Page 1

Issue 187 December

|

energy-oil-gas.com

Incorporating

Intelligent solutions WORLD-LEADING FILTER TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST BOLL & KIRCH FILTERBAU GMBH IS WORKING ON INNOVATIVE NEW SOLUTIONS THAT ARE BOTH SMART AND COMMUNICATIVE

New promise

IIoT solutions allow industrial enterprises to advance their operations, and can help energy companies work more efficiently, safely and sustainably

Changing times

France’s Total and the UK’s BP are among those leading a charge in a massive transition towards renewable energy

Wave power: Mocean Energy has secured major new investment to advance its tech Spanish partners: Innovative technology partnership announced between OVO and Sonnen



EDITOR Editors Chairman Andrew Schofield Managing Director Joe Woolsgrove

With government support, the UK oil and gas sector could truly come of age in helping other industries decarbonise

Editor Libbie Hammond - libbie@schofieldpublishing.com Assistant Editor Will Daynes Staff Writer Alex McDonald Art Editor/Production Manager Fleur Daniels Art Editor David Howard Advertising Designer Rebecca Side

issue 176 JANuARY

issue 177 FeBRuARY

energy-oil-gas.com

THE OLIVER FAMILY OF COMPANIES HAS ADAPTED AND EVOLVED IN ORDER TO BE READY TO MEET THE NEEDS OF A CHANGING MARKET

ALbA PoweR eNteRs 2020 with exCitiNg PLANs foR gRowth, suPPoRted bY its New owNeR, swiss eNgiNeeRiNg giANt suLzeR

A new reality

Fundamental change

Looking to ensure staff safety, sellafield worked with the VeC on a mixed reality training simulator, which precisely mimics the real-life working environment

A total expenditure (ToTex) approach to managing and operating assets and projects is starting to become an attractive option

ABB signs an agreement to deliver safety and automation systems to Equinor GPS opens a world-class storage and blending facility at the Port of Amsterdam

exciting times

several trends are emerging that indicate the lng industry is going to see a boost in activity, and its supply chain needs to keep up

Sulzer Chemtech is supplying the first industrial scale CMIST™ system to ExxonMobil Warrens Emerald Biogas is set to ramp up production following a significant investment

ISSUE 180 MAY

Sales Director Alasdair Gamble Operations Director Philip Monument Operations Manager Natalie Griffiths Research Managers Rachel Harper, Jo-Ann Jeffery Ben Richell, Kieran Shukri Editorial Researchers Adam Blanch, Mark Cowles Jeff Goldenberg, Mark Kafourous Tarjinder Kaur-D’Silva, James Page Wendy Russell, Richard Saunders

Web Sales web@schofieldpublishing.com Subscriptions i.kidd@schofieldpublishing.com

© 2020 Schofield Publishing Limited all rights reserved Schofield Publishing Ltd Corporate Head Office 10 Cringleford Business Centre Intwood Road, Cringleford, Norwich, NR4 6AU, UK T: (312)854 0123 | T: +44 (0) 1603 274130 Finelight Media 207 E. Ohio Street, Suite 351, Chicago, IL 60611 Tel: (312) 854 0123

Energy, Oil & Gas Magazine

Alternative options

Hydrogen could have a big part to play in reducing emissions for both transport and heat

Gaining visibility

The need to keep offshore drilling secure and the challenge of preventing a cyberattack at sea

The solar division of LG Electronics named the Top PV Brand in Europe Wintershall Noordzee BV starts successful gas production from Sillimanite field

Issue 182 July

ISSUE 181 JUNE

energy-oil-gas.com

|

Uplifting work GLOBAL LEADER SARENS CAN DRAW UPON A RICH HISTORY OF CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION WHEN PROVIDING ITS CRANE RENTAL, HEAVY LIFTING AND ENGINEERED TRANSPORT SERVICES

Looking at renewables

There are three critical areas that will fuel the UK’s low carbon revolution in 2020 and beyond: investment, innovation and digitisation

A change of direction

Until appropriate legislation is in place on the UKCS, the rigs to reef approach to decommissioning can’t be adopted

Saipem and Equinor to develop a floating solar panel park technological solution ABB wins order for ABB Ability™ digital products and services at DolWin5

energy-oil-gas.com

Issue 183 August

|

energy-oil-gas.com

Incorporating

Incorporating

energy-oil-gas.com

A mammoth

operation

Piping in progress

HEAVY LIFTING AND TRANSPORTATION SPECIALIST MAMMOET MEA IS KNOWN FOR ITS CAPACITY TO HANDLE EVEN THE MOST EXTREME REQUIREMENTS

Powering

SAFETY AND SUSTAINABILITY HAVE BECOME TWO AREAS WHERE SONATRACH RAFFINERIA ITALIANA (SRI) THRIVES

paradise

Piping in progress

NEW CALEDONIA’S LOCAL UTILITY PROVIDER ENERCAL IS A MAJOR PLAYER IN THE TERRITORY’S ENERGY TRANSITION AND IS WELL-POSITIONED TO GUARANTEE THE SAFETY AND OPTIMIZATION OF THE CALEDONIAN ELECTRIC SYSTEM

SAFETY AND SUSTAINABILITY HAVE BECOME TWO AREAS WHERE SONATRACH RAFFINERIA ITALIANA (SRI) THRIVES

Optimised energy

Virtual power plants are a promising new addition to the energy ecosystem

Decision agility

Under pressure

Working offshore can take a toll on staff mental health – but what can be done about it?

Hands-free: ABB develops an innovative augmenting technology to meet the needs of field operators Life savers: Iqarus extends its Covid-19 medevac service to support assets in the Southern North Sea

Issue 184 September

|

Companies can position themselves for the future through the implementation of advanced technology solutions

Ready and waiting

The UK’s offshore wind industry has the potential to be a guiding light in the successful transition to net zero

New agreements: NextPower III signs two PPA contracts with Shell Energy North America Significant support: PD&MS Group awarded complex modifications contract with Spirit Energy

energy-oil-gas.com

Incorporating

Issue 185 October

|

Under attack

As an important part of critical infrastructure, the energy sector is now very appealing to ransomware operators

Winds of change

Space miners

A single asteroid could contain rare and precious metals worth hundreds of millions of dollars

$5bn deal: bp has agreed to sell its global petrochemicals business to INEOS US solar: Two solar EPC contracts worth over $200m secured by Wood

energy-oil-gas.com

Incorporating

Issue 186 November

|

The UK has adapted significantly since the days of coal-fired power what’s next for renewables in the UK?

energy-oil-gas.com

Issue 187 December

Wind ‘gold mines’

energy-oil-gas.com

RAPIDLY INCREASING DEMAND IN LBG FUELS FOR HEAVY ROAD TRANSPORT AND GREEN SHIPPING IS DRIVING GROWTH FOR BIOFUELS VIRTUOSO BIOKRAFT

Going for

Intelligent solutions

NEWMONT IS THE WORLD’S LEADING GOLD COMPANY AND A PRODUCER OF COPPER, SILVER, ZINC AND LEAD – BOTH ITS OPERATIONS IN AUSTRALIA ARE SEEING SOME EXCITING NEW DEVELOPMENTS

There is now a digital tool that can help identify the perfect sweet spot for locating offshore floating wind turbines

|

Incorporating

Incorporating

gold A strong position

The benefits of a well-executed and dynamic digital strategy should deliver results both now and in the future

production

WORLD-LEADING ENERGY SOLUTIONS PROVIDER, YINSON HOLDINGS BERHAD, PRIDES ITSELF ON BEING A RELIABLE, OPEN, ADAPTABLE, DECISIVE AND SUSTAINABLE PARTNER

The Ecuadorian Government is now on side to support responsible mining activities and this has opened up significant opportunities

Return, restart and repurpose

Oil found: Neptune Energy and partners announce an oil discovery at the Dugong well Going deep: Fincantieri and Saipem sign MoU to develop deep-seabed mining

Pioneering

Floating

new solutions

Extended collaboration: Ampelmann signs new, three-year contract with Brunei Shell Petroleum Gold mine expansion: ABB to provide services for Newmont’s Tanami Expansion 2 project

Advertising Sales Johanna Bailey, Mark Cawston Alex Hartley, Dave King Theresa McDonald, Ibby Mundhir

energy-oil-gas.com

Creating positive change

The common chAllenge FAcing shAle plAYs AcRoss The uniTed sTATes in 2020 is The need To dRive down cosTs And cYcle Times. Axis eneRgY seRvices is ideAllY posiTioned To help clienTs meeT TheiR new oBjecTives

A new chapter

ISSUE 179 APRIL

energy-oil-gas.com

Revolutionary working

begins

ISSUE 178 MARCH

energy-oil-gas.com

Cleaner air

An estimated 28,000 trucks are involved in global mining operations, leading to a need to reduce both fuel consumption and emissions in the sector

WORLD-LEADING FILTER TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST BOLL & KIRCH FILTERBAU GMBH IS WORKING ON INNOVATIVE NEW SOLUTIONS THAT ARE BOTH SMART AND COMMUNICATIVE

Time for talent

Facing recruitment challenges, energy companies need to consider investing in future talent in the subject areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths

First for UK: Vattenfall Network Solutions launches Power as a Service Net zero goals: bp and Microsoft Corp collaborate as strategic partners

A firm foundation

The digital revolution is making mining operations safer, more predictable and more responsive to market changes

A vital element

The evidence is mounting that hydrogen will be a key component of any future net-zero carbon scenario for the UK

Five-year agreement: Cyberhawk secures contract for the provision of drone services New technology: Ørsted signs a multimillion-pound deal for the GUS system

New promise

IIoT solutions allow industrial enterprises to advance their operations, and can help energy companies work more efficiently, safely and sustainably

Changing times

France’s Total and the UK’s BP are among those leading a charge in a massive transition towards renewable energy

Wave power: Mocean Energy has secured major new investment to advance its tech Spanish partners: Innovative technology partnership announced between OVO and Sonnen

Green future

Welcome to the last issue of EOG for 2020 and I am sure we all join together in being glad this year is heading to an end and hoping that 2021 brings some brighter days. Late on in November the UK Chancellor’s Spending Review had some interesting details for the oil and gas sector – OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie was pleased that the UK Government’s has confirmed its funding for the global underwater hub in the North East of Scotland and the confirmation of funding for the development of carbon capture and storage and hydrogen. “This will help as we look to position the UK as leading in how countries can deliver a successful and fair transition to the future we all want to see,” she said. “With government support, the UK oil and gas sector could truly come of age in helping other industries decarbonise and so we look forward to seeing the proposed business models and UK hydrogen strategy in 2021, that will be key enablers.” I hope all my readers stay well and have a safe and happy festive season.

EDITOR LIBBIE HAMMOND

@EOG_magazine PLEASE NOTE: The opinions expressed by contributors and advertisers within this publication do not necessarily coincide with those of the editor and publisher. Every reasonable effort is made to ensure that the information published is accurate, and correct at time of writing, but no legal responsibility for loss occasioned by the use of such information can be accepted by the publisher. All rights reserved. The contents of the magazine are strictly copyright, the property of Schofield Publishing, and may not be copied, stored in a retrieval system, or reproduced without the prior written permission of the publisher.

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

1


REGULARS

4

Market outlook Producers, traders and other market participants will need to be reviewing their arrangements to prepare

28

COVER STORY

for the volatility of the months ahead

8

Industry 4.0 Energy companies can now implement Industrial Internet of Things solutions with cost-effective, easyto-install devices without overhauling their existing infrastructure

10 Renewables Total and BP are among those leading the charge towards renewable energy, building new businesses

Boll & Kirch Filterbau GmbH

in power generation, energy storage and charging stations

14 Battery storage The shift towards using renewable energy sources

38

and its impact on the rapidly expanding market for battery storage units

16 News Some of the recent developments within the oil and gas industry

18 Mining Automation in the mining industry is on a roll. The digital revolution is making operations safer, more predictable and more responsive to market changes

20 Maintenance Upstream organizations are going from seeing digitalization as a ‘nice-to-have,’ with some runway to plan the future, to instead an essential initiative

Global Offshore

58

22 Hydrogen Hydrogen does not have all the answers but it will play a vital role in decarbonization as its flexibility allows it to fill technology gaps

24 Sector outlook Arve Johan Kalleklev goes through some of the results from DNV GL’s 2020 Energy Transition Outlook as the industry prepares for deep decarbonization

2

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

GeoSource Energy Inc


PROFILES

34

Connexa

46

52

Newmont Australia – Tanami Expansion 2 Project

SIMEC Atlantis Energy Limited

62

66

ShalePro Energy Services

Biokraft AS

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

3


Crude markets in 2020 and beyond SOWING SEEDS FOR FUTURE DISPUTES - BY ANDREW HUTCHEON, GEORGE GARTHWAITE AND SARIKA PARMAR

C

ovid-19 has been an unprecedented challenge to the oil market, eradicating demand, increasing stocks and testing commercial relationships throughout the supply chain. In this article, we consider how markets have fared during the pandemic before looking at some of the events that are likely to affect the crude oil market in the future.

Demand crashes, production ramps up As governments worldwide scrambled to stem the tide of Covid-19 by imposing lockdowns in the early months of 2020, demand for crude oil collapsed. April 2020 saw an alarming 33 million b/d year on year contraction. The initial OPEC+ response was ill-co-ordinated at a time when immediate cuts to production were required to prevent oil

4

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

prices from tumbling. A Saudi-Russian price war in March following the inability to agree cuts resulted in production from OPEC+ increasing by 1.6 mb/d to a 13-month high of 30.4 mb/d in April 2020, in turn leading to oil prices falling to below $30 per barrel. In the US, production also saw record highs in that month. After talks, the OPEC+ finally managed to agree cuts to production of approximately ten per cent on 12 April 2020, with a tapering mechanism in place so that 9.7 million b/d cuts would be in place to the end of June (subsequently extended to the end of July), 7.7 million b/d to the end of 2020 and 5.8 million b/d until April 2022.

WTI dislocates and goes negative The OPEC+ deal was not enough to prevent the historic


MARKET OUTLOOK

including hedge funds, market speculators and other investors, were suddenly confronted with having to pay to offload the contract or accepting delivery and seeking storage, while Brent buyers had the option to cash settle instead of taking delivery. 2) WTI is priced according to one location: Cushing, Oklahoma. The benchmark is reliant on the network of pipelines into Cushing to maintain the flow of crude, and importantly inflowing oil is without access to shipping or floating storage until it reaches the US Gulf Coast. WTI has access to 76 million barrels’ storage capacity at Cushing, which became fully leased in April owing to the sharp drop in demand and increased production leading to extreme oversupply. By contrast, Brent is a waterborne crude, meaning that it theoretically has access to the storage capacity of all the shore tanks in North West Europe and, significantly, the global fleet with capacity of approximately 2.2 billion barrels.

Floating storage –a safe harbour for traders?

collapse of WTI on 20 April 2020. On that day, the WTI May futures contract plunged as low as minus $40.32 p/b at its nadir. Despite WTI’s unprecedented fall into the red, Brent settled in the black at the price of $17.36 p/b. The spread between the two can be explained principally by two factors that drive WTI’s dislocation from Brent prices: 1) The WTI futures contract is physically settled. In other words, the participant holding an open long position must accept delivery of the oil. The May 2020 contract in question expired on 21 April 2020 (for physical deliveries to be made in the month of May). On the other hand, the Brent futures contract is a deliverable contract based on Exchange for Physical (EFP) delivery with an option to cash settle against the ICE Brent Index (i.e. against the value at which physical Brent is trading). This meant that WTI market participants,

Once the contango between physical/spot prices and forward/ future prices has sufficiently widened to cover the cost of storage, traders start to become incentivised to buy the crude, store it and sell it later. Cheaper onshore tanks (in the case of waterborne crudes) tend to be the preferred option, but more expensive floating storage may be used, provided that the contango is deep enough to cover the daily freight rate. Described as the maritime contango "marriage of convenience", oil traders looking to store their oil and shipowners looking for a cheap way of deploying their vessels make for suitable partners in times when the oil and freight markets are in downturn. However, as demand for floating storage increases, so too do freight rates. On 22 April freight rates for Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) climbed as high as $222,000 per day, before dropping after the recovery of WTI and Brent to $72,000 per day on 4 May. Sharp increases in freight rates are likely to have contributed to a few disputes due to difficulties for FOB buyers in procuring tonnage. Recent English court decisions may open the way for vessel owners under voyage charters used as storage to claim losses in excess of demurrage rates for delay. In October there were reports of oil traders anticipating further oil price slumps, leading some to increase chartering activities. Using floating storage in the manner described above is not without legal and operational risk for sellers and buyers of crude oil: 1) Title – in 2001 in the case of Glencore International AG v Metro Trading International Inc (No.2), we saw the legal outcome of the collapse of an oil products floating storage/ trading entity in Fujairah. MTI’s collapse gave rise to 50 different claimants commencing 35 separate actions disputing title over delivered, purchased or financed oil which had (at times wrongfully) been comingled, blended and on sold. In that case, English conflict of law rules determined that the law governing transfer of title to oil was to be governed by the law of Fujairah rather than by choice of law provisions in individual contracts.

