Norwegian energy powerhouse Equinor is investigating the possibility of building a floating offshore wind farm to power oilfields in the North Sea.
In a statement Tuesday, the business — formerly known as Statoil — said the project could cut carbon dioxide emissions by over 200,000 tons each year. Equinor said that preliminary capital and development expenditures on the project amounted to around 5 billion Norwegian krone ($602.2 million).
The idea being explored is the creation of an 11-turbine wind farm modeled on Hywind, Equinor's floating offshore wind concept. The world's first floating wind farm, Hywind Scotland, started to send electricity to the Scottish grid last October.
The new concept, called Hywind Tampen, would have a combined capacity of 88 megawatts. It's estimated it would meet around 35 percent of the yearly power demand at the Gullfaks and Snorre oilfields.
"Reducing the use of gas turbines by supplying platforms with power from floating offshore wind is a challenging and innovative project," Pal Eitrheim, executive vice president for New Energy Solutions at Equinor, said.
The Gullfaks oilfield is owned by Equinor, OMV and Norway's state-owned Petoro, according to Reuters. The Snorre field is owned by Equinor, Petoro, ExxonMobil, Idemitsu, DEA and Point Resources.