Equinor (hereafter also referred as ‘The Company’) is undergoing an internal transformation reflected not just in its culture but also in its operations and investment portfolio. At the core of this transformation is a strategy built around The Company's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and becoming net-zero by 2050. Relative to 2015, The Company is set to have a 50% net reduction in operated emissions and an upstream carbon intensity of ~6 kg of CO2 per barrel of oil equivalent (boe) by 2030. One notable area in this space is the decarbonization of Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) units, which play a crucial role in offshore hydrocarbon production.

The Company's decarbonization activities permeate throughout its management system. In this context, The Company sets clearly and rigorously that projects be evaluated under the Best Available Technique (BAT) principle. These evaluations include scrutiny and screening of the technologies and processes that deal with specific pollutants onboard FPSOs and fixed installations, from noise and discharges during drilling operations to solid waste and fugitive emissions. Assessment of emission reduction potential, abatement cost, benchmarking, experience sharing, and environmental budgeting are important elements in the definition and delivery of successful energy efficient projects.

The Company has had a presence in Brazil for more than two decades. The Raia project (former BM-C-33) is a consortium made up of Equinor (35% and operator), Repsol Sinopec Brasil (35%), and Petrobras (30%), which represents the third FPSO unit to be put on production and operated by The Company after Peregrino and Bacalhau. The $9 billion development, located in the Campos basin at a 2900 m water depth, is a gas and oil/condensate project that will process liquids and gas to sales specifications onboard the FPSO. The offshore gas processing is based on an innovative concept and first of a kind in Brazil. With a production start in 2028, the project is to recover above 1 billion boe and deliver 15% of Brazil's entire gas needs. Emission abatement technologies to be implemented onboard the FPSO include:

  • combined cycle for power generation (CCGT),

  • closed flare and cargo vent systems,

  • variable speed drive (VSD) on large compressor drives and,

  • turbo expanders (TEX) for hydrocarbon (HC) dew pointing.

The most significant success in the decarbonization onboard the FPSO is the use of a CCGT for power generation. The technology relies on excess heat recovery and a steam turbine. Through this and additional measures, the Raia project was able to shift its carbon footprint by around 64%, resulting in an intensity of 5.6 kg/boe. Further optimization and operational experience could improve the project's carbon intensity. For example, by increasing gas export rates or maintaining controlled flaring during start-up and commissioning activities.

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