HOUSTON—Subsea giant TechnipFMC is diving deeper into the energy transition as the company takes its collaboration, standardization and technical skills into greenhouse gas removal, offshore floating renewables and hydrogen.
The move comes as some energy industry players aim to lower emissions 45% by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050, seeking low- or no-carbon resources and ways to better manage carbon to slow global warming.
The general view is that the world needs to move faster to meet climate goals, TechnipFMC’s New Energy Ventures Commercial Director Brandon Finley told a crowd gathered May 4 at the Offshore Technology Conference’s Spotlight on New Technology Stage.
“However, there’s really no silver bullet because what works in one part of the world doesn’t work in another. Success is going to come through collaboration,” Finley said, “and we’re going to need to develop technologies and industrialized solutions at a rate the world has never seen. We believe the ocean, more than ever, will remain a key part of that equation.”
Though TechnipFMC established in late 2021 its New Energy Ventures alongside its integrated Offshore Novel Energies (iONE) model, aimed at tapping its core to meet energy transition needs, the company has been in the energy transition space for more than a decade. It landed in 2008 an EPIC contract from Statoil, now Equinor, for its Hywind floating wind project.
Finley said the company’s goal is to be a “key enabler of the energy transition.”
TechnipFMC’s New Energy Ventures focuses on:
Greenhouse Gas Removal (Carbon transportation and storage): Anticipating regulatory and social challenges to storing CO2 onshore, Finley said the company believes offshore provides the most efficient storage is offshore where it can be maintained in naturally occurring reservoirs and saline aquifers. TechnipFMC has projects underway in the FEED phase both offshore and onshore. These include a fully integrated carbon transportation storage system.
TechnipFMS’s scope, Finley explained, starts with the central gathering station where CO2 will be compressed and monitored, before ending at the injection well. The system utilizes existing technologies such as modular platforms, dry and wet trees, gas processing systems, controls and automation platforms, flexible pipe and thermoplastic composite pipe from its recently announced acquisition of Magma Global.
“All of these different technologies will be needed for the unique challenges found in different CCS projects,” Finley said. TechnipFMC’s CCS alliances include one with Talos Energy, which is developing the Bayou Bend CCS project along the Gulf Coast.
Offshore Floating Wind (Wind, wave and tidal): Here, TechnipFMC will provide integrated technology services and tap its subsea skillset to develop floating wind projects. The offshore floating wind sector is small today, but Finley said its installed base is forecast to grow to 30 GW by 2030. That forecast, however, continues to increase as more planned projects enter the hopper.
“We’re exploring technologies that could benefit from our standardization mindset to bring the scalability that is going to be required in the industry,” Finley said. “A 1-GW wind farm today could require up to 70 structures as large as a football field.”
The company also sees potential integration across renewable markets, he added, noting that merging technologies could improve economics. “For example, combining wind and wave, and wave and wind and hydrogen where you can maximize the energy generation and efficiency,” he said.
Alliances on this front have already been formed. Earlier this year, TechnipFMC announced a partnership with Magnora Offshore Wind, a Norwegian wind and solar company, that Finley said is moving into wave energy. Last year, the company announced a partnership with wave energy technology company Bombora.
“We’ve also taken it one step further, and we’re looking at ways to integrate wind and wave with hydrogen,” Finley said. Working with Floating Power Plant (FPP), TechnipFMC is studying the integration of hydrogen energy into FPP’s wind-wave floater.
Tidal wave energy projects include working with Scotland-based Orbital Marine Power to scale up and deploy projects.
Hydrogen: TechnipFMC believes hydrogen, an energy carrier, will be crucial for bringing reliability, stability and efficiency to renewable sources, Finley said, turning to the company’s Deep Purple offshore energy project that is powered by green hydrogen. He called DeepPurple TechnipFMC’s “hydrogen Swiss army knife” given its power generation, seawater treatment, electrolysis, hydrogen storage and re-electrification capabilities.
Integration of different technologies requires better system management. So, the company has also been working on an energy management system to maintain flexibility.
“In periods of good wind conditions, energy can be provided either directly to the consumer or used to produce hydrogen, which could be compressed and stored,” Finley explained. “In periods with no wind, the restored hydrogen can be re-electrified in fuel cells to produce power back to the customer. This way, power can be delivered consistently and reliably, regardless of wind conditions.”
The examples represent the kind of technologies and partnerships TechnipFMC believes are needed to accelerate the energy transition, he added.
“We have a long history of developing innovative solutions to enable offshore energy projects,” Finley said, but regardless of all that, it’s going to take all of us to reach net zero.
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