Equinor floats plan to power oil platforms with wind

Article by Adam Duckett

A decision on whether to invest in the concept is expected next year

NORWAY could become the first country to directly connect an offshore wind farm to oil and gas platforms.

Equinor, which until recently was called Statoil, is developing plans to build an 88 MW floating wind farm that would meet an estimated 35% of the annual power demand of five platforms in the Snorre and Gullfaks fields in the northern North Sea. The state-energy firm estimates the project, involving 11 floating turbines, would cost NOK5bn (US$595m) and reduce CO2 emissions by 200,000 t/y.

“Reducing the use of gas turbines by supplying platforms with power from floating offshore wind is a challenging and innovative project,” said Equinor’s executive vice president for New Energy Solutions, Pål Eitrheim. He added that the innovation could open up new opportunities for Norwegian industry.

The project has already received a commitment of NOK566m from a so-called NOx fund and an application has been submitted seeking state investment.

“This is still a ground-breaking and challenging project that requires optimisation of the technical solutions and further cost reductions before the partners can make a potential investment decision,” said Equinor’s project director, Olav-Bernt Haga.

Equinor and its partners in the Snorre and Gullfaks fields are aiming to make an investment decision by 2019.

Article by Adam Duckett

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