Could floating wind turbines power Equinor’s oil fields?

It is exploring the possibilities of directly connecting a wind farm to the Gullfaks and Snorre platforms

Festival Net Zero 2021

Norwegian company Equinor is considering building a floating offshore wind farm to power oil fields in the North Sea.

It is exploring the possibilities of directly connecting the wind farm to the Gullfaks and Snorre fields following an “extensive” study that evaluated which oil and gas platforms are best suited for it.

The solution being considered is a floating wind farm consisting of 11 turbines based on Equinor’s Hywind project in Scotland.

They would have a total capacity of 88MW and meet around 35% of the annual power demand of the five Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B and C platforms, with the percentage being “significantly higher” when wind speed is high.

The NOK5 billion (£0.57bn) project is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 200,000 tonnes per year – equivalent to emissions from 100,000 cars.

Pål Eitrheim, Executive Vice President for New Energy Solutions said: “Reducing the use of gas turbines by supplying platforms with power from floating offshore wind is a challenging and innovative project. It may also facilitate new industrial opportunities for Norway, Equinor and Norwegian supply industry within profitable renewable energy, while enabling oil and gas production with low CO2 emissions.

“The Hywind Tampen project is contributing to further developing floating offshore wind technology, reducing costs and making the solutions more competitive.”

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