NOV: Subsea storage of fuel ammonia

Joint industry consortium to validate technology

Graphic visualisation of the subsea storage system, connected here to an offshore platform. Source: NOV.
Click to learn more. Graphic visualisation of the subsea storage system, connected here to an offshore platform. Source: NOV.

Equinor, Shell, The Research Council of Norway, The Net Zero Technology Centre and the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) have signed a new agreement to validate NOV’s subsea fluid storage system. With one eye on the IMO’s near-term decarbonisation targets, US-based NOV has been developing the technology to help facilitate the rapid uptake of alternative maritime fuels like ammonia. In the announcement, NOV argues that:

Subsea storage of ammonia will be a crucial element in the distribution network for offshore ammonia storage to cargo transport.

From NOV’s official press release, 17 Feb 2022

The announcement also includes technical details, and a clear timeline for technology validation & deployment:

The storage system provides added flexibility by offering unlimited seafloor space when topside space is constrained and avoiding the need for umbilicals for tie-backs. The system mitigates health, safety, and environmental (HSE) challenges by reducing power consumption, minimizing human interaction, and decreasing vessel trips and emissions…

The final product validation of the subsea storage technology has begun. It includes a submerged large-scale open system demonstration and a closed-loop system demonstration to be tested and completed by 2023. The objective of the tests is to verify the system design for all types of fluids, ensuring reliable functionality to unlock a safe, profitable, and economical product for the market. The storage technology has matured over several years, and this project will be the last step of the qualification program. Several studies are ongoing, and NOV aims to deliver the first project in late 2024 or early 2025. Comparing the NOV subsea storage system’s CO2 emissions to a floating, storage and offloading (FSO) vessel over ten years shows a saving of 140,000 tons of CO2.

Details of NOV’s subsea storage system & key validation milestones in the organisation’s official press release, 17 Feb 2022
See the technology in action via NOV’s YouTube channel.
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