The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has hosted the first in a series of talks on using green power for Central North Sea platforms.
Several operators, including Shell and BP, have confirmed they are looking at electrification measures for their installations, which services firm Baker Hughes described as a rising trend earlier this year.
The OGA has now held a workshop with the oil and gas and windfarm power industries to find “practical ways” of cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Around three quarters of North Sea emissions in 2018 came from combustion equipment to generate electricity, according to Oil and Gas UK.
The session, last Thursday, explored the feasibility of electrification, power supply from wind farm and transmission infrastructure to use green power for the North Sea.
Further workshops are planned to include potential investors in wind farms and transmission concepts, as well as supply chain companies.
A recent OGA Energy Integration Report established that integrated energy systems offshore, including oil and gas, hydrogen and CCS, could contribute to a 30% cut in the UK’s required emissions reductions by 2050.
The industry is targeting at least two electrification projects by the mid-2020s.
The Central North Sea is seen as an opportunity to use floating wind power, or even power from Norway due to their distance from the UK, for electrifying platforms.
Meanwhile, West of Shetland assets could also be prime candidates with wind power opportunities.
Several “cross-industry opportunities” have also been identified for Southern North Sea installations due to their proximity to wind farms, with a similar strategy for those in the Outer Moray Firth.
Scott Robertson, OGA director of operations, said: “Platform electrification is a vital part of the industry’s contribution towards the net zero by 2050 target and an important deliverable to help the oil and gas sector maintain its social licence to operate.
“It is already a tried and tested technology, readily deployed in the Norwegian sector.
“We are very pleased to see real engagement on this from operators, and collaboration with the power sector and investors and are keen to see activity move at pace.”
It comes while the industry is discussing a sector deal agreement with the UK government.
Gareth Wynn, stakeholder director at Oil and Gas UK, said: “OGUK is in discussions with the UK government regarding a transformational North Sea transition deal, which with the support of the OGA, would ensure our industry is also part of a green recovery, continues to attract investment and can help relieve the pressure on our world class supply chain which has been hit hard by the consequences of the pandemic.”