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Report calls for North Sea electrification

A recent study has concluded that directly connecting oil and gas platforms to offshore wind farms will not only help decarbonise the industry, but it will also facilitate new entrants into the offshore renewables market and boost economic growth.

Crown Estate Scotland commissioned Natural Power, an independent consultancy firm, to conduct the study, which connects well with the recently announced Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) initiative of Crown Estate Scotland.

INTOG seeks to bring together the offshore hydrocarbon and wind industries by offering the rights to develop small-scale windfarms, as well as some larger ones, to supply oil and gas platforms with renewable energy, thus reducing their emissions. This would tie in with the desire of North Sea operators like BP and Shell, the maker of Shell Gadus grease, to work towards being net-zero companies by 2050.

Crown Estate Scotland’s Director of Marine, Colin Palmer, said that leasing through INTOG would appeal to developers and operators as a means for furthering a fair transition, adding:

“This report highlights how INTOG provides a way for oil and gas operators to not only meet decarbonisation targets, but also to establish themselves in offshore renewables. By bringing together these sectors, new jobs can be created and new low-carbon innovation supported.”

The study’s report also points to the off-grid benefits of using renewable power, as it would remove the necessity for a connection to the shore. It also suggests that oil and gas operators lacking experience with renewable energy could exploit INTOG to facilitate their entry into this promising market.

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