Equinor's Expertise in Floating Wind to Influence Approach to Flagship Oilfield Development
Posted 06/09/2023 13:50
Norwegian energy major Equinor is leveraging its experience with the Hywind Tampen floating wind project to inform the development of the Rosebank oilfield in the UK North Sea. Arne Gurtner, Senior Vice President UK & Ireland at Equinor, emphasized the value of the company's knowledge in deploying floating wind infrastructure to generate power for offshore oil and gas platforms.
In the Norwegian North Sea, Equinor's Hywind Tampen project successfully installed 88 megawatts of offshore wind power capacity on floating structures to supply electricity to its Snorre and Gullfaks oil and gas facilities. This approach significantly reduced carbon emissions in production, albeit not completely.
According to Equinor's estimates, the floating wind project can fulfill approximately 35% of the annual power demand for five platforms, including Snorre A and B, and Gullfaks A, B, and C. This experience provides valuable insights for planning the Rosebank oilfield, which is currently being developed in the UK North Sea.
The Rosebank oilfield, considered the largest undeveloped oilfield in the UK, is expected to reach a final investment decision this year. The insights gained from the Hywind Tampen project serve as a proof of concept and pilot that Equinor can potentially replicate in the development of Rosebank.
Gurtner highlighted Equinor's efforts in the UK, where the company is actively involved in various energy projects. Equinor currently produces oil and gas from three fields: Mariner, Barnacle, and Utgard. Additionally, it is developing the Rosebank field. Barnacle and Utgard represent cross-border fields, situated in the UK but utilizing Norwegian infrastructure for production. This approach allows for the exploitation of assets that might have otherwise been considered uncommercial.
Equinor's activities in the UK extend to the Buzzard field, where it will enhance production through the acquisition of Suncor Energy's UK business. Furthermore, the company maintains an active exploration portfolio, planning to drill a well in collaboration with Neo Energy in the southern part of the UK next year. Exploration efforts aim to discover new resources that can be tied back to existing infrastructure, reducing overall emissions while extending the longevity of UK production.
In the renewable energy sector, Equinor plays a significant role in the UK offshore wind industry, with three operational wind farms and one under development. The company is also engaged in vital initiatives related to hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage in the region.