• Optimization of oilfield power distribution through installation of underground transmission lines applied to the Alaskan North Slope

      Mielke, Robert (2004-05)
      An analytical model is developed to evaluate economic feasibility of installing new underground segments to the power transmission system maintained and operated by Greater Prudhoe Bay Central Power Station. Installation of underground segments is considered for intersections of power lines and roadways. Old materials and equipment are abandoned in favor of new technological infrastructure additions to transmission systems. This installation is progressive in its approach; it aims to eliminate superfluous oilfield operations via implementation of technological innovation. Results indicate that installation of underground segments of transmission line is an economically feasible project. Installation sites are chosen that optimize the economics of this investment. Project impact to power reliability, idle rig time, and streamlined rig operations far outweighs the investment associated with this project. Additionally, this project's effect on Prudhoe Bay oil production shows great potential for additional power line burial projects. Hence, it is hoped that this research be considered a pilot project, that future power line burial projects be considered for implementation, and that economic modeling of future projects be accomplished via revision of this work to include comparison of actual vs. predicted economics of this pilot project.