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Battery storage, a key enabler of subsea electrification

Battery storage, a key enabler of subsea electrification


As part of the recent OGUK Energy Transition report, OGUK outlined the importance of electrification in reducing the emissions associated with powering offshore oil and gas installations and operations. A key enabler of this electrification will be battery storage.

A dramatic scale up in the usage of battery storage technologies, particularly when integrated with local marine renewable power generation, will be necessary to meet emission reduction targets and make current and future operations more environmentally and economically sustainable.

Throughout the development of EC-OG’s Halo technology, a modular and scalable battery storage system for subsea applications, we have explored the diverse range of functions for underwater battery and intelligent energy storage across subsea infrastructure. I have outlined some of the main applications below. Of course, there are many more.

Centralised Energy Storage

Battery storage can provide centralised energy storage, power accumulation, conditioning and distribution to multiple applications such as subsea production control systems, chemical injection skids or water filtration systems. This can either be renewable energy fed, from wind, wave or tidal systems, or supplied by a topside or shore umbilical. By de-bottlenecking the system, energy storage in this application can optimise the power distribution network, for example assisting with start-up peak loads or enabling the addition of new equipment to power-limited brownfield systems.

Uninterrupted Supply

Actuator and Christmas tree mounted batteries can be used for safety and production critical functions such as valve actuation or emergency shutdown. Additionally, if there are any power outages or shutdowns, battery storage can provide an uninterrupted power supply. There is also the capability for energy storage to provide quick-to-install, emergency power delivery to subsea infrastructure in the event of primary system failure.

Data Collection and Transfer

For applications such as hydrocarbon leak detection or carbon dioxide seepage, batteries can provide power to subsea sensor nodes and arrays. In particular, for retro-fit systems where no connection point is available. In terms of transfer of this data, battery storage can enable subsea edge computing, acting as a processing hub for data prior to communication to surface, reducing data packet sizes.

Underwater Vehicles

Through the delivery of low carbon power and communications, battery storage allows temporary or permanent residency of remotely operated or autonomous underwater vehicles for inspection and intervention operations, by providing a subsea charge point.


Within a decommissioning context, battery storage can provide power to wells at the pre-plug and abandonment phase for bore pressure and temperature monitoring. This could be after the decommissioning of topside and subsea power distribution architecture.

Renewable Energy

For renewable energy systems, seabed energy storage provides additional capacity that may not be accommodated elsewhere in the system such as onboard a wave energy converter, due to onboard space limitations. Crucially, this provides greater redundancy and longer battery autonomy periods to overcome intermittency resulting from weather or maintenance.

It is encouraging to see the significance of battery storage being recognised as our industry strives towards reduced emissions and more environmentally friendly operations. We believe that on the path to a net-zero future, battery storage will have a significant role to play.

Read the latest issue of the OGV Energy magazine HERE

Published: 18-11-2021

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