October 5, 2022

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Electrification, Johann Sverdrup |  In the midst of a power crisis, large amounts of electricity must be sent offshore immediately

Electrification, Johann Sverdrup | In the midst of a power crisis, large amounts of electricity must be sent offshore immediately

There are fears of a total power crisis in both Norway and Europe in the coming months. Electricity prices have never been higher and plans are being made on how to ration for the winter.

In the midst of this energy crisis, the so-called Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 opens in the North Sea. Equinor will then expand its capacity to the largest oil discovery in recent times, 535,000 to 720,000 barrels of oil per day.

It is planned to take place from October to December.

Since 2018, the Johan Sverdrup field has been powered by shore power. When the second phase opens, the power capacity will increase three times from 100 to 300 MW.

Power is sourced from the South West region, where prices are currently high. In theory, the capacity increase results in an annual consumption of 1.75 TWh, but could be somewhat lower.

Electrification of the North Sea

Not only will the new expansion of the Johan Sverdrup field be electrified, but in the same vein there will be a major electrification of the oil field known as Utsirahöyden.

– When the new power from the ground is ready to operate safely, planned for the fourth quarter of 2022, the installations in Utsirahöyden will be connected to the Johan Sverdrup Phase II power-connected partial solution. Applies to: Johan Sverdrup phase 2 , Gina Krog, Ivar Aasen, Edvard Grieg, Sleipner field centre, together with Gudrun site and Utgard, Gungne, Sigyn and Solveig, Nettavisen says Equinor spokesperson Gisle Ledel Johannessen.

These fields are currently operational but powered by gas turbines that generate electricity.

Emissions from the oil industry Norway’s largest emission sources. When these turbines are turned off, CO2 emissions are reduced in the North Sea – and thus in Norway.

– The total annual emission savings as a result of electricity from land to Utsirahöyden is estimated by the companies at about 1.2 million tons of CO2, State Secretary of the Ministry of Oil and Energy Amund Vik told Netavision.

This is approximately 10 percent of the industry’s total emissions and 2.5 percent of Norway’s total emissions.

Electrification was much discussed

Electricity from shore to oil rigs is nothing new. Colossal Goblin A already got it in 1996But Equinor estimates that extended electrification of the shelf will cost a total of NOK 50 billion by 2030.

Overall, Equinor believes there will be further electrification 10-12 TWh per year.

This is one of the absolutely necessary measures for Norway to meet its own climate goals of halving CO2 emissions by 2030.

Last year, NVE director Kjetil Lund was clear about the consequences in an interview Technical Weekly:

– I think it has become clear to people that electrifying the wardrobe comes with a cost to society, because it raises the price of electricity and increases the pressure on the power grid. That could make it more difficult to meet other goals, said Lund, who pointed out that the move would obviously not provide any climate benefits.

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– This is power we can use for other purposes. But Lund says the petroleum industry has more potential to harness this power than some green industries.

Not sure if this means anything for climate

The climate argument for electrification is much debated. Gas will no longer be flared in the North Sea to generate electricity. Instead it will be exported to EuropeIt is used, among others, for heat and power generation.

– I understand the thinking, but I question using electricity from the ground to extract oil. Electrifying the closet is unlikely to have any climate effect, and is expensive. This increases power demand and contributes to higher electricity prices in the mainland, Østein Olsen, former central bank governor, said at the recent Energik conference.

With today’s power grid, additional gas is sent to gas-fired power plants in Germany or the Netherlands, which produce electricity that is imported to southern Norway via power cables to both countries.

But it is also conceivable that Norway is reducing its use of gas-coal power, which has twice as much CO2 emissions as coal used for electricity generation. Coal-fired power generation in Europe has increased this year due to gas shortages, so coal prices have risen along with gas prices. On Friday, a new price was recorded for emission allowances for CO2 in Europe. It is now less than 100 euros per tonne.

Therefore, experts simply do not agree on which effects should be taken into account.

Faktisk.no He has written a long article on the climate effect of the electrification of the continental shelf, where, among other things, he mentions the government’s parliamentary announcement that the global climate gain is not clear. :

“Power from shore reduces emissions from the Norwegian continental shelf. The short- and long-term emissions consequences at European and global level are very uncertain, because the sector is under the European quota system for greenhouse gas emissions.”