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

5


2) Anchorage – Crude owners will need to be aware of the risks to cargo in certain locations if near a busy port, areas susceptible to piracy or subject to increased weather risks when evaluating whether to use floating storage. 3) Cargo owner’s liability – Older tankers are at an increased risk of spilling oil, which could lead to potential liability for traders who own the oil spilled in certain jurisdictions, including the US. In this scenario, issues such as whether the relevant storage facility qualifies for limitation under liability conventions may arise, and traders may consider having insurance to cover costs in the event of an oil spill. 4) Deterioration of the crude – The quality of the oil itself may also deteriorate if kept in floating storage for extended periods. If the hydrocarbons separate, a ‘sludge’ could form at the bottom of the storage tank, alongside evaporation of the oil.

Negative prices The market shock at WTI’s negative prices has inevitably led to parties introducing negative price clauses to protect sellers from the obligation to pay buyers for delivery. ExxonMobil, amongst others, has reportedly introduced such clauses along the following lines: "If the purchase price to be paid by Buyer to Seller for any crude oil delivered is less than zero dollars, such purchase price shall be deemed to be zero dollars". Where agreements had price mechanisms tied to WTI but were silent where the pricing turns negative, such clauses do not appear to have yet been considered by the courts. However, in The State of the Netherlands v Deutsche Bank AG (2019), the Court of Appeal held that an annex to an ISDA Master Agreement did not contemplate the payment of negative interest. Nevertheless, for oil sale contracts these issues will be matters for interpretation of the agreements in each case.

6

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

For now, we are likely to see the adoption of negative price clauses into sale contracts not just for WTI linked deals but also for the wider Brent market. This is despite the fact that the prospect of negative Brent prices is currently regarded as remote.

Force majeure The ability of buyers and sellers to rely upon Covid-19 as a force majeure (FM) event has been the subject of much discussion. At the height of lockdown, companies engaged in the oil market, both upstream and downstream, as well as traders, have sought relief from their contractual obligations via the FM provisions of their contracts. Such companies include CNOOC (China's largest LNG importer), Libya’s National Oil Corp., and US shale producers. Under English law, there is no common law doctrine of force majeure and therefore, the wording of the FM provision will be essential in determining whether it can be relied upon. Normally FM provisions will list certain specific events with the potential to trigger FM as well as catch-all provisions focussing on events beyond the reasonable control of the defaulting party. It is not uncommon for FM provisions to explicitly refer to pandemics as an FM event, and frequently government-imposed restrictions related to Covid-19 can trigger FM events. Once an FM event is established, the defaulting party must demonstrate that there was a causal link between the FM event and failure to perform. The nature of the causal link will normally involve a search for an effective cause but will depend on the wording of the contract. The case of Classic Maritime Inc v Limbungan Makmur (2019) found that the words "resulting from" and "directly affect the performance of either party" imported a causation requirement such that


MARKET OUTLOOK

the defaulting party must demonstrate that it would have performed its obligations but for the FM event. Parties will now be looking closely at their ability to rely upon FM should the events of 2020 repeat themselves. FM provisions which require non-foreseeability may have an advantage for the performing party in the case of future outbreaks impacting sales. Caution must be taken by parties where amendments to FM provisions are being discussed. If an upstream seller seeks to amend its FM provisions, it will be important that such FM provisions can be relied upon downstream throughout the chain.

Conclusion Though oil markets have regained a semblance of balance after the turmoil of early 2020 and have been buoyed lately by the news of vaccines against COVID-19 emerging, the recovery will be far from linear and the seeds of some disputes have already been sown. Producers, traders and other market participants will be reviewing their arrangements to prepare for the volatility of the months ahead. For a list of references used in this article, please contact the editor. Andrew Hutcheon

Other drivers of change in 2020 The oil market of 2020 and beyond may also be affected through changes to the availability of trade finance and lack of long-term investment. The recent collapse of Singapore oil traders Hin Leong and Zenrock has highlighted the risks to trade finance providers. Allegations of fraud in relation to double (and multiple) pledging, have left billions of dollars being owed to trade finance lenders. In the case of Hin Leong alone, banks are reportedly owed an estimated $3.5 billion. European banks such as ABN Amro and BNP Paribas are reported to have already decreased their involvement in trade finance due to increased regulation under Basel IV. The risks of fraud in trade finance transactions, as illustrated by the Hin Leong and Zenrock scandals, have only added to increased caution by banks. Some of these investment gaps had been filled by private equity, but with the recent pandemic causing some funds to file for bankruptcy, there has been a decrease in fundraising in the oil sector. These changes may lead to a lack of liquidity and less diversification and interruption in the oil markets as marginal producers and smaller traders struggle to obtain finance. The creation of a central registry for cargo in Singapore to improve transparency and an increased use of electronic bills of lading and blockchain have been suggested as answers to improve security in trade finance and eliminate problems with paper-based administration. However, market acceptance of using a blockchain system beyond trials and proofs of concept still has some way to go. Longer term, the pace of energy transition has quickened with major oil companies and traders signalling an intention to invest more heavily in renewable energy. Drivers were already in place with global measures for decarbonising industry and initiatives such as the requirement for low sulphur fuel under IMO 2020. However, the Covid-19 experience has been used by many governments as a reset moment to produce policies for increased investment into renewables. Just as the oil revolution created winners and losers, so too will the energy transition, and as a result, we may see more insolvencies in the oil industry.

George Garthwaite

Sarika Parmar

WATSON FARLEY & WILLIAMS Andrew Hutcheon is a London dispute resolution partner, George Garthwaite is an associate and Sarika Parmar is a trainee at Watson Farley & Williams, a sector specialist international law firm with a focus on the energy, real estate and transport sectors. With offices in Athens, Bangkok, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanoi, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, Rome and Singapore, its c.500 lawyers work as integrated teams to provide practical, commercially focused advice to clients around the world. Andrew and his team regularly advise clients in the energy sector on complex disputes and other matters. For further information please visit: https://www.wfw.com

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

7


New promise

IIOT: IMPROVING SAFETY, REVENUES AND SUSTAINABILITY IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY. BY JORY SCHWACH

W

hat is IIoT and how can its rise impact the energy industry? If you’re familiar with products like the Nest Thermostat or Amazon Alexa, then you’re familiar with IoT, the Internet of Things. IoT is the interconnection of everyday objects via the internet. These objects can be anything with a function, from something as complex as an automobile, to something as simple as a thermometer. When computing devices are embedded into these objects, it enables them to send, receive and process data. As a result, these objects are often referred to as ‘smart devices’. IIoT, the Industrial Internet of Things, is when this concept of smart devices is applied to industrial markets, such as manufacturing or supply management, rather than products made specifically for everyday consumers. When deployed properly, IIoT allows industrial enterprises to take their operations to new heights. Energy is no exception, as IIoT can help energy companies

8

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

operate more efficiently, safely and sustainably. With a connected industrial infrastructure, users have access to more data than ever before. Companies can now collect data from any piece of equipment, no matter how archaic, and also receive data points from events that occur onsite. This data often represents previously inaccessible information, allowing companies to start recording new patterns and build an index of information that can ultimately lead to predictive maintenance, stopping problems before they start. Our IIoT technology illustrates multiple ways in which this access to data from the physical world can help the energy industry cut costs while increasing safety and operating more sustainably. By adding connectivity and intelligence to industrial hardware, companies can more effectively monitor their remote sites, without requiring any major changes to their infrastructure. The critical key to success for industrial companies considering IIoT is the technology’s ability to deliver meaningful operational change without overhauling their entire operation. Rather than requiring companies to invest in complicated and


INDUSTRY 4.0

cost-prohibitive infrastructure to enhance their operations and drive data to the cloud, IIoT solutions such as ours are a way to bring cost-effective digital intelligence directly to the field. It also provides an end-to-end IIoT platform that empowers energy companies to advance their operations with easy-toadopt technology. For instance, energy companies can now use IIoT to manage oil and water levels across all of their wellsites without ever touching a single tank, avoiding the dangers of manual gauging or the cost, maintenance and infrastructure challenges that come with guided wave radar. Due to the lack of continuous monitoring, an unattended site means that a tank overflow could go unnoticed for hours. Even when a company can access in-tank measuring readings remotely, such equipment is often riddled with maintenance needs. Thermal sensing devices allow customers to remotely monitor multiple tanks simultaneously with a single device that sits 50 feet away from any critical equipment. By cutting back on everything from employee driving time to the dangers of onsite work, companies can save millions across their supply chain with added efficiencies while also reducing worker accidents.

An IIoT ecosystem also has sustainability benefits. In conjunction with thermal, smart optical sensing devices can help companies reduce emissions by more comprehensively monitoring natural gas flaring, no matter how old the site. Rather than relying on intermittent checks that often require onsite personnel, these sensing devices can identify sites that may have unintended flaring, as well as send alerts at the onset of any black smoke or a dangerous site incident. Connected devices can even alert users to pilot light outages the moment they occur, allowing companies to address any potential fugitive emissions immediately. In addition to flares, such devices can monitor sites in real-time for accidents, fires, or unauthorized personnel arriving to a site. For context, the cost of methane leaks is an estimated $2 billion per year, and 13 million metric tons – enough natural gas to fuel ten million homes. Energy Security Council, a Houston-based security group, has estimated a one to three per cent loss rate of crude oil due to theft, at a cost of about $2.1 billion per year. Other types of low-cost sensors can identify everything from equipment at risk of failing, to site anomalies, without ever needlessly sending a person onsite and exposing them to unanticipated risks. In addition to the added visibility that these new data sources can provide, the learnings can also be increasingly applied to predictive analytics, preventing problems before they start. As the energy industry continues to evolve in the postCovid world, having connected field service options that enable efficiencies on a tight budget will become increasingly important. Luckily, energy companies can now implement IIoT solutions with cost-effective, easy-to-install devices without overhauling their existing infrastructure. Easily implemented technology that makes it possible to more effectively monitor, manage and profit from one’s operations in safer and more sustainable ways – that’s the new promise of IIoT.

ANDIUM Jory Schwach is CEO of Andium. Andium is an Industrial Internet of Things company using technology to build a smarter world and empower leaders to create meaningful change. Founded by Jory, Andium is led by a global team of engineers, innovators, business leaders and designers. With the world’s first true end-to-end IIoT platform, Andium offers an ecosystem of products and services that provide the next generation of remote monitoring capabilities, without the need for heavy infrastructure or IT. For further information please visit: www.andium.com

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

9


Changing times TOTAL AND BP ARE LEADING THE CHARGE IN A GREEN STRATEGIC SHIFT AMONG GLOBAL OIL MAJORS. BY JOSEPH CHANG

S

hould oil companies be investing in solar, wind, battery technology and networks of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations? Maybe, in the broader view of themselves as energy companies. And especially if the consumer shifts to EVs faster than expected, crushing demand for transportation fuels. It comes down to whether they’re focused on the product or the customer. If the customer is demanding different kinds of energy, it should make sense to provide it, as long as the economics are there. This would have broader implications for petrochemicals supply and demand. If more oil companies prioritize green energy projects, viewing them as the future growth drivers, there may be less emphasis on building petrochemicals and polymers capacity. And with less transportation fuel demand, refining capacity could be cut, thereby reducing naphtha feedstock supply as well as aromatics and propylene co-product. Already some traditional refineries are being converted to biorefineries in Europe as well as in the US. In these

10

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

cases, it’s not just about swapping feedstock. Rather, overall fuels output is significantly reduced. France-based Total and the UK’s BP are among those leading the charge in a massive transition towards renewable energy, building brand-new businesses in power generation, energy storage and charging stations. Both have committed to become ‘carbon net zero’ by 2050. For traditional oil giants, this is a radical pivot.

Solar in the spotlight The International Energy Agency (IEA) sees solar as the future of electricity as governments and investors focus on clean energy. “I see solar becoming the new king of the world’s electricity markets. Based on today’s policy settings, it is on track to set new records for deployment every year after 2022,” said Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, in the group’s World Energy Outlook 2020 report released on 13 October. “If governments and investors step up their clean energy efforts in line with our Sustainable Development Scenario, the growth of both solar and wind would be even more


RENEWABLES

spectacular – and hugely encouraging for overcoming the world’s climate challenge,” he added. Total sees global solar and wind power capacity growing 10 per cent/year through 2030, with solar capturing around 70 per cent of the additions, as it outlined at its Investor Day on 30 September. The company has seven gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind power generation capacity, and aims to quintuple this to 35GW by 2025 with major solar projects in Europe, the Middle East and India, and offshore wind farm projects in the UK and South Korea.

BP solar projects in the pipeline include Bighorn Solar in Colorado which will supply 300 megawatts (MW) to the steel company EVRAZ, and the 260MW Impact solar project in Texas, where BP is off-taking 100 per cent of the electricity. It is also developing solar projects in Spain, Brazil, Australia and India. On 10 September, BP entered the offshore wind power market through a partnership in the US with Equinor. It is paying Equinor $1.1bn for stakes in existing assets and will jointly develop four projects in offshore New York and Massachusetts to generate a combined 4.4GW - enough to power over 2m homes. BP’s onshore wind energy portfolio in the US already generates 1.7GW of power.

OIL DEMAND FOR PETROCHEMICALS

The renewable energy push is not just a European phenomenon, but increasingly global. By 2025, Total expects its global renewable power footprint to be 15GW in Europe, 6GW in India, 3GW each in the US, China and South America, 2GW each in the Middle East and Rest of Asia, and 1GW in Africa. The company also is playing in the solar distributed generation (DG) space worldwide through joint ventures and equity stakes in solar panel production-and-installation companies. BP noted that global average costs for solar and offshore wind builds have declined by 90 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively, over the past decade. It expects costs to fall a further 30-40 per cent over the next decade, it said at its BP Week event in mid-September. Renewables - solar, wind and bio-power - have the potential to become 45 per cent of global power capacity by 2030, it noted. “We are leaning in and plan to build material renewables businesses, with an ambition to have developed 50GW [of capacity] by 2030,” said Dev Sanyal, BP executive vice president for Gas and Low Carbon Energy. This is from a base of just 2.5GW in 2019. BP aims to boost its ‘low-carbon investment’ by 10x to $5bn annually to reach its 50GW goal by 2030.

BP and Total expect oil demand to decline over the long run. Total sees this not just for transportation fuel, but for chemicals and plastics as well. Under two of its scenarios, ‘Momentum’ and ‘Rupture’, “the message is that despite an increase in demand for plastics, especially in non-OECD countries, the oil demand for petrochemicals is likely to come down,” said Helle Kristoffersen, president of Strategy & Innovation at Total. Total assumes a steady increase in plastics recycling on one hand, along with a progressive ban on single-use plastics - first in the EU and China, and then moving worldwide. In the Rupture scenario, the single-use plastics ban is implemented worldwide, where in Momentum it is only in

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

11


Europe and China. This drives plastics recycling rates to rise from seven per cent today to 50 per cent by 2050 under ‘Rupture’ and 40 per cent under ‘Momentum’. “All of this holds back the need for virgin plastics, and therefore, the need for oil,” said Kristoffersen. Total sees oil demand for petrochemicals peaking between the mid-2020s and 2030 under both scenarios. The company maintains a sizeable footprint in global petrochemicals. BP in June 2020 announced the planned sale of its global petrochemicals business to INEOS for $5bn. “The future of our [chemicals] industry is no longer in oil and gas, but in recycled material. And companies that move into that area now will be the winners in the future,” said Paul Hodges, chairman of New Normal Consulting, on an ICIS podcast. “Sustainability is making this major change in the world and that is where we’re going to make our profit,” he added.

Biofuels push and refinery conversions In what Total calls the coming ‘mobility revolution’, it sees a ‘drastic reduction’ in oil demand for transportation by 2050, potentially by well over 50 per cent. Oil demand would be replaced by electricity, natural gas, biofuels and hydrogen. Total sees global biofuels demand doubling to almost 4m bbl/day of oil equivalent by 2030, and potentially rising 4x by 2050 as governments seek to meet carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction targets. Biofuels reduce CO2 emissions by around 50 per cent versus fossil fuels, it noted. The company plans to convert its Grandpuits refinery in France to produce 400,000 tonnes/year of biofuels starting in 2024, while also adding a plastics recycling facility, a PLA (polylactic acid) bioplastics plant and solar power at the site at a total cost of over €500m. The new biorefinery capacity of around 7000 bbl/day will be a huge step down from the 100,000 bbl/day capacity of the existing refinery, although it was only operating at about 70 per cent of capacity because of reduced pressure on a crude oil pipeline. The biorefinery will produce aviation fuel, biodiesel and 50,000 tonnes/year of bio-naphtha for bioplastics production. The cost to convert to, or add biofuels capacity to existing facilities range from $500-750/tonne in capital spending (capex), according to Total. It identified projects that could cost up to $825m at its Investor Day presentation. Ultimately, Total expects biofuels to account for 10-15 per cent of its fuel sales by 2030. BP’s ambition in what it calls ‘bioenergy’ is to more than

12

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

double current production of around 22,000 bbl/day, to 50,000 bbl/day by 2025 and double it again by 2030 to over 100,000 bbl/day.

