Energy companies agree to investigate the viability of “integrated energy hubs” powered by offshore wind to reduce emissions from the oil extraction process.
In order to investigate the possibility of creating “integrated energy hubs” in the North Sea that connect offshore wind power with carbon capture, hydrogen production, and oil production, Orsted has signed a joint agreement with oil and gas producer Neptune Energy, energy transition consultancy Goal7, and others.
The three companies said they would examine the possibility of supplying renewable electricity from Orsted’s Hornsea offshore wind farm project, which is expected to be the largest in the world once it is finished, to power future Neptune-operated hubs in the North Sea, as part of the memorandum of understanding announced late last week.
A major oil field operator in the area, Neptune Energy, is interested in creating “integrated energy hubs” there, which it said might include existing oil and gas production facilities that also produce hydrogen.
The three companies asserted that adding CCS and hydrogen production capacity to the sites, which would be powered by Orsted’s nearby offshore wind farms, it could aid in extending the life of current oil and gas-producing fields and bolstering “the economic case for electrification with renewable energy, to keep carbon emissions low.”
Through the cooperative agreement, Goal7 will help project management and contribute technical information.
In response to the government’s most recent CO2 storage licensing round, Neptune Energy’s director of new energy, Pierre Girard, announced that the company had submitted three applications. If approved, these applications would enable the company to create future proposals for integrated energy hubs in the North Sea.
Early in 2023, the North Sea Transition Authority is expected to grant permits for the storage of carbon dioxide.
The third and fourth phases of Orsted’s Hornsea offshore wind farm are anticipated to go into operation in the middle of the 2020s. The first two phases are already active. Millions of houses in the UK will be able to use the project’s 6GW of capacity, which will be generated by hundreds of individual turbines, once it is finished.