Professor:- All electrification of the foundation should be suspended

NMBU Professor Espen Haag says it is clear that further electrification of the wardrobe must now be put on hold.

– In my opinion, this is a little crazy. You significantly increase the likelihood of rationing in the long run, which is the opposite of what you should do in this situation, Haag tells Netavisen.

– You don’t take in new information. On the one hand, you use Putin and the war as an excuse, on the other hand, you are very unusual when you do something. The professor says that all electrification in the closet should be kept on ice.

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He points out that The DSP recently said one could expect up to 100 deaths Due to ration.

– Where are the updated analytics? It is a matter of fact that when these analyzes were done years ago, when everyone was only thinking about the green transition, now we are in a completely different situation. Europe has energy shortages, and Norway is at risk of huge electricity prices. As Spetalen said: the electricity we export is very low on the European market, what we need to help is gas, then we can’t waste electricity on such things.

Earlier this year, Hawke wrote: A Chronicle in Finansavisen There he referred to the whole plan of electrification as an accounting trick where you only got other countries to burn gas.

– Sending your CO2 accounts outside of Norway.

– Do you think something will happen?

– There are divided opinions within the parties. In both the Conservative Party and the Labor Party, but it is more at the bottom than at the top. It should be withheld considering the risk. Government’s main responsibility is to avoid worst case scenario of power supply.

Being late is irrelevant

Netavisen has asked the government whether postponing the electrification of Uchirahoyden is appropriate given the current electricity situation.

– The start of Johan Sverdrup’s second construction project will lead to energy production in Europe under a dire situation. The development of the second construction phase of the Sverdrup field and the installation of the area solution for electricity from land to Utsirahöyden, which will start soon, has been carried out in accordance with the development plans approved by the Ministry and the licenses issued. power solution. State Secretary Amund Wiig says the ministry will definitely handle the licenses and permits issued by the government to the companies.


– The Norwegian power system is therefore generally exposed to large fluctuations in the arrival of hydropower plants. That is why we have a system in place to deal with drained power situations, and the energy authorities and Statnet Norwegian have many tools to protect the electricity supply. In addition, NVE has asked Statnett to investigate new measures that could be implemented in very tight energy situations (so-called SAKS measures) by October 1. We are now in an era of overflowing magazines. Growth going forward will be important, but the probability that we will end up with a very low electricity situation in the winter and spring of 2022-23 is considered small, he says.

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Erna will not delay electrification

Netavisen asked Conservative Party leader Erna Solberg whether she believed that given the current electricity situation, the electrification of parts of Utsirahöyden should be postponed. It’s too late to delay, believes the former prime minister.

– We proposed in the Storting, and it was voted, that each individual electrification project should be assessed individually based on its impact on the local electricity market. That’s our starting point, and I can’t evaluate every project that’s going on. If you’ve made plans and people are invested, you have to let things go.

He adds that electrification is necessary to meet the climate target, but the Conservative Party proposed a climate target of 40 per cent emissions reductions, which was increased to 50 per cent during the treatment of the oil tax package. In 2021.

– Does it have any climate effect beyond the paper?

– That question depends on whether or not there will be a tightening of the quota market in the future. If climate quotas mean surplus, then, as a result, it will be lower. But there will be more technological development in ways of working. We believe this is an important part of that growth, but as I say, the government (Solberg, editor’s note) proposed 40 percent — not 50 percent — because at the time we thought that was more manageable, Solberg responded.

Equinor is also shutting down power generation on land

The shutdown of Equinor’s gas-fired power plants is not only happening offshore, but also on land:

At Mongstad, there is currently great uncertainty about what will happen to the gas power plant that Equinor no longer needs. It can generate 155 megawatts of electricity – half the capacity of Johan Sverdrup.

The shutdown has been met with skepticism from StateNet, which is taking steps to avoid a power crisis this winter.

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– The Equinor gas turbine will be located at the Mongstad combined heat and power plant, so it will form part of the basis of Statnett’s investigation into measures to deal with a possible overstressed power situation (SAKS). From October. We will shut down the operation of the gas turbine as planned, but the gas turbine will continue to be available as part of the basis for StateNet’s assessment of SAKS operations. If the gas turbine is shut down by Statnet’s SAKS initiative, we will continue our dialogue with Statnet from October and beyond regarding operational and commercial solutions, says Equinor’s Kisyl Ledal Johannessen.