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated conversions to biorefineries as fuels demand plunged and recovery has been slow, making the economics challenging. “In developed nations, the longer-term demand shrinkage for crude-sourced road fuels in favor of greener alternatives - electrification, renewables, hydrogen - is encouraging refiners to consider alternate options to their existing business models,” said Michael Connolly, ICIS Senior Consultant, Global Refining. “Renewables are a very easy fit given they can still utilize much of the existing infrastructure as opposed to electrification and hydrogen, which require significant new infrastructure investment in both production and distribution,” he added. For some petrochemicals producers, the dynamics will change. “The closures of some refining capacity - in Europe and non-US Gulf Coast - is offset by new capacity built in Asia and the Middle East, meaning sourcing may become more expensive if imported feedstock is required,” said Connolly. This would impact standalone petrochemicals producers, but integrated refining/petrochemical operations are unlikely to be impacted because of their competitiveness, the consultant noted. “Greater processing of renewables by refineries will also see opportunities for petrochemicals producers to buy renewable naphtha and LPG feedstocks, enabling them to meet some of their sustainability targets,” said Connolly.

Battery gigafactories To engage in the ‘electric mobility revolution’, Total will ramp up investments in battery technology and EV charging stations.


RENEWABLES

It sees EV market share growing to 60 per cent or more of the global vehicle fleet by 2050, and grabbing the lion’s share in western Europe. Total is building out lithium-ion (Li-on) battery capacity in China through its Saft 40/60 joint venture with Tianneng. It also plans to build two EV battery ‘gigafactories’ in France and Germany in a 50/50 JV with automaker PSA/Opel. The two gigafactories are projected to cost around €5bn over ten years, providing 48GWh (gigawatt hours) to power 1m EVs, or about ten per cent of the estimated European market by 2030.

with just ten minutes of charging,” she noted. BP in 2018 acquired Chargemaster, the largest EV charging company in the UK. In 2019, BP and Didi Chuxing formed a joint venture to build out EV charging infrastructure in China. In September 2020, BP and Uber announced a partnership under which BP will build out a rapid charging network in London to enable Uber’s fleet in the city to go 100 per cent electric by 2025. Hydrogen also features into Total and BP’s strategies, with the companies planning to build out generation capabilities and fueling stations. Other European oil companies undertaking major renewable energy projects include Italy’s ENI, UK-based Shell and Spain’s Repsol.

US oil far from green strategic shift

Charging ahead on stations Total also operates over 12,000 B2G (battery-to-grid) charge points in Europe today, and aims to boost this to 50,000 by 2025. At vehicle service stations, the company will invest around €200m to install 1500 ‘fast and super-fast’ chargers at 500 sites by 2025. For B2B fleets, it is targeting over 100,000 charge points. For electric mobility overall, Total is investing around €300m from 2020-2025 in a bid to capture around ten per cent of the European market in B2G/B2B. BP is also charging ahead in electric mobility, with a plan to rapidly expand its network. “Crucially, EVs are no longer the exception - and by 2040 scale-up to around 900m, almost 50 per cent of the car parc (vehicles on the road). More than half of these EVs in 2040 are in the US, EU, UK and China,” said Emma Delaney, executive vice president, customer and products at BP. By 2030, BP aims to have over 70,000 charging points globally for EVs. “We plan to roll out a mix of rapid and ultra-fast chargers, in advantaged locations and mobility hubs for fleets starting with our four focus regions - the UK, US, Germany and China, which make up for over 60 per cent of the EV car parc by 2030,” said Delaney. “In Germany, we have plans to roll-out 350KW ultra-fast chargers, which will allow customers 220 miles driving range

In contrast, big US oil companies have not shown much enthusiasm for a green strategic shift, and nowhere near the magnitude of their European counterparts. The EU’s European Green Deal, which aims to achieve zero net emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by 2050, is certainly giving European oil companies a big push. The EU will seek to enshrine the 2050 target into law, setting the direction for policy initiatives. No such policy directive exists in the US, but demand for EVs is on the rise, and solar and wind power continue to gain market share in the power generation mix. It will be interesting to see whether other oil companies enter these markets or cede them to utilities, battery producers and start-ups. Chevron in May 2019 announced a collaboration with EV charging network operator EVgo to install chargers at select Chevron stations in California. And ExxonMobil is collaborating with academic institutions and other external groups to expand technology development in renewable power, biofuels, carbon capture, grid-scale electric storage, long-distance battery storage and hydrogen. ExxonMobil is targeting the technical capability to produce 10,000 bbl/day of biofuels, including from algae, by 2025. US oil companies are dipping their toes into renewables but may need to pivot more quickly to meet future customer demands.

ICIS CHEMICAL BUSINESS Joseph Chang is Global Editor, ICIS Chemical Business, with additional reporting by Will Beacham and Nigel Davis. ICIS is a trusted source of intelligence for the global energy, chemical and fertilizer industries. A division of RELX, a FTSE 15 company with a market cap of £32.7 billion and an employee base of over 30,000 experts across 40 countries. ICIS helps businesses make strategic decisions, mitigate risk, improve productivity and capitalize on new opportunities. For further information please visit: www.icis.com/explore

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

13


The power of

battery storage JIM DAVIDSON AND GRAHAM HALL EXAMINE THE SHIFT TOWARDS USING RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES AND ITS IMPACT ON THE RAPIDLY EXPANDING MARKET FOR BATTERY STORAGE UNITS

I

n a year where the UK’s national grid had a record number of days without any coal-fired power generation, and the Prime Minister has pledged that offshore wind farms will power every home in the country by 20301, it’s unsurprising that the demand for battery storage units has escalated. Legislation and policy from the UK government and support across the UK political spectrum are driving the smarter use of renewable energy. Green recovery is no longer a desire; it’s a necessity. Prioritising sustainability and tackling

14

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

the climate crisis will help to move the UK in a positive direction when entering the post-pandemic world. To support a greener future, businesses will need to make clear choices about how they acquire, consume and optimise energy. Traditional oil companies such as Shell and BP are now investing heavily in the renewable energy sector, acquiring assets and shareholdings. The energy transition has accelerated the shift towards utilising cleaner energy, and as a result, there has been rapid growth for the battery storage market.


BATTERY STORAGE

A recent report from the UK Battery Storage Project Database2 has indicated that the UK has reached a milestone of 1GW of battery storage applications online. Remarkably, the report also suggests that there are another 13GW of projects in the pipeline ready to move past the planning stages and become a reality.

Reducing grid dependency 2020 marks the year where there was no coal-fired power generation on Britain’s national grid for the longest period of time since the industrial revolution3. There is now an evident need for additional renewable energy sources such as wind and photovoltaic PV solar to be added to the grid. While this moves our grid supply to become more dependent on greener, lower-carbon sources it also increases the need for greater flexibility and management of the national grid due to the high percentage of variable resources such as wind, solar and tidal power. The use of intelligent battery systems is one solution to finetune the management and balancing of the grid while increasing the use of flexible energy sources. The increase in accessible grid-tied battery storage systems is one of the fundamental cornerstones in managing current and future demands.

Driving the battery storage trend Current market trends show that electricity demand will only continue to rise, a contributor to this trend is the switch from diesel to plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) or fully electric vehicles (EVs). The choice of PHEV or EV models available for purchase from major car manufacturers is expected to triple in the coming years4 with the expected demand for EV batteries projected to double every three years. In the public transport sector, we are witnessing a switch to e-mobility in company cars along with a move to further electrification of trains and the conversion of bus fleets to electric or hydrogen fuel cell combinations. The shift towards cleaner travel for public transport increases the demand for accessible power and charging stations to keep commuters moving. This will inevitably lead to the need for smarter integrated battery storage solutions as part of our daily lives. Evidence of the increasing need for integrated battery storage solutions is already present in the public and private sectors. It’s not uncommon for office buildings to have PV carports combined with battery storage solutions to allow employees and customers to charge their vehicles or fleets of company cars. The use of smart static storage battery solutions will enable businesses and public authorities to manage and optimise their energy

costs while protecting the environment as they move to a time of higher energy consumption.

Smaller scale storing Across the UK, SME’s and consumers are becoming much more energy conscious, environmentally aware and pushing forward with their own energy optimisation projects. Small businesses within the industrial, agri-tech and farming sectors are starting to invest in their own sources of energy. As feed-in tariffs (FITs) have declined, business owners are looking for new ways to get returns on their investments. Adding or retrofitting small battery storage solutions to existing PV or smaller wind turbine installations provides an opportunity to become ‘grid independent’ and in turn, allows businesses to become their own energy provider. The same goes for new installations of PV and wind combined battery systems to help to avoid premium charges if used for peak shaving, load shifting and self-consumption as and when required. The use of smart battery storage systems in either grid-tied or off-grid applications will provide much greater flexibility for consumers and allow businesses to take control of their energy optimisation. Battery storage units act as crucial solution for the storage and maintence of variable energy sources. As the price point and technology also improves for battery systems, it will inevitably lead to continued and sustainable growth in the battery storage sector across the UK and beyond. 1 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-54421489 2 https://marketresearch.solarmedia.co.uk/products/uk-battery-storageproject-database-report 3 https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/coal-free-power-uk-recordtime-2020-how-long-renewable-energy-a9570891.html 4 https://airqualitynews.com/2019/07/18/electric-and-hybrid-models-totriple-by-2021/

ALBACOM Jim Davidson is CEO of Albacom, a Scotland-based engineering and manufacturing firm that has diversified into sustainable engineering. The company’s recent merger with energy storage company Genista Energy has expanded Albacom’s offering into the renewable energy sector. Together with expertise from Genista’s Managing Director Graham Hall, Albacom and Genista Energy design and build battery storage systems for renewable/sustainable energy projects. For further information please visit: www.albacom.com

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

15


NEWS

Field trials begin Aberdeen-based, oil and gas production technology business, Pragma, has combined innovative design and additive manufacturing (AM) techniques to bring the industry’s first 3D metal printed, ultra-high expansion, bridge plug to market. Pragma’s patented M-Bubble bridge plug has successfully

Five-year contract

completed final lab testing and is due to begin field trials by the end of 2020. Following an intensive R&D programme, Pragma has designed and manufactured the M-Bubble bridge plug in line with established AM codes and guidelines, as well as emerging oil and gas specific AM codes such as DNVGLST-B203. Prototype production has demonstrated extremely high levels of repeatability, not found in conventional machining, and the AM process can halve delivery times so products are produced on demand, resulting in less stockpiling and lower costs.

Sparrows Group has been awarded a five-year contract by Spirit Energy for the provision of crane maintenance and lifting services across its Morecambe Hub assets in the East Irish Sea (UK Continental Shelf). The Morecambe Hub comprises of six fields, three of which have been operated by Spirit Energy for over 30 years. Gas-producing, the North Morecambe, South Morecambe and Rhyl fields are located approximately 25km south west of Walney Island, west England. The contract will see Sparrows deliver crane maintenance on all fixed lifting assets across the Morecambe Central Processing Complex, DP6, DP8 and DPPA platforms. The provision of crane engineering, design services and technical authority will be managed from the company’s headquarters in Aberdeen. Stewart Mitchell, chief executive officer of Sparrows said: “Having recently refurbished the DP6 and DP8 cranes for Spirit Energy, we’re excited to be working with the team again to deliver a longer, more sustained lifting inspection and maintenance campaign in one of the UK’s most important gas producing hubs. “Having a clear strategy for managing lifting assets is essential for reducing equipment downtime and increasing safety. I am extremely proud of our dedicated people who consistently deliver a high-quality service to our clients and we look forward to working with the Spirit Energy team to support their ongoing operations.”

Extended offering

Leak finder Q.E.D. Environmental Systems, Inc., a leading manufacturer of innovative environmental products and subsidiary of Graco Inc., has introduced the Huberg LASER One™ natural gas leak analyzer for sale in North America. The LASER One instrument provides precise and reliable findings when detecting methane leaks, with accurate detection of leaks of down to 0.5ppm in a response time of 2.5 seconds or 3.5 seconds with a probe. It is not sensitive to cross-gas contamination and does not require a gas cylinder for operation, which makes it ideal for the detection of natural gas leaks in underground natural gas distribution networks. However, it can be used for both underground and above ground pipelines and it quickly warms up in just 30 to 60 seconds.

16

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

Metso Outotec is extending its mill reline equipment offering with a high-capacity Mill Reline Machine (MRM). The new robust MRM has a capacity of 4,000 kg, enabling easy and safe replacement of steel lining systems inside even the largest grinding mills. “Replacing steel lining systems inside the confined space of grinding mills is a time-consuming and demanding job requiring strict safety measures and highly reliable equipment. With the addition of the high-capacity MRM, Metso Outotec now provides a comprehensive range of Mill Reline Machines designed to ISO and IEC standards. The new MRM is designed for heavy-duty lining replacement tasks, with safety and efficiency as our top priorities,” says Jared Le Cras, Senior Manager, Mill Reline Equipment at Metso Outotec. The Metso Outotec Mill Reline Machine features multiple benefits, including efficient mill relining enabled by unique mechanical design features, maximized reliability, thanks to easy data access and spares replacement, minimized risk, thanks to industry-leading safety features and comprehensive service support via Metso Outotec’s global service network. In addition to mill reline machines, Metso Outotec’s mill reline equipment offering includes feed chute transporters, Tube MRMs and bolt hammers.

energy-oil-gas.com


US growth The US is expected to lead the liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction capacity growth in North America by 2024, accounting for around 92.6 per cent of the region’s total growth. Approximately 144.6 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) is likely to be added by the US by 2024, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. GlobalData’s report, ‘LNG

Wave power pioneers

Liquefaction Industry Outlook in North America to 2024’, reveals that liquefaction capacity in North

Wave power specialist Mocean Energy has secured major new investment to accelerate the commercialisation of its ground-breaking wave energy technology. The Edinburgh start-up has raised £612,000 equity seed funding plus £250,000 from Innovate UK to advance the design of its Blue Star wave machine and drive its adoption in subsea oil and gas. Mocean Energy’s funding round has been led by business angel syndicate Equity Gap and includes investment by Old College Capital, the University of Edinburgh’s in-house venture investment fund, and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise. The equity funding unlocks a further £250,000 from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. “Our goal is to produce a commercially-available wave machine which can deliver low carbon power for tie backs and future fleets of autonomous AUVs [autonomous underwater vehicles],” explains Mocean Energy Managing Director Cameron McNatt. “We are currently working with firms in the Scottish supply chain to build and deliver our first prototype, which will commence testing at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney in 2021.”

America is expected to increase by 156.2 mtpa, from 69.9 mtpa in 2020 to 205.1 mtpa by 2024, registering an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 26.9 per cent. Of the total capacity additions in the region, 125.5 mmbd is expected to come from planned projects, while the remaining 30.7 mmbd is likely to come from the

REAL COPY

expansions of active/operational projects.

Adithya Rekha, Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData, comments:

Spanish partners

“In North America, the US is likely to witness capacity additions mainly through the commencement

OVO Energy customers in Spain will now be able to harness the sun, powering their homes with rooftop solar plus a battery thanks to an innovative technology partnership between OVO and Sonnen. This new customer offering marks the first of a series of tech-enabled revolutionary products in the Spanish energy market that will take advantage of the intelligent energy platform, Kaluza. Kaluza and Sonnen are already partners in the UK and together have pioneered a number of industry firsts involving the optimization of Sonnen batteries to support local grid balancing. Soon, homes in Spain will be able to generate, store and export solar energy to the grid during peak times to help ease grid constraints. With accelerated adoption of rooftop solar expected to create grid challenges, Kaluza’s real-time cloud platform will enable Spanish consumers to take charge of their energy and benefit from cheaper bills, while supporting the development of a smarter, greener energy system. Households in Spain benefit from the policy of ‘auto-consumo’ which provides the ability to sell excess energy for use by neighbors in the local distribution grid. This additional income can also lead to a reduction in the payback period. As a result, rooftop solar is expected to be an important contributor to Spain’s target of achieving 74 per cent electricity generation from renewables by 2030.

of 11 planned and announced liquefaction terminals during 2020 and 2024. Of these, Rio Grande liquefaction terminal in Texas is one of the largest newbuild projects with a capacity of 16.2 mtpa. It aims to monetize abundant, low-cost unconventional gas in Permian Basin and Eagle Ford shale as exports.”

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

17


A firm foundation

AS IOT AND AUTOMATION PROLIFERATE IN MINING, MANAGED CONNECTIVITY BECOMES CRITICAL TO OPERATIONS. BY JAMES TREVELYAN

A

utomation in the mining industry is on a roll. The market for automation technology and equipment is growing at seven per cent a year and is forecast to reach $6.2 billion in sales by 2025, according to Grand View Research. Digital transformation is creeping into everything from trucks, drills and trains to back-office functions like procurement and supply chain logistics. It is no wonder. Mining revenues are driven by global commodity markets, so lowering costs and improving efficiency is the only effective way to shore up the bottom line. Health and safety run a close second to cost and efficiency gains as a reason for adopting the Internet of Things. That is why the biggest mining companies are now splashing out on automated drill rigs, robots, drones, autonomous vehicles and driverless trains.

Call it the Connected Mine. That is shorthand for a bundle of individual solutions that do more than automate a process and make each operation part of a comprehensive management platform and ensure that each mine has access to the information and services needed to support and protect onsite managers, workers and assets.

