Oil companies using offshore technology advantage for wind energy

“It is certainly an area of interest for us because there are obvious synergies with the traditional oil and gas business,” said Luca Cosentino, the vice president of energy solution at the Italian oil producer Eni, which is working with General Electric Co. on renewables. “As the oil and gas industry we know, we cannot get stuck where we are and wait for someone else to take this leap.”

Even as oil production declined in the North Sea over the last 15 years, economic activity has been buoyed by offshore windmills. The notorious winds that menaced generations of roughnecks working on oil platforms have become a boon for a new era of workers asked to install and maintain turbines anchored deep into the seabed. About $99 billion will be invested in North Sea wind projects from 2000 to 2017, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. A decade ago, the industry had projects only a fraction of that size.
Wind farms are especially interesting to Shell because they can power electrolysis reactions that make hydrogen, which the company says may be a major fuel for cars in the coming decades, said Lynch in an interview.

It’s exploring new opportunities across Europe in offshore wind after winning contracts from the Dutch government to build the Borssele III and IV wind farms in December. Shell’s bid marked the second cheapest cost for the technology worldwide, according to Lynch, who said the oil major’s big advantage in renewables may be its expertise in marketing.
There is more.

While this story is more about new construction, I suspect there are existing rigs that are no longer producing that could also be used as platforms for wind turbines.  I used to race sailboats around those rigs in the Gulf of Mexico which has very dependable wind patterns. If the wind energy is profitable it is not surprising that energy companies would be interested.


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