Santos’ trial project will convert 56 crude oil beam pumps, which are engine powered to 100 per cent renewable solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage systems.
- Santos successfully installed 56 solar photovoltaic and battery energy storage systems on beam pumps in the Cooper Basin.
- When the renewable energy systems were adequately sized, they were found to be more reliable than the pre-existing crude oil generators.
- The new renewable energy systems had an average availability rate of 90%.
- Due to issues with undersizing some wells, future projects should design systems to be expansion ready with modular plug and play options to expand or contract the renewable energy capacity to match each stage in the well’s life.
How the project works
Solar PV – totalling 3.2 MW – and batteries will be installed by multiple contractors at 56 oil wells across the Cooper Basin in South Australia and Queensland to supply each site with 100 per cent renewable energy.
Area of innovation
The crude oil beam pumps project will demonstrate that integrating solar PV and battery storage systems into high availability applications can provide secure and reliable sources of energy for 24/7 remote operations, targeting no thermal generator back up requirement.
The project aims to demonstrate how a renewable solar PV and battery storage system combination can provide evidence of the reliability of renewable energy in off-grid locations. The solar beam pumps will reduce emissions and waste from oil production and improve energy productivity by reducing fuel consumption and by eliminating the cost of transporting fuel long distances to remote sites.
If the trial is successful, Santos will look to convert an additional 151 pumps across the Cooper Basin to solar and batteries. By converting all 208 sites, this would save 140 barrels of oil a day currently used to fuel the pumps.
The project could also see increased confidence that renewable energy can provide the reliability required for resources applications and see other companies implement their own renewable energy projects.