A comprehensive architecture for the Connected Mine includes these elements: •

Shaky foundation? Like other industries, mining companies are finding that the same investments that strengthen their operations can create new vulnerabilities. The more digital systems at work onsite, the more critical secure and reliable communications become. Without a well-thought-out communications architecture, the automation house is built on sand.

18

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

Onsite Connectivity. Wireless communications by private LTE, Wi-Fi and mesh radio networks connecting people and devices. Backhaul Connectivity. Depending on the mine’s location, a mix of satellite, LTE, microwave and optical fiber provide robust connectivity to regional or head offices and the public switched network. Autonomous Loaders, Trucks and Drills. Autonomous technology is handling repetitive operations at lower cost while improving safety. Vehicles navigate using signals from wireless beacons that provide accuracy to the centimeter. Asset Trackers. Hundreds of millions of dollars of equipment are at risk at major mines. Asset tracking technology can show the location of equipment and


MINING

automatically trigger alerts whenever it leaves its assigned location. Sensors and Actuators. IoT applications gather data from sensors throughout the mine for real-time analysis at a central control center, which can remotely activate equipment in response, either manually or automatically. Video Cameras. More than mere surveillance, video analytics can automatically identify and flag human errors that may endanger people and operations, from missing hard-hats to unsafe handling of explosives. Drones. Mining operators are deploying drones to capture video feeds of mining waste piles and subject them to analytics that generate 3D models and assess their safety. Automation Platforms. From sensor and video data, mining operators can deploy dashboards that display the health of the entire mining site, trigger alerts and notifications and permit operators, both onsite and remote, to drill down to identify the source of problems.

Advances in performance and price have given mine operators cost-effective connectivity options that can make the connected mine of the future a good business proposition today. Getting those options to deliver value in the field, however, requires a depth of technical knowledge and experience with the logistical and regulatory challenges of global communications.

The future of the Connected Mine Mining will continue to be a cyclical business subject to surges and declines in commodity prices, as well as being a challenging way of life for miners and managers alike. The digital revolution is making mining operations safer, more predictable and more responsive to changes in markets. That is attracting a new generation of innovators ready to build a stronger industry for the future.

Keeping the data flowing Realizing the connected mine takes more than technology. It involves a fundamental shift in connectivity. To achieve breakthroughs in safety, productivity and profitability, data must flow at high volume with no interruptions or degradation of service. Because mines operate in remote locations, delivering that connectivity requires the integration of multiple communication technologies into a high-performance whole. Many companies may be involved, but there needs to be a single point of accountability. Key elements in connectivity for the connected mine include: • Multi-mode terminals that support multiple satellite bands, microwave links and cellular service, and interconnect seamlessly with local wired and wireless (Wi-Fi, private LTE, LORA) networks. Terminal software manages the logistics of making and breaking connections, from virtual SIM cards to least-cost routing. • A dedicated global network of satellites, teleports, fiber and high-performance cellular base stations in strategic locations, plus high-capacity peering with wired and mobile networks, to ensure connectivity from remote locations to the rest of the world. • Intelligence in the network that identifies available transmission routes and automatically switches service between them to achieve the best performance at lowest cost. At the highest levels, using technologies like SD-WAN, it automatically analyzes and manages traffic among routes offering very different kinds of performance, providing customers with predictable quality of service and better utilization of available bandwidth.

SPEEDCAST INTERNATIONAL LTD James Trevelyan is Senior Vice President of Global Sales at Speedcast International Ltd, the world’s most trusted communications and IT services provider, delivering critical communications solutions to the Maritime, Energy, Mining, Media, Telecom, Cruise, NGO, Government, and Enterprise sectors. With more satellite capacity than any other provider, Speedcast enables faster, seamless pole-to-pole coverage from a global hybrid satellite, fiber, cellular, microwave, MPLS and IP transport network with direct access to public cloud platforms. For further information please visit: www.speedcast.com

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

19


Digital

answers OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE IN A WORLD OF COMPLEXITY. BY RON BECK

T

he world of energy just got more complicated, and that certainly applies to operational excellence in oil and gas operations. The industry is finding itself in a challenging position while operating oil and gas fields with all but the most essential workers remote and key systems not being well set up to support operational excellence imperatives remotely. For that reason, upstream organizations are going from seeing digitalization as a ‘nice-to-have,’ with some runway to plan the future, to instead an essential initiative, a helterskelter race, to find new ways to apply technology for maintaining and improving operational excellence in the oil patch. The market says organizations must operate its oilfields at a lower break-even cost per barrel. This is most likely going to include taking people out of the oilfield (for their health and safety) and reducing operating and capital expenditures. But at the same time, safe operating conditions must be maintained to achieve increased reliability. Even when operating at lower production rates, trimming OPEX and with reduced staff on site in the field; there is still the same, maybe even an elevated need to improve safety reliability and productivity.

20

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

Companies today are looking to digital enables; here is example of how these are working: Prescriptive maintenance using machine learning An insight of the past five months in the upstream world, is that artificial intelligence (AI and machine learning) which has started to impact other industries in meaningful ways, must be adopted on an accelerated basis in upstream. What AI will do is provide prescriptive and actionable insights, based on operating data, to provide a ‘feed forward’ planning ahead to take actions which will preserve production uptime and avoid infrastructure degradation. The result: Improved safety, reduced risk and uptime. This also saves capital. Today, ten per cent of capital investment in capacity is tied up handling unplanned downtime.

Industrial AI Petroleum and chemical engineering principles are too complex for data algorithms to move forward without domain knowledge. This is where industrial AI comes into play, putting domain expertise guardrails around advanced data analytics, and achieving what we call a democratization of AI for the energy industry. Applications usable and valuable


MAINTENANCE

Also, the adaptive control technology, is constantly monitoring the effectiveness of its settings in the context of changing hydrocarbon compositions and pressure. The result, multi million dollars in benefits per platform per year from running production closer to the optimum, coupled with increased uptime of equipment and safer operations.

Safety focused digital twin Safe operations are another crucial area that digital technology can fundamentally help with. Process safety in complex operations, such as gas processing and offshore gathering systems, requires modelling and constant revalidation of safety envelopes. These models exist, and now that advanced techniques can be applied, can be put online to establish things such as ability of production expansion to be safely operated, impact of reconfiguration, impact of deferred maintenance and the like. Medco Energi developed a digital twin model of their offshore gas production infrastructure, to evaluate field development against HIPPS safe operating envelopes. This enabled a brownfield operating company to maximize production while increasing production, achieving over 20 million dollars in value, in reduced cost per well, from the digital twin in one year.

Sustainable digital twin

in the oilfield, which capitalize on machine learning but don’t require a data scientist. It is the confluence of data plus multivariate machine learning analytics plus expertise. A major FPSO operator in Southeast Asia has implemented this technology to monitor production equipment health from a central onshore location. Production pumps, injection pumps, produced water filtration and handling, are all monitored through data streams and prescriptive maintenance.

Optimize well production Advanced process control, a staple of downstream oil and gas operational excellence, has finally moved into the upstream world. Forced by the need for increased agility and increased well productivity, a global top-five upstream operator has implemented the most advanced form of process control, Adaptive Process Control, on multiple production platforms. This solution takes the minute-by-minute decisions of an operator to adjust well chokes, compressors, and separators, out of the hands of an on-platform operator and into the hands of an automated system that can exactly translate the operating strategy set by the reservoir engineers into real time optimized production settings, which are now monitored by an operator, who can be onshore.

Asset models are invaluable strategic tools in reducing carbon footprint in production. A digital twin model can calculate what is known as a ‘virtual sensor’, that is a calculation in place of a physical sampling device. In one example in the Middle East Region, ADNOC put in place a digital twin model that measured, across the giant Shah gas field, energy use, utility costs, water use, and fugitive emissions. By making this information actionable to all field workers, the system provided actionable advice to improve these sustainability metrics, for instance eliminating one per cent of hydrocarbon losses, which then were turned from an emissions problem into a contribution to revenue. In brief, there are a number of digital technologies that oil and gas companies can be looking to employ to help them navigate the complexity that is the energy universe in 2020. All while addressing their most urgent operational excellence needs and most importantly, keeping workers safer and making operations more reliable and better performing.

ASPEN TECHNOLOGY INC Ron Beck is Director at Aspen Technology Inc, a global leader in asset optimisation software. Its solutions address complex, industrial environments where it is critical to optimise the asset design, operation and maintenance lifecycle. AspenTech uniquely combines decades of process modelling expertise with artificial intelligence. Its purpose-built software platform automates knowledge work and builds sustainable competitive advantage by delivering high returns over the entire asset lifecycle. As a result, companies in capital-intensive industries can maximise uptime and push the limits of performance, running their assets safer, greener, longer and faster. For further information please visit: www.AspenTech.com

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

21


A vital element HYDROGEN WILL HAVE A KEY ROLE ON THE ROAD TO DECARBONIZATION IN AREAS THAT OTHER SOLUTIONS CANNOT REACH, SAYS DR GARETH HINDS

T

he UK Government is committed to reducing our impact on the environment and transforming our energy system to make it cleaner and more affordable, through the Clean Growth Strategy and the 25 Year Environment Plan, as well as collaborating and supporting other countries to reduce their impacts. Domestic policy commits the UK to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050; these targets are among the most ambitious globally and the next few years will see record investment in clean growth innovation. To meet these objectives, and for energy to become more affordable, clean and secure, a continued shift away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources is required, supported by carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) and nuclear power. Hydrogen will be a key component of any future net-zero carbon scenario for the UK. It has historically experienced cycles of interest within the UK and

22

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

internationally, but up until now has largely been discounted due to the immaturity and relatively high cost of the technologies in question. This is changing. There is an ever-growing evidence base – of roadmaps, reports, projects and practical infrastructure implementations – demonstrating that hydrogen can play a critical role in the efforts to decarbonize the UK’s energy system. There is also increasing awareness that while significant decarbonization is possible without hydrogen, it will be very difficult to get to net-zero without it as there are many sectors where hydrogen is likely to be the only zeroemission energy vector capable of replacing fossil fuels without significant increase in cost or loss of utility. Driven in part by a significant reduction in the cost of offshore wind and partly by government incentives, there has been a huge decrease in CO2 emissions from the electricity sector in the last few years. It is now responsible for just 12 per cent of UK CO2 emissions, compared to 34 per cent in 1990. However, within the UK’s electricity


HYDROGEN

grid system, there is a growing need for grid-scale storage technologies to mitigate the intermittency of renewables and enable the continued transition away from fossil fuels. Batteries are well suited to grid balancing over short timescales but they are not designed to hold their charge for long periods of time. For longer term storage, hydrogen is a more realistic option and can be produced via electrolysis of water using electricity generated from renewable energy systems during times of high supply/low demand. It can be stored for use during periods of high demand or transferred to the gas grid for distribution and use in other applications.

Attractive option Despite the progress within the electricity sector, there is still a long way to go in other sectors. Heating and transport are both still heavily dependent on oil and gas and make up the bulk of the other 88 per cent of UK CO2 emissions. In the UK, 23 million homes are currently dependent on gas for heat, with most of the supply coming from nonrenewable natural gas sources. The Committee on Climate Change has estimated that by 2050 around 60 per cent of heat demand in domestic, commercial and industrial applications could come from hydrogen. Hydrogen combusts similarly to the natural gas that is commonly used within homes today so it would not require a change in habits or any major changes to the existing heating system. Unlike natural gas however, hydrogen does not produce CO2 or other pollutants when combusted, only water, making it an attractive option to support decarbonization. Hydrogen could either be blended with natural gas as a medium-term option or combusted directly. Transporting hydrogen via the gas grid would enable the UK to utilize existing gas infrastructure assets and could reduce the costs associated with electrification of the energy system. As the UK’s National Metrology Institute, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is working with UK gas network operators to assess the feasibility of converting the existing natural gas grid to hydrogen, which would allow coupling of heating and transport applications. NPL is also carrying out cutting edge research to support improvements in performance, lifetime and cost of hydrogen fuel cells and electrolyzers to enable large scale adoption of these technologies. One potential drawback of hydrogen is that fuel cell performance is sensitive to trace levels of contaminants that can be introduced during hydrogen production, storage and distribution. NPL is working with other European research institutes to quantify the impact of key contaminants on fuel cell stack performance

under representative automotive conditions, including fuel recirculation. This important work is feeding into revision of international standards for hydrogen purity in automotive applications, de-risking the business case for investment in hydrogen infrastructure.

Vital role Sulphur-based odorants used in natural gas are not suitable for use in fuel cells due to their significant poisoning effect. NPL is involved in a number of research programs to screen non-sulphur-based odorants for hydrogen, as well as investigating sources of contamination from the existing gas grid and their impact on fuel cell performance. Within the transport sector, it is important that we overcome the electric battery versus hydrogen fuel cell battle. These technologies are highly complementary and shouldn’t be seen as competing. Neither technology is able to decarbonize this sector alone. Hydrogen is well suited to heavy duty applications, long distance transport and seasonal storage of energy due to its very low mass and the ability to be stored for longer periods of time. However, due to their much higher efficiency in converting between chemical and electrical energy, batteries are the most suitable technology for light duty applications over short timescales, including passenger vehicles and short-term grid balancing. It is therefore important that hydrogen is not deployed in these areas unless there are good reasons for doing so, e.g. local availability or use of fleet vehicles. Deployment of batteries and hydrogen according to their respective strengths will minimize the risk of stranded assets in the future. Like every technology, hydrogen does not have all the answers but it will play a vital role in decarbonization as its flexibility allows it to fill gaps in decarbonization of energy that other technologies cannot reach.

NPL Dr Gareth Hinds is a leading voice on hydrogen technology in the UK and Science Area Leader in Electrochemistry at NPL. NPL is the UK’s National Metrology Institute, providing the measurement capability that underpins the UK's prosperity and quality of life. Based in Teddington, south-west London, NPL employs over 600 scientists. NPL also has regional bases across the UK, including at the University of Surrey, the University of Strathclyde, the University of Cambridge and the University of Huddersfield's 3M Buckley Innovation Centre. For further information please visit: www.npl.co.uk

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

23


Time for action TO PREPARE FOR DEEP DECARBONISATION AND THE IMPENDING TRANSFORMATION OF THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY, ARVE JOHAN KALLEKLEV IS ENCOURAGING STAKEHOLDERS TO ADOPT A SHIFT IN MINDSET AND BEGIN TAKING ACTION

D

NV GL’s 2020 Energy Transition Outlook (Figure 1) predicts that without greater effort to meet low or zero-carbon emissions by mid-century, the world will miss the 2°C limit for global warming under the Paris Agreement.

still hold a key role in the energy mix in 2050 as it is forecast to supply half of the world’s energy.

Figure 1: DNV GL published its fourth annual Energy Transition Outlook

Figure 2: World primary energy supply by source

With increasing societal, governmental, investor and industryled pressure to address carbon emissions and climate change issues, the energy transition will become a focal point for the sector – though actions associated with realising these climate ambitions will be slower to materialise.

CO2 emissions not accepted In line with current emissions trends, the 1.5°C carbon budget will be exhausted in 2028 and the 2°C budget in 2051. This points to a 2.3°C warming of the planet by 2100, compared with the pre-industrial level.

Shifting oil demand The report predicts global primary oil demand will fall 13 per cent in 2020, reaching a level not seen since the early 2000s. Oil will retake its place as the world’s largest energy source in 2021, before giving way to natural gas in the mid-2020s (Figure 2). Demand will see a brief recovery towards 2023, before gradually decreasing to half of its 2018 level (in real terms) by 2050. Oil and gas will

24

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

The oil and gas industry will need to prepare itself for an energy system that does not accept the release of carbon emissions. However, our predictions show that CO2 emissions will remain stubbornly high until the mid-2030s, falling just 15 per cent in the next 15 years, before then dropping 40 per cent in the 15 years to 2050. Emissions intensity (energy-related CO2 emissions/energy demand) will remain elevated in regions and countries which supply the world’s oil and gas, predominantly in areas with low production costs or easily scalable operations. Financial benefits, particularly in the short term, as well as a domestic economic reliance on fossil fuels, will result in continued oil use in these areas (Figure 3).


SECTOR OUTLOOK combined are expected to account for 66 per cent of the world’s CCS deployment (Figure 4).

Figure 3: Emissions intensity of final energy demand by region

The report asserts that in the UK, a total of 13.1 MM metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) will be from oil and gas production. Extraction emissions account for 10.1 MM of CO2, the rest is due to flaring. In comparison, in 2019, Norway’s oil and gas production emissions were 4 MM of CO2 and Denmark’s 1.4 MM1. To achieve this decline, there should be a focus on scaling the decarbonisation of natural gas, which even though it is predicted to be the world’s largest energy source at midcentury, has seen little progress in technologies for cutting carbon. Key solutions include electrification, reducing flaring and venting, increased efforts to detect and stem methane leaks, and efficiency gains through digitalisation of the value chain. The electrification of oil and gas assets, including exploration and production rigs, platforms and vessels, is underway. There are already eight partly- or fully-electrified oil and gas fields operating offshore Norway, with a further eight fields covered under sanctioned electrification projects. In the UK, feasibility studies for platform electrification schemes in the central North Sea and west of Shetland are in progress for several companies, with low-emission designs being embedded into future field development plans. The Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) estimates that £430 billion ($557 billion) of new investment will be needed ‘to close the gap on a number of crucial technologies and accelerate their deployment’. Converting the North Sea into an integrated net-zero emissions energy system is forecast to create more than 200,000 jobs and £2.5 trillion ($3.2 trillion) in value to the UK economy2.

