August 14, 2018 | Zoetermeer (NL)

Permanent decrease of operational costs crucial to keep supplying gas effectively

The energy usage in the Netherlands still heavily relies on natural gas. The so called smaller fields are becoming increasingly important with the accelerated phase out of larger fields. However, the dependency of the offshore gas transport network on large fields becomes clearer now these fields have reached the end of their production phase. Elimination of inefficiencies and a continuous reduction of operational costs is crucial to keep supplying gas effectively. In a recent article - published in “Energie in Beweging” - Energie Beheer Nederland B.V. (EBN) explains how far-reaching cooperation and clustering are key in this and how a by ORTEC and EBN developed optimization model contributes to achieve that.

In a recent article in Energie in Beweging EBN (Dutch) emphasizes the importance of a continuous reduction of operational costs to continue to supply gas effectively and efficiently. Low gas prices have forced operators to lower operational costs. However, due to offshore gas production decreasing as quick as operational costs, the production costs per cubic meter won gas have remained practically the same. The opportunities for operators to save costs within their own portfolio of maintenance strategies and logistics are dying out. The key in taking cost reduction to the next level lies in smarter – and with that a less expensive – set up of the gas infrastructure through far-reaching cooperation, simplification and large-scale clustering of operations.

Optimization Offshore Infrastructure
Besides the efforts of operators to consolidate the operator network, EBN has started an internal project to research whether alternative, less expensive evacuation is possible. This research gives direction to the next necessary steps to simplify the gas network at sea.

For this purpose EBN developed in collaboration with ORTEC an optimization model in which the process and transport system of the gas network at sea is analyzed divided in areas (projects) of improvement. The suggested optimization projects which are the result of different scenarios calculations can be divided into two categories:
  1. reduction of the unutilized capacity in the main conveying lines and gas treatment location by consolidation of gas flows;
  2. local process- and transport optimization, by deploying available process capacity more efficiently and by redirecting gas flows to process platforms with a longer lifetime.
The model automatically points towards the systematic integration of the main conveying lines in the near future. The more efficient utilization of main conveying lines and the accompanying gas treatment locations could consistently deliver more value. Next to a potential value of tens of millions of euros a production increase of around 3,5 billion cubic meters of extra gas throughout the lifetime of the production system can be achieved, as the existing capacity is used more efficiently and unnecessary operational costs are avoided. EBN will use the upcoming months to further refine the model to get a good understanding of the opportunities that are available in the network at sea.

This message is fully based on a Dutch article (page 24) in Focus 2018 – Energie in Beweging, a publication by EBN.

About Energie in Beweging
In five opiniated articles EBN describes how they contribute to the acceleration of the energy transition. Herein is the soil the point of departure. Geothermal energy, the urgency of exploration, far-reaching cooperation on the North Sea, CO2 storage, and blue hydrogen are subjects EBN focuses on.

About EBN
Energie Beheer Nederland B.V. (EBN) is an organization that invests in the exploration, extraction and storage of gas and oil. On a safe, sustainable and economically responsible way EBN realizes social and economical value from the Dutch soil. EBN serves herein a public interest: contributing to an independent, reliable energy supply in the Netherlands.