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SUMMARY

The group used Cygnus as a case study, given the fact that there is estimated to be 6.8 GW of wind power generation up and running within 50 km of the field by 2030.

By Joseph Murphy

A study carried out by government-supported Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC) and Cygnus gas field partners Neptune Energy and Spirit Energy, has identified four options to electrify oil and gas platforms in the south of the UK North Sea, NZTC said on September 1.

The group used Cygnus as a case study, given the fact that there is estimated to be 6.8 GW of wind power generation up and running within 50 km of the field by 2030, increasing to 14.1 GW within 100 km of the asset.

The four options considered included local offtake with a power purchase agreement for wind energy, local offtake with an offshore transmission owner, the reallocation of turbines and dedicated offshore wind farms serving a platform. But NZTC noted that there was a "significant challenge in the commercial viability of electrification," due to high capital expenditure and the direct impact on the levelised cost of energy.

"The size of the prize is significant if we can establish a viable way to leverage the existing infrastructure to supply power to offshore oil and gas assets," NZTC's senior project manager, Graeme Rogerson, commented. "We have a number of barriers to overcome including regulatory challenges and establishing a way to make one of the four proposed options economically viable.  However, the engagement levels from stakeholders have been hugely promising and there is definite appetite to maximise the opportunity for electrification of oil and gas assets.”