Norwegian floating wind technology developer Odfjell Oceanwind, exploration and production (E&P) company OKEA, and utility company TrønderEnergi have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly evaluate the potential of developing a floating offshore wind farm that will be connected to the Draugen platform.

The project’s floating wind turbines would provide renewable power to the Draugen platform and utilise the Draugen infrastructure, including the planned power from shore cable.

Odfjell Oceanwind is also considering using the potential wind farm as a flexible storage location for its Mobile Offshore Wind Units (MOWUs), producing renewable energy in between contract periods for off-grid applications.

The Draugen field in the Norwegian Sea was operated by Shell until it was sold to OKEA in 2018. The field has been developed with a concrete fixed facility and integrated topside and has both platform and subsea wells. Stabilised oil is stored in tanks at the base of the facility. Two pipelines connect the facility to a floating loading-buoy.

This summer, OKEA and partners Petoro and Neptune Energy Norge made the decision to develop the Hasselmus gas discovery off Norway as a subsea tie-back to the Draugen platform and subsequently awarded Aker Solutions with a contract to carry out modifications on the platform to enable the processing of gas from the Hasselmus discovery.

As for the potential addition of a floating wind farm to the development, the next step for Odfjell Oceanwind, OKEA, and TrønderEnergi is to perform early-stage technical, economical and regulatory evaluations, and study the potential impact on the environment and climate, before moving forward with the project, according to the three partners.

Odfjell Oceanwind was created after Odfjell Drilling acquired a controlling stake in Oceanwind last year. The company develops, owns and operates a fleet of floating MOWUs with the primary purpose of supplying electricity to “off-grid” or “micro-grid” consumers.

According to the Odfjell Oceanwind, MOWUs are ideally suited to provide power to oil and gas installations that require power for a limited period, typically until the production closes on that particular field.

This June, Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy entered into an agreement with the company to collaborate on the development of MOWUs, with an intention to jointly work on MOWUs in connection with Odfjell Oceanwind’s WindGrid™ hybrid for micro-grids. The MOWUs are intended to use Siemens Gamesa SG 14-222 DD or SG 11.0-200 DD offshore wind turbines, featuring either 14 MW or 11 MW capacities, respectively.

The same month, DNV completed a concept verification review of the WindGrid™ system for Mobile Offshore Wind Units, confirming the technical feasibility of the system.

A couple of months later, in August, Odfjell Oceanwind secured a pre-project grant from Enova, Norway’s fund for climate and energy technologies, to mature its first commercial contracts for MOWUs and WindGrid for the electrification of oil and gas installations.

Norway is already home to the world’s first development involving electrification of oil and gas platforms with floating offshore wind power as Equinor is currently building its Hywind Tampen project. Hywind Tampen will be the first floating offshore wind project to supply renewable power for oil and gas installations. The wind farm is expected to cover about 35 per cent of the annual power needs of the five platforms in the Gullfaks and Snorre fields: Snorre A and B, and Gullfaks A, B and C.

Photo: Odfjell Oceanwind