Aera En­ergy and Glass­point have part­nered to build Cal­i­for­nia’s largest so­lar en­ergy project to re­duce oil­field emis­sions

Oil and Gas - - CONTENT -

Aera En­ergy and Glass­point have part­nered to build Cal­i­for­nia’s largest so­lar en­ergy project to re­duce oil­field emis­sions

Glass­Point So­lar, the lead­ing sup­plier of so­lar en­ergy to the oil in­dus­try, has part­nered with oil and gas pro­ducer, Aera En­ergy, to build one of the largest so­lar en­ergy projects in the United States. The in­te­grated so­lar project will be the first of its kind in the world to use so­lar steam and so­lar elec­tric­ity to power oil­field op­er­a­tions, ef­fi­ciently re­duc­ing the field’s car­bon emis­sions.

Lo­cated at the Bel­ridge oil­field in Cal­i­for­nia, the so­lar plant will de­liver the largest peak en­ergy out­put of any so­lar plant in the state once com­plete.

Ben Bier­man, Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer and Act­ing CEO of Glass­Point said, “Our part­ner­ship with Aera En­ergy re­flects our com­mit­ment to in­no­vat­ing in re­sponse to the grow­ing needs of our oil and gas cus­tomers around the world. Our so­lar steam tech­nol­ogy was in­vented in Cal­i­for­nia and then proven at scale in the desert oil­fields of Oman. Our op­er­at­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and learn­ings achieved over the past five years in Oman were in­stru­men­tal in driv­ing our Cal­i­for­nia ex­pan­sion.”

“De­ploy­ing so­lar elec­tric­ity pan­els is a nat­u­ral ex­ten­sion of Glass­Point’s so­lar oil­field ex­per­tise. The so­lar elec­tric fa­cil­ity will be built along­side the so­lar steam fa­cil­ity mak­ing Bel­ridge the first oil­field in the world to use both so­lar en­ergy so­lu­tions for oil pro­duc­tion,” added Bier­man.

The Bel­ridge So­lar project will con­sist of an 850 MWt so­lar ther­mal fa­cil­ity, pro­duc­ing 12 mil­lion bar­rels of steam per year, and a 26.5 MWe pho­to­voltaic fa­cil­ity that will gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity. The so­lar-gen­er­ated steam and elec­tric­ity will re­duce nat­u­ral gas cur­rently used on­site in oil­field op­er­a­tions. The fa­cil­ity is pro­jected to save more than 376,000

met­ric tons of car­bon diox­ide emis­sions per year, off­set­ting the equiv­a­lent of 80,000 cars.

Aera En­ergy CEO Christina Sistrunk said, “Aera is com­mit­ted to safe, re­spon­si­ble op­er­a­tions and is thrilled to ex­tend our en­vi­ron­men­tal lead­er­ship by us­ing so­lar to power our pro­duc­tion. By work­ing with Glass­Point, Aera is part­ner­ing with a com­pany that has proven the vi­a­bil­ity of this tech­nol­ogy in Cal­i­for­nia and in Oman. Glass­Point of­fered the only so­lu­tion de­signed specif­i­cally for oil­field de­ploy­ment, with im­prove­ments in safety and sim­plic­ity for our op­er­a­tions. This is very im­por­tant for Aera as we don’t want to put our peo­ple, en­vi­ron­ment or pro­duc­tion at risk. Glass­Point’s un­der­stand­ing of the in­dus­try’s stan­dards and ex­pe­ri­ence in steam in­te­gra­tion are key to en­sure the project’s suc­cess.”

Glass­Point’s so­lar tech­nol­ogy pro­vides low-cost re­new­able en­ergy for ex­tract­ing heavy oil. Heavy oil is pro­duced by in­ject­ing steam in to the reser­voir to heat the oil so it can be pumped to the sur­face. This process, known as ther­mal En­hanced Oil Re­cov­ery (EOR), typ­i­cally gen­er­ates steam us­ing nat­u­ral gas. By har­ness­ing the sun’s ther­mal en­ergy to re­place the com­bus­tion of nat­u­ral gas, Glass­Point is en­abling Aera to re­duce its en­ergy con­sump­tion and car­bon foot­print at Bel­ridge.

Aera and Glass­Point plan to break ground on the Bel­ridge so­lar plant in the first half of 2019. The project is ex­pected to start pro­duc­ing steam and elec­tric­ity as early as 2020.

Glass­Point is cur­rently con­struct­ing Miraah, a land­mark project with Pe­tro­leum De­vel­op­ment Oman (PDO). Once com­plete, Miraah will pro­duce over one gi­gawatt of peak ther­mal en­ergy, mak­ing it one of the world’s largest so­lar plants of any kind.

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