Equinor and its partners in the Troll and Oseberg fields offshore Norway are studying options for a floating offshore wind farm to help power their two projects.
The Norwegian state controlled player, alongside Petoro, TotalEnergies, Shell and ConocoPhillips have submitted applications for the Troll and Oseberg fields to be powered from shore — and are also looking at the possibility of building a floating wind farm to help supply that power.
The companies are also asking Norwegian authorities to clarify the relevant tax regime for the power purchase agreement, as they would own both the oil and gas fields and the proposed Trollvind wind farm, which would be located in the Troll area around 65 kilometres offshore Bergen.
Equinor said the partners are aiming to bring Trollvind online by 2027, with an installed capacity of about 1 gigawatt and production of around 4.3 Terrawatt-hours, which could provide much of the electricity needed to run Troll and Oseberg through an onshore connection.
The company added that Trollvind could also contribute towards electrification of other oil and gas installations, accelerate offshore wind development in Norway, and deliver extra power to the Bergen region, which already provides power for several offshore oil and gas facilities and needs more input to its electricity grid.
“By producing oil and gas with low greenhouse gas emissions, we reinforce the competitiveness of the Norwegian continental shelf, maintain activity in the industry and safeguard future value creation,” said Equinor chief executive Anders Opedal.
He added that Trollvind aims to be a renewable energy that facilitates several objectives — helping cut emissions through electrification, delivering power to an area where shortages have already created challenges for new industrial development, and maintaining Norway’s position as a leader in the industrialisation of floating offshore wind.
Equinor claims that a full-scale floating offshore wind farm such as Trollvind could boost momentum towards realising the government’s ambition to position Norway as an offshore wind nation, building on expertise from the oil and gas industry.
Norwegian worker’s trade union, Industri Energi, said the project could be important for job creation.
“With Trollvind, we will prolong the lifetime on the continental shelf, deliver energy to a Europe in crisis and secure energy supply to industry and households in Norway,” Industri Energy leader Frode Alfheim said.
In 2020, the Norwegian parliament decided to increase emissions reductions requirements for the Norwegian continental shelf from 40% to 50% by 2030, which would involve a major contribution for large-scale industrial single-point emission sources, such as offshore oil and gas installations.
According to Equinor, the electrification of oil and gas installations will be a key initiative to help succeed with this transition.
“This initiative provides the supplier industry with predictability and an offshore wind portfolio to work with in the years ahead,” said Opedal.
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