Part 1. IN THE UK there are two energy sectors with a problem. Offshore O&G activity in the North and Celtic Seas has peaked and will decline, leaving a skills and resources base in search of new outlets. At the same time, the emergent (only a decade old) offshore wind sector will encounter resource and experience deficits as wind farms proliferate in UK waters. Would it not be pleasing if the problems of both could be eased by bringing the two entities closer together, the surfeit of one reducing as it decreases the deficit in the other?.... read more.
Part 2. Conscious of protestations that a golden opportunity might be in danger of being missed, a number of commercial interests are determined to step up to the plate and make sure that this will not happen... read more.
Part 3. Aberdeen, the Scottish east coast ‘granite city’ that has long been pivotal to O&G activity in the North Sea, is now also becoming a base for companies having a foot in both camps. In 2009 one of these, Ramco Energy, re-branded itself SeaEnergy in a bid to capitalise on the UK's boom in wind energy. While retaining petrochemical interests, the firm is also establishing an offshore services business aimed at expanding service to the offshore wind industry... read more.
Part 4. Of course, not all the expertise garnered by offshore O&G will be helpful to wind interests, not least because there are significant differences between the two sectors. For a start, much of the equipment used for O&G exploitation – jack-ups and heavy-lift vessels for instance – is not optimum for installing and running wind farms. Currently, offshore wind has little choice but to use this equipment, with some penalty in cost, but in time more suitable and cost-effective kit will become available... read more.
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