Gazprom Neft has commissioned the first digital substation in the Arctic — the “Sever (Northern)” main power hub for the northern section of the Novoportovskoye field, under development by Gazprom Neft subsidiary Gazpromneft-Yamal.
Construction of this facility has been undertaken as part of a national project from the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, “Commissioning Digital Electricity Stations and Substations at New and Reconstructed Energy Facilities”.
The Arctic’s first digital power station has been designed in line with the region’s extreme climate, with its signal-transmission format ensuring maximum automation of measurement processes, control and equipment-protection. The functioning of all systems is monitored remotely from a central control room located 26 km from the new substation. Automated control minimises the time spent on basic operations in running the facility, while also reducing scope for human error.
Thanks to the use of smart control and diagnostic systems,* only a minimal number of people are required to maintain the facility. The substation’s main electrical equipment means source information from measurement and monitoring systems can be transmitted under the GOST R MEK-61850 protocol (an internal Russian transmission standard).** Going forward, this will make it possible to process data using predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), and to further integrate solutions into the maintenance and repair information system.
The digital substation is, already, supply energy to two remote drilling rigs. The first cluster pad is expected to be connected to the substation in January 2021, as part of the development of the northern section of the Novoportovskoye field, with the substation subsequently supplying electricity to all production and community facilities in Gazprom Neft’s promising Yamal development zone.
“Building the Sever digital substation is a unique project, being implemented by the Gazpromneft-Yama team under severe Arctic conditions. It’s commissioning means we now have the opportunity to develop the northern section of this Arctic asset safely and effectively. Developing a modern and high-tech facility of this kind is an outstanding example of the transformation that is helping the company significantly increase safety, reliability and efficiency in its commercial development of the Arctic.”Alexey Ovechkin Director General, Gazpromneft-Yamal
The Novoportovskoye field is one of the most important oil and gas fields currently under development on the Yamal Peninsula. It is located within the Arctic Circle, some distance from pipeline transportation infrastructure. Year-round hydrocarbon shipments from the Novoportovskoye field are facilitated through the “Arctic Gates” trans-shipment terminal in the Gulf of Ob. Recoverable C1+C2 reserves at the Novoportovskoye field stand at more than 250 million tonnes of oil and condensate, and more than 320 cubic metres of gas. Novy Port-blend crude is categorised as “light”, with low sulphur content (of about 0.1 percent).
The development of the northern part of the Novoportovskoye field was initiated in 2016 during the expansion of existing field-production infrastructure, with a view to developing new oil deposits within the existing license block. Recoverable reserves in the northern section stand at more than 27.8 million tonnes of oil, and 28.5 cubic metres of gas. The company’s investment in developing this field is expected to reach RUB86 billion. Implementing this project should see the company’s Arctic asset reach peak production, at eight million tonnes of oil per year, by 2021.
* The substation uses a frequency-discharge switchgear-isolation diagnostics system, ensuring accurate and frequent measurements, minimising the possibility of false alarms.
The substation’s power transformers are monitored using a new-generation system that continuously analyses the condition of the oil, allowing for more efficient control over equipment operation, as well as extending its service life.
** The GOST R MEK-61850 standard, “Communication networks and systems in substations” outlines data-flow formats, rules governing the categorisation of power facilities, and rules governing the organisation of event-based data-transfer protocols.