FREDERICIA, Denmark – Britain’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has awarded funds to Ørsted, Neptune Energy, and Goal7 for a study into the use of renewable energy to power a gas-producing platform in the UK North Sea.
This will investigate the optimal technical design for stable and reliable power supply, based on a generic offshore wind farm and oil and gas facility in the sector.
The four-month feasibility study will also examine commercial and consenting solutions for establishing an electrical connection between an offshore wind farm and an offshore oil and gas installation, with a view to developing a solution that could be scaled, replicated, and applied to any wind farm/platform in close proximity.
Funds were secured under the OGA’s Decarbonisation Competition for the electrification of offshore oil and gas installations, to support the industry’s North Sea Transition Deal: this has set emissions reduction targets (to achieve net zero by 2050) of 10% by 2025; 25% by 2027; and 50% by 2030.
According to the OGA, power generation accounts for around two-thirds of UK oil and gas production emissions. Switching to power via electricity supplied from a cable to the shore or from a nearby wind farm could lead to 2-3 MMt/yr CO2 emissions reductions.
The Authority’s Energy Integration Report claimed that the UK continental shelf – via a combination of platform electrification, carbon capture and storage, offshore wind and hydrogen – could absorb up to 60% of the CO2 abatement needed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Ørsted and Neptune are also investigating how providing electricity from offshore wind could lead to wider integration of energy systems offshore, including low-carbon hydrogen production.