CCS as a long-term catalyst Now in its fourth year, the Outlook envisages that the oil and gas sector could become the leading ‘decarbonizer’ of hydrocarbons. Catalyst technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen as a vector fuel are expected to transform the industry after 2035. Complementing renewable electricity, battery technology and alternative lowcarbon fuels, the industry could also become the world’s largest supplier of CCS. However, its uptake will be inhibited by high costs, with the technology not beginning to scale until the 2030s, and not to a significant level until the 2040s. In comparison to last year’s forecast, though policy and technology developments for CCS capacity have almost trebled in the last 12 months it still falls short of climate change targets by mid-century. By then, China and Europe

Figure 4: World CCS capacity by region

An agreement on a carbon price will allow CCS to scale more quickly. If a major country or region is to set a carbon price high enough to make large-scale CCS a reality, this will subsequently lower the cost of the technology in other regions as others follow. Hydrogen will face a similar challenge. There are around ten large projects planned in Europe, mostly around the North Sea, which have a high chance of being operational by 2035. In September, the Norwegian Government proposed to launch a CCS project called ‘Langskip’ (‘Longship’)3. Total’s investment in this project is an estimated NOK17.1bn. Promising projects are also developing in the UK, Denmark and Netherlands, with Ireland and Italy also making progress. The technologies required to accelerate the energy transition are available to us today. But we need to take action and scale these at a much quicker pace to build a decarbonised future for the industry and make a positive impact on the energy transition and climate goals. References 1. https://www.rystadenergy.com/newsevents/news/press-releases/top-north-seaemitter-uk-needs-to-electrify-its-rising-oil-and-gas-output-to-reach-climate-goals/ 2. https://www.theogtc.com/newsroom/news/2020/closing-the-gap-realising-a-netzero-north-sea/ 3. https://www.regjeringen.no/en/aktuelt/the-government-launches-longship-forcarbon-capture-and-storage-in-norway/id2765288/

DNV GL Arve Johan Kalleklev is Regional Manager Norway & Eurasia with DNV GL – Oil & Gas. DNV GL is the technical advisor to the oil and gas industry. It brings a broader view to complex business and technology risks in global and local markets. Providing a neutral ground for industry cooperation, it creates and shares knowledge with its customers, setting standards for technology development and implementation. From project initiation to decommissioning, its independent experts enable companies to make the right choices for a safer, smarter and greener future. Download a complimentary copy of DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook 2020 report here: https://eto.dnvgl.com/2020/index.html#ETO2019-top

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

25




Intelligent solutions

A global specialist in the development of filtration solutions for liquids and gases, BOLLFILTER (Boll & Kirch Filterbau GmbH) is an independent

28

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

German company dedicated to its core values of passion, tradition and expertise. Through its attempts to live out these values in all areas of the organization, from


PROFILE

research to manufacture to customer service, BOLLFILTER is recognized as an industry leader in filter technology around the world. The BOLLFILTER journey began in

BOLL & KIRCH FILTERBAU GMBH

1950’s Cologne when the company was founded by Walter Boll and Josef Kirch. After moving to Kerpen in the late 1970’s, the business commenced serial production ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

29


Filtration 4.0 is our main goal for the near future and our R&D department has received clear instructions to look into it because we want to make it a reality as soon as possible. In fact, we already have a new product, which - although it is not ready for sale right away will be launched in 2021

30

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

of its first automatic filters. This event kick started a tradition of filter manufacturing at BOLLFILTER that would eventually lead to the modern filtration solutions for which the company has become renowned. Proud of its roots, the company remains a privatelyowned German business with no reliance on foreign investors, allowing for clearer strategical direction and more effective longterm planning. At the core of BOLLFILTER’s modern operation is a mission to work collaboratively with its customers on everything from standardized products to custom-tailored solutions. Offering filters that can be used in a variety of applications for the protection of various water systems, stationary engines in power plants, engines on ocean going vessels and compressor sets, the company aims to be a partner-of-choice for its customers, providing efficient and long-lasting products, that meets the highest standards of quality. “At BOLLFILTER, our customers benefit from robust, reliable, well-experienced and precise filtration solutions in their individual application,” explains Frank Zichel, the

energy-oil-gas.com

company’s Head of Water Filtration. “As filtration experts for advanced and customeroriented solutions, our goals are customer responsiveness, innovation, operational excellence, partnerships and added value. “Due to our long history in designing and manufacturing filtration solutions for a very diverse range of activities onshore and offshore,” he adds, “our customers not only reap the rewards of products with superior quality and reliability, but they also take advantage of a network of subsidiaries and sales partners spread across the world, including service spots and spare parts services.”

New subsidiaries Available to customers in more than 30 locations worldwide, BOLLFILTER opened its first manufacturing plant outside Germany in Pinghu, China, in 2017. Launched in response to Chinese demand for a domestic manufacturing presence, the Pinghu facility has already achieved major cost savings for the company. More recently, in the summer of 2020, BOLLFILTER founded two more subsidiaries,


PROFILE

one in South Korea and one in France. “We are very happy to have established these locations as they will be very important to us going forward,” Frank declares. “Up until this year, we were not represented in France nor in Korea. We previously had an independent agent working for us. From a strategic planning and growth realization perspective, having subsidiaries in the sales network with their own teams is required, as only then can we impact our direction and focus our priorities. “For this reason, France and Korea have come as a real milestone achievement in a difficult year. 2020 has seen everyone shrinking, but we have been confident enough to found these subsidiaries, despite the trend. As new members of the BOLLFILTER family, we wish our colleagues all the best from our Headquarters here in Germany.”

Solutions provider There is soon to be more progress at home for BOLLFILTER too. In 2021, the company is set to open its second factory in Kerpen. With the company almost at capacity at its current site, and with an ever increasing level of demand, the new facility will employ the latest manufacturing techniques in an attempt to help BOLLFILTER meet the market requirements for years to come. After 70 years in business, BOLLFILTER has amassed an experienced and loyal workforce of more than 1000 people worldwide. Around 700 of these employees are based at Kerpen, including the company’s Research & Development department, which will soon be housed at the new Kerpen location, along with the company’s Spare Parts Logistics operation. Consisting of 27 team members, the R&D department at BOLLFILTER works in collaboration with customers to develop products that are not only innovative, but meet a client’s exact requirements. As Frank is keen to point out, the business is not simply a filter manufacturer, but a provider of filtration solutions. “At BOLLFILTER, we manufacture manual simplex and duplex strainers for liquids and gases, which are installed in many marine and industrial applications in different market segments. Furthermore – and this is our key focus – we produce automatic filtration solutions for water, fuel, oils and other liquid media. These are being used in locations all

BOLL & KIRCH FILTERBAU GMBH

over the world, from oceangoing vessels to facility cooling applications, and from steel mills to paper mills,” Frank reports. “Beyond typical manufacturing, we are always looking to take the next step and work out how filtration can be used as a solution to issues our clients have and problems we have in the wider world.”

...with exciting plans for new developments, upgrades and refinery expansions on the agenda, the business can be viewed as a leading light for not just Pakistan but for the wider energy industry

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

31


In line with this way of thinking, BOLLFILTER recently added a new automatic fine filtration business to its portfolio. As an answer to many customers demanding finer and finer filtration, the company has designed a product with ceramic membrane elements that possesses a filter rating better than ten microns. Brand new in 2019, the BOLL FineFilterUnit can be used as part of a number of sustainability measures and environmentally friendly applications, such as a component in the exhaust gas cleaning process on large ships. Globally unique in the sense that it is the only company of its size and presence exclusively active in filtration, BOLLFILTER continues to use its platform to support environmental causes, and the business actively participates in the development of innovative green technologies. Over the

32

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com


PROFILE

years, the company’s positive efforts in an environmental and social context have included the treatment of ballast water, offshore wind farm support, filtration in desalination plants and tertiary treatment for effluent recycling in sewage plants, just to name a few of BOLLFILTER’S ‘green’ applications. “Invasive species are the number one cause of species extinction in the modern world, yet ballast water, and the threat it poses to the environment, does not get the headlines it deserves,” Frank insists. “At BOLLFILTER, we play an active role in the ballast water conversation and have sold more than 4500 filter units as part of the Ballast Water Management System. Similarly, we supply an important component on HVDC converter platforms for large offshore wind farms.” Away from water filtration, it is important to mention that the company is also deeply involved in cat fine removal in low sulphur fuels for engines on ocean going vessels, such as container ships and tankers.

BOLL & KIRCH FILTERBAU GMBH

“On a social responsibility front,” Frank continues, “we are offering tailor-made solutions for desalination plants for the generation of potable water due to the global water scarcity. BOLLFILTER also has a large amount of experience in industrial and municipal sewage plants where we have supplied filtration for the tertiary treatment process for decades in order to reduce the amount for freshwater use, and enable plants to recycle the effluent. Additionally, we are currently looking at this application for ways to help filter micro plastics.”

Intelligent filtration Further to the above, it should also be noted that BOLLFILTER grants annual shares to the Boll Foundation, which promotes projects in the science and research fields, as well as supports social projects near to the city of Cologne. Next up for BOLLFILTER is what Frank calls ‘Filtration 4.0’, a new ‘intelligent’ type of filter technology that not only filters a certain medium at a certain grade, but can also monitor and analyze the results of that filtration and adjust itself remotely depending on the application. Described by Frank as a ‘logical next step’ for the business, intelligent filtration is set to become a key tool for customers dealing with environmental challenges that require flexible and adjustable solutions. “For example,” Frank says, “fresh water quality differs from day to night and season to season because it is a natural body, and if the filtration solution is not adaptable to the environmental factors, then of course, the capabilities of the unit are limited. With Filtration 4.0, as we call it, BOLLFILTER will provide filtration which is able to adjust itself to changing conditions such as the season and temperature, making it a highly innovative and useful solution. “Filtration 4.0 is our main goal for the near future and our R&D department has received clear instructions to look into it because we want to make it a reality as soon as possible. In fact, we already have a new product, which - although it is not ready for sale right away - will be launched in 2021,” Frank reveals. “This is just the beginning. Next year, we hope to be able to say that we have taken that step from simple filtration to something smart and communicative, adding value and expanding horizons for us and our customers in the process.”

Boll & Kirch Filterbau GmbH www.bollfilter.com ............................................ Products and services: Filtration solutions

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

33


Powering

the future

Recently named to the 2020 Inc. 5000 list for the third year in a row, Connexa is one of the fastest growing private companies in America. A manufacturer and distributor of remote and industrial energy products, as well as an integrator of IIoT products, the company delivers power products and accessories for OEM’s, integrators, and resellers across the country and around the world. Having established a reputation and pedigree of which any business would be

34

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

proud, Connexa’s standing in the market becomes even more of an achievement considering the fact that the organization was only founded 14 years ago. Mike Postel, the company’s President, gave some more details to Energy, Oil & Gas about how it evolved into the market leader it is today. “Connexa began in 2006 and was focused on IT networking services at that time. Some of the projects were placing electronics in remote locations where power was either unavailable or not accessible, and out of necessity,


PROFILE

Connexa began incorporating solar as a means of primary power for the electronic devices,” he began. “In 2008, Connexa launched the entity that it is today, solely focusing on remote solar power and related products. Adding key industryexperienced team members early on gave Connexa the jump start it needed to provide reliable and properly sized systems from the beginning. In 2014, Connexa procured land and built its manufacturing facility, which it continues to occupy at present. Shortly

CONNEXA

thereafter, Connexa began quickly growing and in 2018 made the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America, and has maintained this recognition through 2020.” As is so often the case, necessity has proven to be the mother of invention, and having embraced innovation early on and being unafraid of a challenge, today Connexa specializes in Internet of Things (IoT) services, remote solar power, UPS power backup, and industrial control panel applications with internal design and ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

35


engineering and custom assemblies. It also manufactures its own line of industrial power products. “Connexa’s clientele are generally those companies working in telecommunications, agriculture, mining, oil and gas, security, weather monitoring, traffic, railroad, landfills, and so on,” highlighted Mike. “The business supports electronic devices of various kinds, generally deployed into areas where line power is not available. Connexa’s core products provide solar power as a primary power source, as well as UPS battery backup for sites that have another power source but are critical to remain operational at all times. Over the years, Connexa has added lateral product lines and services to add value and provide a one-stop solution to its customer base, which include industrial control panels,

fully integrated electrical structures, skids, racks, and more.” Connexa’s headquarters are located just outside of San Antonio, TX and having mentioned Connexa’s first facility, which it constructed in 2014, Mike noted that more recently - in 2019 - the organization saw further factory growth, which brought multiple benefits. He expounded on what the new additions brought to Connexa. “The company expanded its UL and ETL certified panel shop and office space, added a robotic wire processing room, and a separate building for metals fabrication. This has greatly increased capacity, offering better lead times and more efficient manufacturing and order fulfillment.”

Vendor of choice Within said facility, the company has invested in some seriously innovative technology, including a unique new robotic system. “Connexa installed a Komax Zeta, which is the world’s leading machine for the processing of electrical wires,” said Mike. “Behind the machine sits up to 36 barrels of wires of various sizes, types, and colors. The machine can make a wire harness using any of the barrels at any time, combining different ones together to make wire harnesses and bundles extremely quickly. The machine will cut the wire, strip the ends, terminate or weld the ends and add labels. A quality check is done before it releases the completed wires,” he added. Connexa is part of a highly exclusive selection of companies in its field that use robotics to manufacture wiring assemblies, but this is just one of many factors that sets the company and its services apart from the competition. Mike identified the organization’s ‘expertise and formulas in system design’ as its most valuable offering, as this provides the ability to ‘keep systems functioning yearround, in all weather conditions, working in areas that are not easily accessible much of the time.’ “This is not an easy task and Connexa’s success in this area gives it a strong reputation as the vendor of choice,” he stated. “Connexa is also unique in that its expertise spans both DC and AC power systems, whereas much of the competition focuses on only one of these. Connexa is vertically integrated to a large degree, allowing it to control more of the manufacturing process while keeping costs down. It is also launching the Connexa Noi (pronounced NO-EE) in January, which enables remote connectivity to its systems

36

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com


PROFILE

around the world. This is extremely valuable because sending a technician to troubleshoot a system on a mountain can be very costly. The IoT system allows for remote problem solving to help prevent this. In short, Connexa is a one-stop-shop for power, automation, and IIoT integration to the cloud.” The continuous improvement of its processes and systems has been the hallmark of Connexa’s operations since it was founded and by providing added value to customers, the company has experienced incredible growth over the last few years. This is evidenced by its inclusion on the Inc. 5000 list (three times) and its rating of number 89 in Inc magazine’s ‘Top 250 Companies in Texas’ in 2020. “Providing more than just the power portion for its customer base greatly reduces the overall costs, project management effort, and support that its customers need, which allows them to focus on their core products. This has enabled Connexa’s clients to grow rapidly, bringing the company along with them,” noted Mike.

New approach As well as looking after its customers, Connexa highly values its staff too, and in 2019 Connexa was voted one of the Top Places to Work by the San Antonio Express News. Mike was keen to emphasize how important the people side of the business is. “The staff is everything to the business and Connexa aims to provide an environment where individuals can expand themselves by using creativity, solving problems, taking on new challenges, and altogether growing as a team. Connexa believes in empowering the individual to be courageous and explore new ideas and better ways of doing things,” he said. Training and certifications are important to the business as well, so in addition to its state-of-the-art hardware, technology and equipment portfolio, various employees hold Six Sigma certifications and Connexa also writes its own software integrations, connectors, and ERP process logic in-house, too. Any business that places a high value on its team also prides itself on an exemplary approach to safety and Connexa is careful to ensure a solidly safe working environment for its people. With a dedicated safety manager, high-standard safety checks, and state-of-theart incident tracking, Connexa was already working to a series of innovative procedures when Covid-19 added a new challenge to the mix. “There have been supply chain and

logistics disruptions that have been tricky to navigate,” Mike agreed. “The company is set up for office users to operate remotely, but staff onsite has had to adjust to accommodate new safety protocols.” Having approached the pandemic with its usual rigorous attention to detail, Connexa is proceeding towards the future with an exciting strategy for growth, that explores a new path for the business. “Connexa has traditionally been a company that supplied most projects with custom systems, but moving forward - and although it will still do much in the area of custom - it will be launching its own standard lines of products,” Mike revealed. “This will enable the business to produce even more efficiently, reduce engineering and design time, and provide better leads time for customers. “In January 2021, Connexa is launching the Connexa Noi IoT device that allows its systems to be communicated with remotely, as well as provides cloud interaction. As everything becomes smarter, I see the IoT side dramatically expanding over the next several years.”

