UK operator Ping Petroleum has entered into an agreement with Cerulean Winds to work on a wind power solution for the floating production, storage and offloading vessel reserved for the Avalon oil project in the UK North Sea.

The aim is for the FPSO to use a standalone floating wind unit as the external, low-carbon power source to reduce carbon emissions.

Cerulean said using wind power would remove up to 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, which it said is the equivalent of taking more than 4000 cars off the road.

A large floating offshore wind turbine will be connected, via a cable, to the cylindrical Sevan Hummingbird FPSO, which Ping recently acquired from Teekay Corporation.

The two partners aim to form a joint venture company to hold the necessary seabed lease rights to develop, deploy and operate the floating wind unit.

A special purpose infrastructure company will raise finance for, and construct, operate and maintain, the infrastructure.

A power purchase agreement will also be entered into between Cerulean and Ping Petroleum.

A signing ceremony in the UK was also attended by Business & Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, who said the latest initiative was welcomed by the government.

“The North Sea oil and gas sector has been a major British industrial success story for decades. We must keep supporting production on the UK Continental Shelf for security of supply as we transition to clean, affordable, home-grown energy.

“In the meantime, we need to cut emissions from production. Platform electrification projects such as this are a welcome step forward to reduce emissions from oil and gas production, secure jobs and new skills and deliver on the commitments of the landmark North Sea Transition Deal.

Dan Jackson, founding director of Cerulean Winds, said: “Our partnership marks a significant milestone for the oil and gas industry in creating one of the UK’s first production facilities to be powered by clean, green and affordable offshore wind energy.

“This project will demonstrate how we can harness the power of affordable, offshore wind to deliver significant reductions in the carbon emissions of oil and gas production. The UK has a golden opportunity to make our domestic oil and gas production the cleanest in the world — scaling the green economy and creating thousands of jobs in the process.”

Mohamed Tahir, managing director of Ping’s major shareholder Dagang NeXchange, said: “Ping is excited to be an early implementer of this revolutionary technology in the UK North Sea for our new greenfield project, Avalon.

“This project which uses offshore wind to power operations demonstrates our long-term commitment to establish a low carbon development concept. It will substantially lower the emissions intensity of our operations which supports long-term climate change goals globally.”

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