Scotland’s Ping Petroleum UK has signed the agreement with London-based green energy infrastructure developer Cerulean Winds, at a meeting hosted by UK Secretary of State Kwasi Kwarteng, and in a move described as a key step towards making relevant oil and gas production the cleanest in the world.
The tie-up is expected to deliver the UK’s first floating offshore wind unit manufacturing and assembly in the UK, bringing about one of the largest floating wind turbines built in the country, and igniting a “much-anticipated” supply chain in this area.
Additionally, it is hoped that wind power will remove up to 20,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year from the offshore production facility – equal to taking more than 4,000 cars off the road – and that the project will realise £80 million to £100m in investment in the development and in the UK’s renewable energy supply chain.
Those behind the initiative say it will help meet emissions-reduction targets agreed in the North Sea Transition Deal last year, while later this summer, applications will open to developers for seabed leases to drive the decarbonisation of other oil and gas assets across the North Sea.
The production facility at Ping Petroleum’s Avalon site, located in the UK Central North Sea and which the firm bought 12 months ago, will be mainly powered by floating offshore wind. The field has a total estimated recovery of 23 million barrels of oil, production is expected to begin in 2025, and the mooted project has been greenlit by the North Sea Transition Authority.
Cerulean Winds and partners will provide a large floating offshore wind turbine that will be connected to Ping Petroleum’s floating production and storage vessel, with options to supply excess energy generated to other nearby production facilities being examined.
Tan Sri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir, group MD of Ping Petroleum owner DNeX, said: “Ping is excited to be an early implementer of this revolutionary technology in the UK North Sea for our new greenfield project, Avalon… it enables us to seize market opportunities arising from the energy sector’s low-carbon transformation and development.
“Furthermore, we will gain experience and exposure to the relevant markets and stakeholders within the renewable energy sector, which may lead to strategic business developments ahead.”
Dan Jackson, founding director of Cerulean Winds, cheered the “pioneering” project, adding: “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."
The project has been bankrolled by the UK Government, and Mr Kwarteng stressed the need to keep supporting production on the UK Continental Shelf for security of supply, but make production greener.
He added: “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.”
Cerulean Winds previously announced a floating offshore wind and green energy proposal for Crown Estate Scotland’s Innovation & Targeted Oil and Gas seabed leasing round.