CONNEXA

Connexa www.connexa.com ............................................ Products & Services: Manufacturer and distributor of remote and industrial energy products, as well as an integrator of IIOT products

...with exciting plans for new developments, upgrades and refinery expansions on the agenda, the business can be viewed as a leading light for not just Pakistan but for the wider energy industry

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

37


A connected future

Global Offshore is part of the Global Marine Group, an innovative market leader in offshore engineering with an enviable track record of successful project execution of over 170 years. Delivering cable installation, repair and trenching services to the offshore renewables, utilities and oil and gas markets, Global Offshore is one of the four business units that makes up the overall Global Marine Group. Mike Daniel, who has been Managing Director at Global

38

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

Offshore for the past three years, began by giving EOG readers some more details on the other divisions. “The other three units are: Global Marine, which provides fiber optic cable solutions to the telecommunications and oil and gas markets, CWind, which delivers a range of project services, CTVs and GWO-accredited training courses to the offshore wind industry, and OceanIQ, which provides unparalleled subsea cable data, survey, route engineering, permitting


PROFILE

GLOBAL OFFSHORE

Mike Daniel

and consultancy services for telecom and power cable installation projects,” he began, before highlighting some impressive statistics. “The Group has installed over 300,000 kilometers of subsea telecoms cable and more than 1,500km of power cables, performed maintenance operations on 33 per cent of the world’s fiber optic cables and offered engineering services, assets and highly qualified personnel for projects at more than 50 wind farms globally.”

Turning his attention to Global Offshore and its own services, Mike highlighted something that really helps to set it apart in the industry. “We have developed a reputation as a trusted partner, with many clients returning following successfully executed projects,” he said. “These long-standing relationships have been forged through flexibility and an understanding of our client’s needs.” Thanks to this approach, Global Offshore has worked on multiple UK and

Powering platforms through renewables rather than gasdriven generators, or even connecting them to power supplies directly from shore, is seen as a game changer for the industry. This would require a strong, reliable power supply to floating platforms or turbines. We are uniquely experienced when it comes to providing innovative solutions for this industry challenge, having worked at Statoil Gjøa semi-submersible platform in the North Sea, the first ever floating platform to have power supplied by a direct link from shore

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

39


PROFILE

GLOBAL OFFSHORE

European wind farms, as well as conducted numerous operations in oil and gas for major oil companies such as Shell and BP. These operations are carried out by the specialist ships and experienced crews that make Global Offshore unique. With the range of vessels and the very best offshore engineering expertise, the company offers clients flexibility and reduced mobilization times, with a vessel suitable for every eventuality, in any location, worldwide. Mike gave some more details about the two main vessels utilized by Global Offshore. “The Global Symphony is a purpose-built vessel, designed to address the demands of deep-water remote intervention, renewables, construction and survey markets. Built in 2011, the vessel has an extensive 1,400m² deck space, with additional features which enhance her overall utility and productivity, particularly in deep water, trenching and cable operations, where oil and gas and floating offshore wind projects are situated,” he said. The most recent addition to the fleet is the Normand Clipper, which is on longterm charter from Solstad Offshore. “This

joined our fleet in 2020 and we immediately commenced upgrades to the 127.5m cablelaying vessel,” Mike noted. “With the addition of a 4000-ton cable carousel, two 15-ton cable tensioners, a 25-ton quadrant deployment frame and a fully integrated control system, the recent upgrades enable us to lay cable at much higher speeds than traditional methods, while still maintaining our high standards of safety and quality. “The Normand Clipper is proving to be a valuable asset to our customers, with work already completed on both the Danish Kriegers Flak and the Pentland Firth projects. The flexibility built into the vessel back deck design allows it to move quickly between modes, and it is currently being re-mobilized in telecoms mode for an upcoming project.” Due to the recent increased demand from its customers, the company has also quickly mobilized the Normand Cutter, the sister vessel to the Normand Clipper, for additional project support throughout Q4 of 2020. “We also have access to the rest of the Global Marine Group’s fleet, which includes versatile installation and maintenance cable

Normand Clipper in Blyth

23 DEGREES

23 Degrees were awarded works by Global Offshore to undertake 2 x shore end installations as part of SSEN’s cable replacement programme. The project was for the replacement of the Pentland Firth East Submarine Electricity distribution cable from Murkle Bay near Thurso in Caithness, to Rackwick Bay on Hoy, Orkney. 23 Degrees were tasked with providing full CDM & QHSE site setup for all of the nearshore and onshore works from the 10m contour to the cable termination point on land, and provided a range of services from front end shallow water and onshore survey, all equipment and personnel for the pull in operations, through to installation of CPS, close out reports, post installation surveys. Works were undertaken with full Covid-19 mitigation measures in place. A range of equipment was mobilised including 4 x RHIBs, 1 x landing craft, 1 x crew transfer vessel, 2 x tracked winches, 4 x excavators, supported by 23 Degrees personnel and local contractors. 23 Degrees would like to thank our clients, stakeholders, and the support of the local community and sub-contractors in achieving a successful completion to the works.

40

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com



Opposite page: Havila Jupiter and PLP240 on Kincardine Below: Kincardine Floating Offshore Wind Turbine

42

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

ships including C.S. Recorder and C.S. Sovereign, as well as more than 20 CTVs in a range of sizes that often work alongside Global Offshore to complete cable pull-ins and termination and testing at offshore wind farm projects,” Mike added. Having referred to Normand Clipper’s work at Kriegers Flak, which will be Denmark’s largest offshore wind farm, Mike noted how Global Offshore (and fellow Global Marine Group subsidiary CWind) are working together to complete the inter array cable installation, burial, trenching, pull-in and termination and testing works at this 72-turbine project. “Our work on site began with boulder clearance utilizing a brand new, multi-function pre-lay and backfill subsea plough, the PLP240,” he explained. “The plough minimizes the operational risk and time required to install subsea cables by delivering boulder clearance and pretrenching up to 1.7m in a single run.” Delivering the PLP240 required close collaboration with Osbit and Vattenfall,

energy-oil-gas.com

illustrating perfectly how Global Offshore is always seeking to work directly with customers and the industry to address the changing needs of the market as it evolves with new technology and growing demands upon it for worldwide connectivity and power.

Significant scheme The Kriegers Flak project is an exciting addition to Global Offshore’s portfolio, and the business has also recently extended its working relationship with SSE on the Pentland Firth cable replacement project, which called on the Group’s range of services including route survey, data collection and studies conducted by sister company OceanIQ, and cable replacement and trenching works carried out by Global Offshore. “Our team utilized the Normand Clipper and Global Symphony to replace the existing cable with a 37km 33kV cable which follows the existing route from Murkle Bay, near Thurso, to Rackwick Bay on the island of Hoy,” Mike noted. He went on to highlight another significant scheme that it is currently working on, this time for Grupo Cobra, called Kincardine. A floating offshore windfarm in Scotland which when complete will be the largest in the world to date. The first phase of this project completed by Global Offshore back in 2018 involved pre-installation surveys, grapnel work, installation, including the use of a dynamic riser to allow for movement of the platform, and trenching of an 18km export cable from Cove to the floating turbine, located just off the coast of Aberdeen. The team are currently working on phase two at the site where an additional export and five inter array cables will be installed, with work already completed on route clearance by the new PLP240 asset. “This project not only illustrates the growth in floating offshore wind, but how oil and gas techniques were used successfully in this different environment,” Mike added. It is clear that the renewable energy market is going to continue to offer up great opportunities for Global Offshore, not just through wind power, but also as the requirements of its clients in the oil and gas sector change and evolve. “With data showing that around five per cent of offshore wellhead production globally is used to power platforms, producing combustion-related emissions of around 200 million tons of CO2


PROFILE

GLOBAL OFFSHORE

annually, it is not surprising that the sector is seeking more environmentally-friendly methods of generating electricity to power offshore platforms,” stated Mike. “Powering platforms through renewables rather than gas-driven generators, or even connecting them to power supplies directly from shore, is seen as a game changer for the industry. This would require a strong, reliable power supply to floating platforms or turbines. We are uniquely experienced when it comes to providing innovative solutions for this industry challenge, having worked at Statoil Gjøa semi-submersible platform in the North Sea, the first ever floating platform to have power supplied by a direct link from shore. We were responsible for the laying of 99km of static cable and 1.5km of dynamic cable; at the time, the world’s longest power link to an offshore platform. The cable, bringing electricity to the platform from the Mongstad refinery in Norway, has resulted in reduced carbon emissions by an estimated 210,000 – 250,000 tons a year.”

Updating procedures Global Offshore’s client list is clearly impressive and the close working relationships it has formed with these bluechip organizations over the years have paid ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

43


dividends recently, as the company and the industry – and indeed the world – wages a battle against Covid-19. Mike divulged that in April, the Group was involved with an emergency response exercise with Vattenfall, using the Global Symphony, which was on charter to them at the time. “Although we have been doing everything possible to ensure our vessels remain sterile environments – from quarantining before joining, testing, and restricted shore leave – the exercise was designed to test both companies’ responses to a Covid-19 incident onboard a vessel should it arise. With updated procedures, clear plans in place, and well briefed teams, the exercise was a success,” he confirmed.

Maintaining connections Having already instigated a raft of measures both on and offshore designed to keep staff safe, Mike noted that as parts of the world begin to see a second wave of the virus, and restrictions which only recently eased begin to tighten again, the challenge continues. “However, with the increased strain on the world’s power and fiber optic infrastructures, it’s more important than ever that the systems we rely on are well maintained. A large part of this process is ensuring that the web of subsea cables that keep our power on, and our internet connected, remain fully operational – activities at the core of our services,” he added. With exacting protocols in place to protect its staff from the virus, Global Offshore has positioned itself in the best possible place to handle the contracts it has lined up for the

Opposite page: Global Symphony working on Kincardine II Right: DKF - Vattenfall 2020

44

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

next few years. “We can expect to continue growing and evolving as a business, as despite being well established in the industry, we are still fairly new to the Global Marine Group. Being part of the Group means we benefit from continuous investment and a constant focus on innovation, and I expect that we will continue to grow our assets and develop new ways to improve on traditional processes, as we have done recently with the upgrades to Normand Clipper, engineering developments to our two Q1400 trenching ROVs, and the PLP240 prelay plough, to name just a few,” said Mike. “In the near term, we will also be celebrating the commissioning of the world’s first hybrid SES CTV as it joins the CWind fleet. The 23m vessel has been designed by the Group’s engineering team to reach new levels of operational capability, performance and efficiency. With a high crew transfer wave height capability, it presents a significant increase in operational days offshore, whilst the hybrid propulsion system results in significant reductions in fuel consumption and the associated CO2 emissions. There is a great deal of excitement about the vessel joining the industry, and with it, a new generation of CTVs, further working towards a greener future.”

Winning combination Alongside its innovative new products and vessels, if you look inward, the business is also placing high importance on nurturing new talent for the future of the industry – through apprenticeship schemes, its cadet program and inspiring those even younger with STEM


PROFILE

initiatives. It is also committed to working with industry bodies to support and lead growth and innovation, as well as working with local experts in growing markets by forming joint ventures, which give it an opportunity to share the knowledge and experience from the UK and Europe market with those in countries where the renewables market is very much bourgeoning i.e. Taiwan and the US. For Mike, the success of Global Offshore comes down to a winning combination – a unique history in marine engineering, a commitment to innovation, and an unrivalled track record and experience in subsea cable installation, protection and maintenance, plus a team of extremely capable people who share a wealth of knowledge. “As a Group the business has a range of complementary services and skills, taking experience and best practice from working across multiple sectors, that when combined, offers customers a comprehensive, trusted solution,” he concluded. “Our staff represent four brands that constantly achieve excellence through an exemplary commitment to health and safety,

GLOBAL OFFSHORE

and a proactive approach to overcoming engineering challenges to exceed our customers’ expectations. That passion is evident in the entire team, and together, we are committed to engineering a clean and connected future.”

Global Offshore www.globaloffshore.co.uk ......................................... Services: Offshore engineering

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

45


Going for gold Newmont is the world’s leading gold company and a producer of copper, silver, zinc and lead. The Company’s world-class portfolio of assets, prospects and talent is anchored in favorable mining jurisdictions in North America, South America, Australia and Africa. Newmont is

46

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

the only gold producer listed in the S&P 500 Index and is widely recognised for its principled environmental, social and governance practices. The Company is an industry leader in value creation, supported by robust safety standards, superior execution and technical proficiency. Newmont was


PROFILE

NEWMONT AUSTRALIA – TANAMI EXPANSION 2 PROJECT

founded in 1921 and has been publicly traded since 1925. In 2019, following the transformational acquisition of Goldcorp, Newmont became the world’s leading gold company and a producer of copper, silver, zinc and lead. Newmont gained this position through its

own assets, Goldcorp’s world-class mines and the formation of the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture with Barrick, which created the world’s single largest gold producing complex. Energy, Oil & Gas focused its attention on the organization’s Australian operations, and spoke to Vince De Carolis, General Manager ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

47


The company is widely recognized for its principled environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. We have a fundamental belief that strong ESG performance is essential for delivering sustainable, long-term value for all of our stakeholders and is part of the fabric of Newmont

48

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

Tanami for Newmont Australia, to get some more details of what is happening ‘down under’. “Newmont Australia was Australia’s leading gold producer in 2019, producing around 1.431 million attributable ounces of gold and 64 million pounds of copper,” he began, before continuing with some further details of the mining operations. “Newmont Australia’s 100 per cent-owned operating assets include Boddington in Western Australia and Tanami in the Northern Territory,” he explained. “Newmont Australia has operated the Tanami gold mine since acquiring Normandy Mining in 2002. The underground mining infrastructure and operation is located at Dead Bullock Soak (DBS), where presently we are mining the Callie orebody. The processing infrastructure is located 40 kilometers to the east of the mining operations at the “Granites”. Ore is transported by road train from DBS underground to the processing facility. In 2019, Tanami produced 500,000

energy-oil-gas.com

attributable ounces of gold and processed 2.6m tons of ore.” The operation takes place on land owned by the First Nations Warlpiri people, who have formal agreements in place with Newmont to share value and protect their land, heritage and culture.

Significant scale The Tanami mine has recently been the focus of a significant investment by Newmont – as Vince highlighted, this project received full funding in October 2019 and is already under execution. “The Tanami Expansion 2 Project (TE2) is an enlargement of Newmont’s Tanami gold project, 530km NE of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory,” he went on. “The main scope of the project involves the construction of a Headframe and a 5.5m diameter, concrete lined, vertical hoisting shaft to a depth of 1460m below surface. The shaft will be used for the transportation of ore and personnel and will accommodate support services and cooled ventilation air to support the further development of the mine at depth. The project includes additional scope for the existing Mill facilities at Granites, where we will do some brownfields work to increase processing capacity.” The vertical shaft that Vince referred to is a key part of the TE2 project, as creating this access, rather than using the existing decline from surface, will allow Newmont Australia to mine deeper, and extend the resource and mine life. “The ore will be brought up vertically via skips rather than trucking the ore out which is the current process,” he added. “Importantly, additional scope, such as ventilation in the mine and expanding the processing capacity of the mill, will improve working arrangements and secure Tanami’s place as the key processing facility in the region. The expansion of the mill means we can put through more ore and produce more than 150,000 extra ounces of gold per year.” What makes this project even more impressive is that it is underway in one of Australia’s most remote locations. Tanami is 270km from its closest neighbors, the remote Aboriginal community of Yuendumu, and is described as a ‘Fly-in, Fly-out (FIFO) operation’. Vince noted how Newmont was handling this particular aspect. “The building of an accommodation camp at the Callie mine will greatly assist in managing fatigue for our underground workforce, saving them 80 minutes of travel time a day back to the


PROFILE

NEWMONT AUSTRALIA – TANAMI EXPANSION 2 PROJECT

existing accommodation camp,” he said. “As the country’s largest underground gold mine, Tanami is an exceptional ore body and this next phase of investment has the potential to extend the mine life beyond 2040 and provide a platform for us to further explore a prolific mineral endowment in the Tanami district.” Given the significant scale of TE2, proceeding under normal conditions would make this project a complex logistical and engineering challenge, but factoring in Covid19 has raised the stakes even higher. Vince confirmed that the project is going well with all critical activities having progressed despite the pandemic. “Development slowed a little in Q2 due to the pandemic, with

travel restrictions due to regulations related to Covid the main issue, but we are working closely with our principal contractor Worley to mitigate any impacts that Covid has presented,” he stated.

Robust protocols Overall, Newmont’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic has been remarkable, with quick action and tough strategies in place. “Newmont Tanami was a stand-out in being one of the first mines in the Northern Territory to have a Covid Management Plan approved by Government,” stated Vince. “The health and wellbeing of our employees, their families and the communities in which we operate comes above all else. Every action

VALMEC

Valmec is a specialist multi-discipline contractor, providing in-house and niche end-to-end solutions covering design, construction and maintenance to the energy, resources and infrastructure sectors. Valmec has been working with Newmont Australia on their Tanami Expansion 2 (TE 2) Project for the last two years, delivering works on new haul road and accommodation camp infrastructure, bulk earthworks, borefield pipeline installation, and surface excavation of box-cut and concrete works for the sub-brace and service ducts of a production shaft. Valmec’s presence in Tanami continues to grow by delivering value through quality project solutions and superior services. It is proud to be able to work with Newmont and their local content partners to deliver the TE 2 Project safely.

