Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (Aug 2023)

Italian Offshore Platform and Depleted Reservoir Conversion in the Energy Transition Perspective

  • Andrea Carpignano,
  • Raffaella Gerboni,
  • Alessio Mezza,
  • Candido Fabrizio Pirri,
  • Adriano Sacco,
  • Daniele Sassone,
  • Alessandro Suriano,
  • Anna Chiara Uggenti,
  • Francesca Verga,
  • Dario Viberti

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 8
p. 1544


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New hypotheses for reusing platforms reaching their end-of-life have been investigated in several works, discussing the potential conversions of these infrastructures from recreational tourism to fish farming. In this perspective paper, we discuss the conversion options that could be of interest in the context of the current energy transition, with reference to the off-shore Italian scenario. The study was developed in support of the development of a national strategy aimed at favoring a circular economy and the reuse of existing infrastructure for the implementation of the energy transition. Thus, the investigated options include the onboard production of renewable energy, hydrogen production from seawater through electrolyzers, CO2 capture and valorization, and platform reuse for underground fluid storage in depleted reservoirs once produced through platforms. Case histories are developed with reference to a typical, fictitious platform in the Adriatic Sea, Italy, to provide an engineering-based approach to these different conversion options. The coupling of the platform with the underground storage to set the optimal operational conditions is managed through the forecast of the reservoir performance, with advanced numerical models able to simulate the complexity of the phenomena occurring in the presence of coupled hydrodynamic, geomechanical, geochemical, thermal, and biological processes. The results of our study are very encouraging, because they reveal that no technical, environmental, or safety issues prevent the conversion of offshore platforms into valuable infrastructure, contributing to achieving the energy transition targets, as long as the selection of the conversion option to deploy is designed taking into account the system specificity and including the depleted reservoir to which it is connected when relevant. Socio-economic issues were not investigated, as they were out of the scope of the project.