Successful commencement of Equinor’s total project pipeline could see the company electrifying over 35% of its total oil and gas production base by 2025 through power from shore, according to analytics company GlobalData.
Daniel Rogers, senior oil and gas analyst at GlobalData comments: “Upstream oil and gas operators are under ever-growing pressure from governments, shareholders and financial institutes to curb emissions and reduce carbon footprints. Field electrification is an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from production operations. By replacing traditional gas and diesel burning turbines for power generation and connecting to the Norwegian electricity grid, Norwegian operators can significantly curb their emissions.
“Of the active offshore electrification projects that Equinor is involved in, Troll and Johan Sverdrup have avoided the largest emission volumes through electrification at over 600,000 tons of CO2 per year each. Equinor is aggressively expanding its electrification efforts through the Utsira High project, which entails electrification of offshore fields Gina Krog, Edvard Grieg and Ivar Aasen, as well as partial electrification of Sleipner and Gudrun. The project is estimated to reduce emissions of over one million tons of CO2 per year.”
“Equinor is a clear leader in field electrification with a number of its major operated developments already being powered/partially powered from shore and a strong pipeline of projects that will boost its electrified production base to be the largest in the region. Elsewhere in Norway, the likes of Lundin Energy may not produce volumes on the scale of Equinor but it is on track to electrify over 90% of its total production base in the region by 2025. While small local player OKEA currently has 50% of its production stream electrified, by 2025 the company could have an entirely electrified production base if announced electrification efforts go forward.”
Upstream operators have expressed interest in electrifying over 20 oil and gas fields either active or upcoming across the Norwegian continental shelf, and recent CO2 tax hikes implemented will likely encourage further electrification efforts – particularly at emissions-intensive operations. For new developments, despite greater upfront investment, lowered operating costs and improved production efficiency over the longer term can make field electrification economically viable.
Rogers concludes: “The interconnection of Norway’s renewable-fuelled electricity grid and its offshore petroleum operations allow for more efficient oil and gas production with a lowered carbon footprint. Offshore electrification efforts will likely contribute to faster growth of renewables, advances in offshore renewable technology, expansion of offshore transmission infrastructure and enable partnerships between oil and gas and renewable power players. As a result, steps being made in Norway should foster efforts across the industry to achieve improved efficiency and lower emissions.”