...with exciting plans for new developments, upgrades and refinery expansions on the agenda, the business can be viewed as a leading light for not just Pakistan but for the wider energy industry

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

49


50

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com


PROFILE

NEWMONT AUSTRALIA – TANAMI EXPANSION 2 PROJECT

we took to manage the pandemic was based on that premise. We implemented robust protocols early on at each of our sites to protect the health and wellbeing of our workforce and in turn, the communities around our operations. To better support our communities and workforce, earlier this year we also established a $20 million global Community Support Fund, and we have been able to extend that to local community needs in the Northern Territory.”

Sustainable value While 2020 is proving to be one of immense global challenges, 2019 was actually a key 12 months for Newmont’s portfolio in Australia, as it works to build a sustainable and long-term future. As Vince noted, the full funding for the Tanami Expansion 2 project was granted that year, and he gave some examples of what other activities the business has undertaken, which included another important development at Tanami. “We completed the Tanami Power Project, which will deliver a more secure fuel supply and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. This USD 200m+ project included the installation of two power stations, a 66kV interconnected power line, and a 275 mile (450km) natural gas pipeline. The pipeline was built and will be maintained by Australian Gas Infrastructure Group, while the power stations were constructed and will be operated by Zenith Energy. The project is expected to generate net cash savings of $34 per ounce from 2019 to 2023, delivering an Internal Rate of Return of greater than 50 per cent. In addition to lowering costs and carbon emissions, the completed Tanami Power Project will pave the way to further extend the life of the operation. Completion of the project also coincided with Tanami pouring its 10 millionth ounce of gold on the back of record production of 500,000 ounces last year. But Tanami isn’t the only site of improvement in Australia. “At Boddington [a large gold and copper mine located 120 km from Western Australia’s capital city, Perth] we continued our proud tradition of innovation by being the first open pit gold mine to invest in Autonomous Haulage Systems (AHS), fully funding a project in February 2020 that will see Newmont Boddington adopting a technology that will be a world first in open pit gold mining. The total net investment in Boddington’s AHS will be $150m, with efficiencies expected

to extend the mine’s life. The company also sees additional upside potential from the replication of the AHS at other Newmont operations. Boddington’s autonomous Caterpillar haul trucks will feature rigorous safety controls that reduce employee exposure to potential vehicle interactions. Newmont is also executing a robust people strategy at Boddington, providing opportunities for reskilling and redeployment of haul truck drivers to other roles supporting the AHS. With safety and staff both being highlighted as significant priorities in the AHS implementation, it is not surprising to learn that a strong strategy lies behind Newmont’s approach to corporate and social responsibility. “The company is widely recognized for its principled environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices,” Vince confirmed. “We have a fundamental belief that strong ESG performance is essential for delivering sustainable, long-term value for all of our stakeholders and is part of the fabric of Newmont. We have learned lessons about the need to engage communities early in order to build robust, long-term relationships. These lessons are reflected in our mature operating model, underpinned by robust governance practices, which leverages our collective expertise and applies best practices to social and technical issues. “Today we have an Independent Board that holds management accountable for ESG performance, with ESG sitting on the Executive team since 2006, transparent reporting since 2003, and a disciplined country risk program that ensures we assess our jurisdictions and risk tolerance. We are very clear around the jurisdictions we are prepared to operate in and we have a robust succession planning process to continually develop the next generation of leaders across our business.” Having been given a glimpse into the world of Newmont Australia and the wider Newmont Group it is clear that the company has continuous ambitions to develop and grow over the coming years. Having been crowned the top mining company on FORTUNE’s 2020 list of the World’s Most Admired Companies, as well as other multiple acknowledgments over the years, Newmont’s efforts to create sustainable value and opportunity have been recognized, and the company looks set to continue this success well into the future.

...with exciting plans for new developments, upgrades and refinery expansions on the agenda, the business can be viewed as a leading light for not just Pakistan but for the wider energy industry

Newmont Australia – Tanami Expansion 2 Project www.newmont.com ............................................ Services: Mining

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

51


A company with a long and storied heritage in tidal power generation, SIMEC Atlantis Energy has, over the years, established a reputation as a leading developer of sustainable energy projects

52

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

across the globe. With more than 1000 megawatts of power projects currently in various stages of development - including MeyGen, the world’s largest flagship freestream tidal power scheme - Atlantis is now


PROFILE

SIMEC ATLANTIS ENERGY LIMITED

Uncharted waters

looking to harness the potential of waste-toenergy, through the exciting conversion of Uskmouth Power Station. Built in 1959, Uskmouth Power Station was designed as a 3-unit coal-fired power

I have worked in many different energy companies, including thermal, renewable and customer networks, and the more we can share the learnings from these, the better our projects and technologies can become. We have already learnt a huge amount from offshore wind, and as more turbines go into the water, that shared knowledge increases and helps to bring down costs, makes technologies more efficient and more reliable, and that is good for our projects and good for others’ projects as well

generation plant with a gross capacity of 393 megawatts. Atlantis acquired the site in 2017 as part of a diversification effort, and after discarding an early plan to transform the plant into a biomass station, the company ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

53


turned to its roots as a marine-based tidal operation in an attempt to find a solution. “At Atlantis, we have a real understanding of the challenge the marine world is facing with the impact of cheap plastic waste,” explains Sean Parsons, the company’s Director of External Affairs. “One of the things we looked at, and are now developing with European-based company N+P, is a fuel that takes end of life plastic waste, blends it with biogenic material and creates fuel pellets. Those fuel pellets can then be used to produce electricity. “You get the benefit of stopping landfill waste or incineration because this is plastic you can’t recycle, and they are removing that from landfill and using it to produce electricity. Additionally, because it is blended with biogenic materials, you are reducing your carbon contents as well. From our side, it is about half the carbon emissions, so it was a great opportunity for us. However, it has never been done before on a large scale. They have done it on test sites, but it has not been used for a full conversion. That,” Sean says, “is where Uskmouth Power Station comes in.”

Benefits and opportunities Since settling on the waste-to-energy conversion project for the plant, the team at Atlantis has spent three years taking Uskmouth Power Station through all the necessary planning, testing, and permit application processes. Despite the challenges of Covid-19,

54

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com


PROFILE

Atlantis has also been working with Mitsubishi Hitachi on the remote testing of fuel pellets in Japan and has received positive feedback regarding their energy output. Working closely with Uskmouth residents, local authorities and governing bodies, Atlantis has helped to explain and establish the benefits and opportunities that the conversion of the power plant will offer. Further from home, the firm has recently announced an agreement with South Korea’s Hana Financial Group for the funding of Phase One of the project. “It is brilliant to have such a big name on board and to have that milestone reached,” Sean declares. “It highlights the global interest in this project – and that is where things get really exciting. If you get one project in South Wales converted, the opportunity suddenly arises in Asia too. Global markets are looking at Uskmouth and saying wow, this could actually benefit us too, both in terms of decarbonization and waste. “With thermal generation, you get more dispatchable and base loaded power because

SIMEC ATLANTIS ENERGY LIMITED

you don’t have the intermittency,” Sean continues. “One of the challenges that a lot of countries face as they decarbonize is around what a technology can actually deliver. Wind and solar are brilliant technologies, but they have their challenges. What we are doing at Uskmouth will better enable a transition worldwide.”

Tidal potential Atlantis’ partnership with Hana is a key landmark for the company’s Uskmouth project, but it doesn’t mean that the firm will be abandoning the tidal side of its business. Committed to providing an energy mix that will ease the decarbonization process, Atlantis believes that tidal energy can offer a predictability and optimization of output that more intermittent technologies like wind and solar power cannot guarantee. Now, in 2020, the company is ready to engage in Phase Two of its flagship MeyGen tidal project, which will increase output from six megawatts to 86 megawatts. Though the scheme is the largest in the world, Sean claims that, as the scale of

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

55


the project rises, the cost continues to fall. “We are always looking to reduce cost and one way we are doing this is by partnering with data centers,” he reports. “We have seen a huge rise in demand for data storage and data centers and that is only increasing with Covid-19 and the need for more data connectivity. The challenge for these data centers is that they are power-hungry beasts, with a real dependency on continuous base load power. We think tidal has a huge role to play in that area moving forward and the data center partnerships provide us with the kind of level offtaking that can bring our costs down dramatically. “Along with the cost reduction and the war on plastics and carbon, we have recently brought the Green Highlands Renewables Team on board. They are a really well-regarded hydro development team that is contracted to look after, operate, develop and maintain projects across Scotland and the UK. It means that we now have a top team of hydro engineers at a time when Atlantis is on the cusp of delivering some truly pioneering projects.” As Sean suggests, Atlantis’ key objective now is the successful and timely delivery of both the MeyGen and Uskmouth projects. By the end of 2020, the firm expects to have

56

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

received planning and permit decisions, meaning that construction for the conversion process could begin as early as 2021. For MeyGen, the next step is to find routes for the uptake of energy produced, whether it be with data centers or through discussions with the government about the future of the marine energy sector. “It’s all about finding a way for the energy market to allow these projects to be delivered and create the substantial jobs, investment and supply chain that we know they can,” Sean states. “When you look at money flow for these schemes, it is phenomenal. In offshore wind, for every pound, you are looking at around 35 pence. Whereas for tidal energy, for every pound, you are looking at 80 pence. That is 80 per cent local spend in the UK, in some really key areas. It’s an amazing stat and explains why we have such strong support on a local level.”

Transformative power Talking to Sean, the excitement he exudes for Atlantis’ work is palpable. This is, of course, understandable for someone so close to the action, but more importantly, it is an indication to the wider world of the sheer potential and transformative power that the


PROFILE

company’s new projects possess. According to Sean, the world won’t have to wait very long. “By 2023, we should have Uskmouth coming online and MeyGen in Phase Two,” he predicts. “In around four or five years’ time, I want to see Uskmouth Power Station delivering power to the grid, reducing landfill and addressing our waste issues. To have both those projects operating at full scale in 2025 would be phenomenal. Once that happens, we will very much be gearing towards taking these technologies global. That’s where they should be. We want Atlantis to be delivering these amazing projects around the world.”

Energy pioneers Like any trailblazer performing the first groundbreaking work of its kind, Atlantis operates in rarified air. With no direct competitors to speak of - Atlantis currently produces 50 per cent of the entire world’s tidal energy - and with so much room for opportunity in the market, there is a sense of unity between Atlantis and its fellow energy pioneers as they share knowledge and work individually, but collectively, towards finding better, cleaner, more efficient and more sustainable ways to power our lives. “I have worked in many different energy companies, including thermal, renewable and customer networks, and the more we can share the learnings from these, the better our projects and technologies can become,” Sean insists. “We have already learnt a huge amount from offshore wind, and as more turbines go into the water, that shared knowledge increases and helps to bring down costs, makes technologies more efficient and more reliable, and that is good for our projects and good for others’ projects as well. “In the years ahead, I believe that the UK is well placed to be a leader in renewables because of its shared experience and legacy in energy generation,” Sean contends in closing. “One of the problems with the tidal and marine sector is that it has always been seen as a technology of tomorrow, but Atlantis is about being in the technology of tomorrow, today.

SIMEC ATLANTIS ENERGY LIMITED

It’s not just about converting Uskmouth, it’s about taking that and replicating it in all coalfired power stations. MeyGen is not just about delivering a six-megawatt tidal project, it is about delivering a one-gigawatt scheme. This is what Atlantis is all about.”

SIMEC Atlantis Energy Limited www.simecatlantis.com ......................................... Services: Sustainable energy project development

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

57


Bore more, burn less Based in Ontario, Canada, GeoSource Energy is a design-build firm helping its clients to ‘bore more’ and ‘burn less’. Established in 2004, the company harnesses the power of sustainable geothermal energy, sourcing it and offering it to customers as an alternative to conventional natural gas. “In 2004, there was a downturn in the natural gas sector and I realized we needed an alternative heating source. Geothermal heat pumps were a very clear winner,” explains CEO Stanley Reitsma. “What followed was the creation of GeoSource, a company in the business of geoexchange, which involves using renewable energy stored just below the earth’s surface to help provide hot water for homes, or to heat and cool a building.

58

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

By boring into the earth and installing heat exchangers, we can extract or reject heat to or from the near subsurface, and therefore provide a low-emission heating and cooling solution. “As illustrated in our logo, our model is about accessing energy from the ground,” Stanley adds. “All, or most, of the energy we need is right beneath our feet and if we can just plug into that, we won’t need natural gas or other less environmentally friendly methods to heat our buildings. “As a company, our core business involves drilling and putting in the geoexchangers to depths of 850 feet. Our niche is underbuilding construction, where we drill prior to a building going up. We also do all the piping that brings energy from the


PROFILE

GEOSOURCE ENERGY INC

Overall, we still expect substantial growth over the next period. We have been drilling 500 or 600 bore holes a year, which equates to around 1000 to 1200 condominium units a year at 1000 square foot each unit. We are now ready to start working in the range of 2000 units a year and we anticipate that we will get to 4000 or 5000 units over the next three years or so. This is the kind of growth trajectory that a partnership between GeoSource and our new utility partner could achieve

borehole to the mechanical room, where we pressure test the system before turning it over to a mechanical contractor.” A family-run business, GeoSource is owned and operated by the three Reitsma brothers – one a former mining exploration helicopter pilot, one the previous owner of a heavy landscaping, retaining wall company, and Stanley, an ex-university professor with a PhD in Civil Engineering. The siblings’ varying backgrounds and complementary skillsets have helped the firm grow from a small drilling operation to an organization with a reputation for excellence from Windsor to Ottawa. Having started with a single rebuilt old rig, GeoSource has transformed its drilling capabilities over the years through the regular

introduction of new, technologically advanced machinery. In 2009, the company purchased its first rotary rig from Novamac in Quebec, a piece of equipment that lent GeoSource a huge competitive advantage, and as a result, the firm added a second rotary rig a year later.

Rig fleet expansion Despite global economic downturns in 2008 and 2012, as well as the challenges of 2020’s Covid-19 pandemic, GeoSource continues to grow. Today, the company operates seven rigs, with an eighth on its way very shortly. “The next step in the rig development process was the facilitation of angled boreholes including rod handling,” Stanley reports. “We’ve got three of them right now and a fourth one is being delivered soon. A ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

59


big selling point is that these latest rigs allow mast oscillation, so the mast rotates side to side as well as in line with the machine, which means you can drill in multiple orientations from one rig position. This equipment enables us to drill projects on very, very tight sites in terms of surface area availability. We are now targeting the retrofit market of office buildings and condominium towers too and so we need to be able to drill our geothermal boreholes underneath buildings, from the side. We’ve done a few of those, and this is our go-to machine now for that kind of work. “Going forward, we are trying to standardize everything as we get to a point where we can scale up. We want all operators to be able to move between the different machines as we add new purpose-built equipment that is better than the last, in our push for more reliability and better serviceability.” GeoSource’s significant drilling capabilities have established the foundation upon

60

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

which the business has grown into a full turnkey geothermal design-build operation for institutions like hospitals, universities, colleges, schools, municipal buildings, and airport terminals, as well as multi-residential private sector developments, such as condo towers and assisted living facilities. Among the firm’s recent projects is the installation of geothermal solutions at a zero-carbon hospital building in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland.

Strong relationships “At Cornerbrook, we are drilling 375 boreholes to 600 feet,” Stanley reveals. “It is the kind of project where you need multiple rigs for a period of time, while maintaining the rest of your business and keeping your other clients happy. We have a lot of capacity at GeoSource, which means we can take on large projects like this that a lot of our competitors are unable to do. There is probably only one other drilling contractor in Canada with our capacity and they are in Alberta, so it really sets us apart. “Closer to home, we have just been awarded a very large project for the University of Toronto. It involves drilling 375 holes at around 810 feet. This will be the largest single geothermal field in Ontario, once complete, and it will feed one of campuses in the future with heat pump technology, as opposed to boilers and cooling towers. “On the private side of things, which is probably the bigger side of our operation, we regularly work with around eight to ten developers and recently, many of them are choosing geosystems for their large buildings over conventional energy because of environmental construction codes like the City of Toronto’s Green Standard,” Stanley states. “Currently, geothermal energy makes up around five per cent of the market space for condominiums, but that looks like it is going to increase to around 20 or 30 per cent. The market is growing quickly, and so the volume of work for us is really picking up.” As a smaller, established company competing against large, cash-rich contractors entering the geospace, GeoSource has always focused on fostering strong relationships with its clients, built upon the quality, reliability, and longevity of its work. Constantly looking for ways to improve, in 2018, the company added a dedicated engineering department to help with design elements, such as the sizing of bore fields and the optimization of mechanical systems. Having outgrown


PROFILE

its original Caledonia site, GeoSource is also in the early stages of planning for the construction of a brand-new and improved facility, complete with a shop, warehouse, offices, and space for the potential introduction of a strategic partner in the future. “We have always made a huge effort not to sacrifice quality in the search for more profitability,” Stanley declares. “We look at GeoSource as a long-term business, not a company driven by quarterly earnings or something like that. It’s an approach that has moved the business forward and we remain dedicated to producing systems that operate as designed, resulting in happy clients. It means that today, most of our work is repeat business and we continue to have the opportunity to work with contractors like PCL and EllisDon, which are some of the largest in Canada.” With no sign of GeoSource’s growth slowing down in the near future, the company is now preparing to announce a new utility partner that will act as a long-term owner and operator of the firm’s geothermal assets. The initiative aims to lower capital expenditure for developers and increase the flexibility of GeoSource’s offering. As a result, in the next few years, Stanley expects to see GeoSource encounter new opportunities that will lead to even greater expansion. “Working with a patient-capital-type utility is going to lower risk and allow a lot more projects to go forward and reach the hurdlerate expectations, so that is a big factor behind this new utility partner decision,” Stanley says. “Overall, we still expect substantial growth over the next period. We

GEOSOURCE ENERGY INC

have been drilling 500 or 600 bore holes a year, which equates to around 1000 to 1200 condominium units a year at 1000 square foot each unit. We are now ready to start working in the range of 2000 units a year and we anticipate that we will get to 4000 or 5000 units over the next three years or so. This is the kind of growth trajectory that a partnership between GeoSource and our new utility partner could achieve.”

