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Transforming North Sea energy supply by gas-wind collaboration

In case you missed out on this excellent event PES brings you your exclusive post show report from last month’s, 10th Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference, which took place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands under the theme Transformation through collaboration. During the Offshore WIND Conference, part of Offshore Energy, as well as on a discussion square on the exhibition floor, there was attention for collaboration between the offshore oil and gas industry on the one hand and the offshore wind industry on the other and how this can transform energy transition on the North Sea.

On the North Sea, energy transition is taking place under our eyes. On the hand we see strong growth in offshore wind and on the other hand we witness cessation and decommissioning of oil and gas production activities. At a place on the Offshore Energy exhibition floor called ‘Community Square’ – designed to cater to the entire offshore oil, gas and renewables community – there was a television style talk-show on the future of the North Sea, more specifically on the future of North Sea energy infrastructure. The talk-show was organized in cooperation with the ‘North Sea Energy program’ – a research program financed by the Dutch government.

Participants in the talk-show were Ante Frens, Development and Technical Manager, NAM, a JV between Shell and ExxonMobil and one of the largest Dutch gas producers on the Dutch Continental Shelf, René Peters, Director Gas Technology, TNO, a research firm, Ian Fozdar, Decommissioning Infrastructure Manager, Oil & Gas Authority UK and Arnold Groot, General Manager, Circular Energy, a start-up with a patented concept to produce CO2 free power from gas. The four discussed possible ways of collaboration between, for example combining infrastructure, services, human capital and knowledge.

Optimizing offshore grid

Possible gas-wind or wind-gas collaboration was also a topic at the 8th annual Offshore WIND Conference, part of Offshore Energy. In the conference session ‘Oil, gas and wind: friend or foe’ on the second day of Offshore WIND Conference the same speakers from TNO and Circular Energy spoke, together with GROW, a consortium of twenty leading players in offshore wind in The Netherlands. The panel discussed developments in platform electrification, gas-to-wire, power-to-gas, energy storage and hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.

Circular Energy’s idea, presented by its General Manager, Arnold Groot, constitutes a clear case for the benefits of gas and wind collaboration. The start-up from Delft, The Netherlands, aims to build an offshore installation that is both a gas production facility and a zero emission gas fired power plant. The CO2 that is emitted during power generation will be captured and injected in the producing gas field. The power will be transmitted to shore, making use of the existing and planned offshore power grid where possible. Both the gas industry and the wind industry benefit from this: stranded gas fields can be developed because they get their value from in situ power generation and offshore wind farms have a power line that is used to its optimum.

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