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European oil majors to prioritize large-scale developments in two regions

Oil&Gas Materials 20 January 2021 10:23
European oil majors to prioritize large-scale developments in two regions

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan.20

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

European majors are set to prioritize large-scale developments in Europe and the US, while adding smaller scale developments in other areas of the world that offer synergies with their upstream activities, Trend reports citing Fitch Solutions.

“A number of European majors invest in a varying scale of renewables in order to meet their targets. We recognize some patterns both in terms of regional focus and chosen technology.

Equinor and BP, both based in Northern Europe, have looked towards wind. Equinor is heavily involved in offshore wind, with a contracted portfolio of 5.6GW and acreage secured for a further 7.3GW. Equinor’s solar portfolio by comparison is smaller, at 0.3GW.

Repsol, with a large presence in sunny Spain, has a more extensive solar portfolio compared to Equinor and BP, to complement its wind generation assets. Total is involved in several bioenergy technologies and some small solar projects, but has been particularly focused on biorefining with the transformation of the La Méde refinery into a 300,000b/d biorefinery. Eni is investing in both solar and wind. Several of Eni’s solar projects are small-scale and focus on providing power for upstream operations in North Africa,” reads a report released by Fitch Solutions.

Shell has invested in a broad range of renewable technologies and alternatives such as hydrogen and naturebased solutions. Shell is also using renewable technologies to reduce the carbon footprint of its upstream operations. The primary pattern is large-scale renewable investments in Europe and the US or smaller scale investments in developing nations where companies have a hydrocarbon producing base.

Currently, the largest planned renewable developments by the European majors are focused on wind power. Europe holds excellent wind energy potential, particularly in offshore Northern Europe. The area boasts high average yearly windspeeds and broad, shallow continental shelves which make for cost-effective development. It is no surprise that the majority of large-scale wind investments are in this area. Repsol is set to develop several large-scale onshore wind farms in Spain. North America is also expected to experience rapid growth in offshore wind.

There are already several large offshore wind farms planned for offshore New York City, such as Equinor and BP’s Empire Wind (2GW). Many of the majors are looking for ways to integrate renewable power generation into upstream operations. Eni maintains upstream operations in Tunisia and Algeria, which both have strong solar potential due to their sunny climates and has looked to capitalize on this by building solar plants to power the upstream operations.

Similarly, Equinor is experimenting with powering its upstream activities in the North Sea via floating offshore wind. This is where the turbines are tethered to the ocean floor and allows the construction of the turbines in much deeper water than previously possible.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn

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