...with exciting plans for new developments, upgrades and refinery GeoSource Energy expansions on Inc www.geosourceenergy.com the agenda, the ............................................ Services: Turnkey business cangeothermal design-build, own, be viewed asoperate a services leading light for not just Pakistan but for the wider energy industry

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

61


Energy for more

Back in 2014, activity in the Marcellus/Utica Shale Basin was booming, however, the market was almost exclusively occupied by small local businesses and large corporations, which for the most were not local. Experienced services executive Bill Johnson recognized this, and could see the potential rewards for someone who could establish a midsize, regional business, capable of supporting production and midstream activities in the area. Through a partnership

62

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

with Virginia-based private equity firm Turning Basin Capital, Bill set out to turn this vision into a reality. It was in this way that, after a series of acquisitions and mergers, ShalePro Energy Services came to be. Six years later, in 2020, ShalePro is one of America’s fastest growing private companies. The firm has over 300 employees and has already been named on the Inc. 5000 list four times. Ultimately, Bill, ShalePro’s CEO, suggests that the business has become what it


PROFILE

SHALEPRO ENERGY SERVICES

If we can get one third production, one third midstream, and one third renewable natural gas clients, that would be beautiful

set out to be – a very sizeable regional player in the Marcellus/Utica region. “A lot of the success we have achieved goes back to our original thesis,” Bill explains. “The smaller businesses in this market just don’t have the scale and talent pool we have, or they don’t have the resources to invest in the talent pool we have. We’ve really taken the model of those smaller businesses to the next level by bringing in professional expertise in almost every facet of the business

- not only the technical and operational areas, but also the back office and support staff too - which has allowed us to grow, and we have the capital to invest and support that growth. “When it comes to what sets our work apart though, it is all about the quality of the services we provide every day to our clients,” he adds. “Again, it goes back to the people we have been able to hire, attract, and retain in the business. We have been willing to make the kind of investment necessary to go and ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

63


get those people and it has really paid off.” Predominantly, ShalePro is split between Operations and Maintenance work, and a Construction and Projects side of the business. With regards to the former, the company performs a wide variety of operations and maintenance services for both production and midstream clients, including well tending, compressor operations, pipeline maintenance and pigging services. The latter, ShalePro’s Construction and Projects arm, covers well hook-up work, mechanical construction, welding in a 33,000-square foot fabrication shop, as well as a selection of above ground piping, valve configuration, compression and midstream gas processing facility infrastructure work.

Four key areas Referring to a project the company took on earlier this year, Bill describes how the full breadth of ShalePro’s services looks in action. “The work in question was for an exploration and production company in the process of buying new assets in the Marcellus dry gas area, up in northeastern Pennsylvania,” Bill says. “We actually made a strategic investment with them as part of the purchase of those assets, and in exchange for that strategic investment, we have become their services provider, which means that we are not only providing midstream and production related services, but we are also operating and maintaining all the assets over a longterm contract period. If we didn’t have such a broad range of services to offer, we really could not have pulled that deal together, but thanks to the way we are set up, we can step in and take care of all their operations.” In addition to its core offerings, ShalePro

64

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

possesses an Instrumentation and Electrical Services division, and most recently, the firm launched a renewables group to serve natural gas power projects, biogas, and landfill gas clients. Introduced in the latter half of 2020, the new Services division is comprised of four key areas: The first area focuses on traditional, natural-gas-fired powerplants. Due to the proliferation of such sites across the Marcellus/Utica Shale Basin, and how clean natural gas is compared to coal, ShalePro aims to provide the fuel gas infrastructure work necessary for the running of these plants. “We wouldn’t be building the powerplants,” Bill states, “but we would be transporting the gas and taking care of the natural gas infrastructure. That is one component of the new division.” The second component is in the area of landfill gas, a fuel generated and captured as waste products in a landfill breakdown. ShalePro plans to provide the natural gas infrastructure to process landfill gas, filter it, compress it, and then find a way to transport it to a point of sale, either via midstream pipeline or by road. “The third area we’re looking at,” Bill continues, “would be in biogas. Biogas tends to be animal waste, but it can be captured from food waste too, and our job would be the same as with landfill: collecting the gas, filtering it, getting it to pipeline quality, compressing it, and figuring out how to get that gas to market.” The fourth and final component in the new Power Generation Services arm is what Bill calls ‘behind the meter’ – electrical generation using natural gas. Targeted at big industrial customers in regions with easy access to large amounts of natural gas, ShalePro aims to provide such sites with their own natural gas powerplant, allowing facilities to use natural gas as a power source, and thus negating the need to buy electricity from a utility company. “A lot of our clients in the renewables area tend to be developers, so they don’t often know a lot about gas infrastructure like our traditional clients do,” Bill remarks. “These customers rely on a company like us because they don’t have that vital in-house expertise. “For us, the transition to renewables has been easy. In all four of the areas we’ve discussed, we draw on our experience with traditional exploration and production and midstream companies, and apply it, on a smaller scale, to these niche markets.”


PROFILE

The Power Generation Services division is now operational and its launch is an example of how ShalePro has adapted its focus in 2020, a year which has seen a downturn in the oil and gas market, as well as all the trials and tribulations of the Covid-19 pandemic. Though low commodity prices may have stifled production this year, ShalePro has remained flexible throughout, concentrating instead on investing in and expanding its service offering in preparation for the recovery of the market in 2021 and beyond. Alongside the renewables service, next year’s customers will also be able to take advantage of ShalePro’s new helical pile installation services. “HelicalPro, as we call it, is another division we have added this year,” Bill reports. “A lot of our projects in the natural gas sector are now using helical piles as foundations instead of their traditional dug concrete counterparts. If, for example, you are setting a compressor in winter time when it is very difficult to deal with concrete curing and pouring in the cold, you can now go and drive these helical piles into the ground in any weather conditions and use that as your base foundation. The same goes for piping racks, supports, and basically any above ground structural foundation that is needed at these gas processing or well sites. For many of them, helical piles are a top candidate; they go in faster and they can even be unscrewed out of the ground, so they are a good option for non-permanent foundations as well.”

Further evolution After a year spent laying groundwork for the company’s future, Bill is now hoping that ShalePro will be able to gain a more even balance between its midstream clients, upstream production work, and renewables division. “If we can get one third production, one third midstream, and one third renewable natural gas clients, that would be beautiful,” he declares. “It won’t happen next year because the renewables will take some time to catch up, but if we can get there the year after that, I would be very happy with the balance.” As Bill alludes to, further evolution is on the way for ShalePro, a company that has remained successful in even the slowest parts of 2020 thanks to its extensive and diverse service range. When drilling activity was postponed and production delayed, the firm continued with its day-to-day operations

SHALEPRO ENERGY SERVICES

and maintenance-based work, whilst its competitors with a narrower focus were hobbled by the downturn. Having weathered the storm of 2020, and positioned itself to capitalize on the market’s resurgence, it is hard to imagine anything the business world could throw at ShalePro in the next five years that the company couldn’t handle.

ShalePro Energy Services www.shalepro.com ............................................ Services: Natural gas focused production and midstream services

...with exciting plans for new developments, upgrades and refinery expansions on the agenda, the business can be viewed as a leading light for not just Pakistan but for the wider energy industry

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

65


Photo: Scanbio

Climate-conscious craftwork

At 130km long, the Trondheimsfjord is Norway’s third-longest fjord. An important waterway since the Viking age, the fjord’s icy blue waters are surrounded by rare wildlife, rolling green hills, and small settlements humming with activity. On the inlet’s eastern shore sits the village of Skogn, which in 2018 became home to the world’s largest liquid biogas fuel (LBG) facility.

66

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

With an optimum run-rate output of 250 gigawatt hours per annum, and capable of producing up to 25 million normal cubic meters of fuel a year, the Skogn plant is one of the most advanced in existence. Primarily involved in the transformation of raw materials, such as fish waste and industry by-products, into fuel for buses, heavy transport, vans, ferries, and rail transport, the Skogn facility is proudly


PROFILE

BIOKRAFT AS

s

LBG fuel is a renewable fuel, but it also helps to retract CO2 from our atmosphere. As such, I have no doubt that biogas is one of the most important climate risk mitigation strategies of our time

operated by Biokraft – one of the world’s leading producers of LBG. Håvard Wollan, Biokraft’s CEO, explains how the pioneering production facility came to be: “With the Skogn LBG plant, Biokraft took a first mover position, betting on the advancement of the LNG/LBG fuel market in Europe,” he says. “In retrospect, the LBG fuel market for heavy road transportation has developed more rapidly

than we originally thought and we are seeing very promising development in the shipping segment as well. “All LBG produced at Skogn is from waste, and we also produce renewable industry chemicals and renewable bio fertilizer. The farmers in Mid-Norway are, so far, very pleased with our product, citing that Biokraft’s bio fertilizer is both good agronomy and good ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

67


PROFILE

BIOKRAFT AS

Photo C.Hatrem

Photo: Kenneth Kvande

Left: From the announcement at Skogn July 1st 2020, from Left to Right: Nils Kristian Nakstad, Enova, Håvard Wollan, and Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment Sveinung Rotevatn.

economy for them. Additionally, it helps to reduce the carbon footprint of food production, which is gaining more importance in the Norwegian agricultural sector every year.” Founded in 2009 by a consortium of experienced entrepreneurs, Biokraft was established with the ambition to build a new, modern, industrial venture producing biofuels. The company’s first factory was built in 2011 at Selva in Mid-Norway and was designed to produce bio-oil. After selling the Selva facility in 2013, Biokraft has since focused on LBG production. The construction of the plant at Skogn marked a major milestone in this journey and since its commission, the facility’s output has not disappointed. “The first LBG produced at the Skogn factory arrived in September 2018,” Håvard reports. “Since then, throughout 2019 and 2020, Biokraft has delivered positive EBITDA every month. Driven by what the Skogn facility is offering us, we ended the first quarter of 2020 with a record high EBITDA and profit before tax.” As one might expect, a project as complex and sizable as construction of the world’s largest

68

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

During the most recent years, we have seen new and substantial interest from biogas-focused private equity firms and institutional investors. My own belief is that the green transition will only take place when the financial sector comes fully on board biogas plant required support from a strong network of vendors, contractors, and partners. Fortunately for Biokraft, the firm could rely on its strong relationship with Wärtsilä, a smart technologies and lifecycle solutions company renowned for its work in energy markets. “Wärtsilä delivered the processes for both upgrading and liquefying the biogas at our Skogn factory,” Håvard reveals. “If these processes do not work properly, we will not have any LBG to sell and deliver to our customers, so it’s been great to work with a company we know we can rely on.” Thanks to the support of companies like Wärtsilä, and the subsequent success of the Skogn facility, Biokraft has been able to secure contracts with companies like Hurtigruten. The business partnered with the Norweigan cruise line in 2019 as part of a record-breaking multi-year deal in which Biokraft agreed to supply the firm with climate-neutral LBG to power its ships. The fuel will be created using organic waste. “For Hurtigruten, it means they can provide state-of-the-art cruise operations with a


Photo: Kenneth Kvande

significantly lower carbon footprint. For Biokraft and the whole industry, this deal and market move shows that LNG/LBG is a low-carbon footprint solution that delivers,” Håvard asserts. “As a whole, the sector is searching for the best way to make the transition to greener shipping. We believe LNG/LBG is the way to go, and that it will remain the way to go for many, many years. “We are still a relatively small company, but in spite of our size, I would say that we probably invest as much time and money in research and development as anybody else,” he adds. “Making money from ongoing operations has the highest priority, but we are always investing in strengthening our long-term competitive advantage through focused innovation. One of the explorative projects we are currently involved in is looking at how to improve the business from our own residual flows, after LBG production, as well as how to produce LBG in new and novel ways with both respect to unusual feedstocks and unique production processes.” As a business so committed to progress and creating a better tomorrow, Biokraft is pleased to work with a product in LBG that is inherently positive for the environment. In 2018, the company received Levanger SV’s Environmental Award and more recently, Biokraft’s sustainability efforts were supported by comments from the Zero Emission Resource Organization, which stated that biogas is a ‘doubly climate neutral’ substance. “When you add up the greenhouse gas emission reductions from producing biogas from waste, applying LBG as fuel, and replacing conventional fertilizer with bio fertilizer, you get more than 100 per cent,” Håvard states. “LBG fuel is a renewable fuel, but it also helps to retract CO2 from our atmosphere. As such, I have no doubt that biogas is one of the most important climate risk mitigation strategies of our time. “At Biokraft, we believe that sustainability will be an increasingly important competitive advantage in the Norwegian industry. We want to be a service partner that significantly contributes to the sustainability of our clients, be it by utilizing waste and by-products in an optimal way, by providing renewable climate-friendly fertilizers in agriculture, or by replacing fossil fuels in transport. We have ambitions to utilize Norwegian raw materials and work towards using both forest waste and marine energy crops for

biogas fuel. Pilot trials over the years have tested the biological process and our process plant is manned by experienced players with vital oil and gas sector knowledge, which will, no doubt, prove highly beneficial going forwards.”

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com

69


PROFILE

BIOKRAFT AS

Photo: Thor Nielsen

Biokraft CEO Håvard Wollan

Biokraft AS www.biokraft.no ......................................... Products: Liquid biogas fuels

Though the Covid-19 pandemic may have caused a downturn across many areas of the oil and gas industry, Biokraft is determined to build upon its successes, and as such, the firm is already preparing for the commencement of its next major infrastructure development – Skogn II.

“Our existing plant’s new sister site - Skogn II - will be a large-scale industrial LBG factory,” Håvard comments. “We are currently readying ourselves for construction to begin and are pleased to announce that we will be supported by Andion throughout. An industry leader in biogas production and wastewater treatment, Andion will be one of the key contractors in the Skogn II construction project. We have been impressed with the leadership and competence of the group and have the highest expectations going forward. It is a partnership with a lot of promise.” Supported by an experienced team within the organization, Håvard is proud of the way Biokraft has negotiated both the construction and operational phases of the company’s growth, but the CEO does not plan on slowing down any time soon. By no means willing to rest on his laurels, Håvard is keen to drive the company forward, spurred on by a mission to prove that Biokraft is one of the leading companies in the international biogas industry. “It has been a privilege to experience the rapid development of this industry over the last decade,” he declares. “During the most recent years, we have seen new and substantial interest from biogas-focused private equity firms and institutional investors. My own belief is that the green transition will only take place when the financial sector comes fully on board. What we are seeing now, including the strong interest in high-ESG-scoring companies in the stock markets, is very promising. We believe that rapidly increasing demand in LBG fuels for heavy road transport and green shipping will continue to drive our growth.”

KEMIRA Kemira have been working in close collaboration with Biokraft since the beginning and together we have tailored a customized solution for Biokraft’s process and biomass in order to increase biogas yield, gas quality and cost-efficiency of waste disposal. By adding Kemira BDP, Biokraft is able to optimize the biogas production by removing hydrogen sulfide formed in the digester, and significantly reduce the accumulation of volatile fatty acids. In turn we achieve a higher biogas yield, increased digester capacity, stabilized operating conditions, cleaner biogas and lower maintenance cost due to reduced corrosion. With Kemira polymers we optimize the sludge dewatering for a high-performing and cost-efficient waste disposal. Kemira defoamers manage unwanted and excessive foaming throughout the process, whilst the Kemira KemConnectTM VMI smart inventory management allows for transparency in inventory volumes and ensures optimized and secure supply for the ease of the customer. We are proud to apply our 100 years of chemistry experience together with Biokraft for a sustainable future.

70

ENERGY,OIL&GAS

energy-oil-gas.com


Smart chemical treatment With 100 years of chemical application expertise, we help municipalities and water intensive industries optimize every stage of the water cycle. We are the only manufacturer to offer a full product portfolio of coagulants,polyacrylamide polymers, process chemicals,and other water treatment chemicals, along with our smart digital technologies. > Wastewater > Industrial raw and process water > Drinking water > Sludge > Biogas > KemConnectTM smart solutions > Oil & gas

WWW.KEMIRA.COM