CNOOC Looking To Power Buzzard Field Using Floating Wind Farm
CNOOC and Flotation Energy are working on a project to power the Buzzard oil and gas field using electricity from a floating offshore wind farm, enabling the reduction of carbon emissions in line with the UK’s net-zero goals.
A subsidiary of China’s oil and gas giant CNOOC Limited, CNOOC Petroleum Europe, is the operator of the Buzzard field in the North Sea – one of the largest oil and gas developments on the UKCS.
The company decided to form a new company Green Volt Offshore Windfarm with Flotation Energy as its partner.
Green Volt will be developing a floating offshore wind farm with up to 30 turbines to facilitate the decarbonization of the oil and gas industry through the complete electrification of the Buzzard oil and gas field with the support of a fully connected UK grid connection back to the New Deer substation in Aberdeenshire.
With a capacity of up to 480 MW, the Green Volt wind farm is supposed to be operational by 2026. It is projected to mitigate 500,000 tonnes of CO2 and fully electrify the Buzzard field while the surplus power will be delivered to the Scottish grid.
Buzzard has a power generation system that supplies power for oil and gas processing, a gas lift system, a water injection system, and essential utilities. The operation of Buzzard’s onboard power generation system emits around 300,000 tons of CO2 annually.
The location of the wind farm is supposed to be built on the once operational Ettrick and Blackbird oil fields, off the Aberdeenshire coast. The two fields were operated by Nexen – another CNOOC – and their stopped production in 2016.
The export cable will supply the Buzzard oil field 9 miles away. The second export cable will supply the National Grid. The total electrical demand for the platform would be a constant 70 MW.
Green Volt will probably mean that the offshore power station could be removed. With a dedicated grid connection, the wind farm will provide renewable energy to Scotland for decades to come.
The Buzzard field is expected to be required to continue operation until the late 2030s to early 2040s. CNOOC recently increased the field’s output following the start of production from an expansion of the existing Buzzard field development – Buzzard Phase II.
This phase includes a subsea production and water injection manifold located at a new drill center, tied back to the existing Buzzard facility.
The Buzzard Phase II is expected to reach its peak production of approximately 12,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2022, increasing Buzzard’s production to 80,000 boepd in total.
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