The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy has selected three projects to receive around $9 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects.
DOE said on Tuesday that the projects aim to enhance the potential of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in offshore wells by advancing promising proof-of-concept technologies.
According to the Department of Energy, the concepts could reduce subsea facility complexity, increase control and monitoring, and enable greater tieback distances to production facilities.
DOE anticipates that the projects will 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.
It is worth noting that the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) would manage the selected projects.
The first project is for “Innovation to Improve Efficiency and Capability for Enhanced Oil Recovery in Offshore Wells.”
Project named ULTRA (underwater laser telecommunications & remote access) is conducted by Oceanit Laboratories. It plans to mature the existing 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 the project, Oceanit will partner with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Shell, and other operators to scale and demonstrate EOR subsea laser communications. DOE will fund the project with $3 million while non-DOE funding stands at $2.25 million.
The second is for “Enhancing Offshore Recovery by Enabling Longer, Safer, and Cheaper Subsea Well Tiebacks” by Subsea Shuttle. The project aims 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 tie-backs. DOE will fund it with $2,861,962 while non-DOE funding is $2,180,000.
The final project is for “Advanced Multi-Dimensional Capacitance Sensors Based Subsea Multiphase Mass Flow Meter to Measure and Monitor Offshore Enhanced Oil Recovery Systems” by Tech4Imaging.
It plans to provide a means for EOR developers to measure and monitor multiphase flows in situ for offshore installations. During the project, the multiphase mass flow meter will be tested in a relevant subsea environmental chamber to demonstrate the mechanical integrity of the equipment in such an environment. DOE will fund it with $2,999,931 and the non-DOE funds stand at $2,323,345.
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