Consultancy predicts closure of 50 North Sea oil fields this year
Experts have warned that one in six North Sea oil fields could shut down this year amid uncertainty surrounding falling crude oil prices.
The Edinburgh-based Wood Mackenzie oil and gas consultancy has said that companies could decommission as many as 50 fields in 2016 after the price of oil left them making losses from production.
Last year, the firm predicted that 140 North Sea oil fields could be decommissioned in the next five years regardless of whether or not prices return to US $85 per barrel.
It was announced yesterday that Royal Dutch Shell is cutting 2,200 jobs worldwide, with 450 of them at its North Sea operations in Aberdeen.
Closures in the region will leave companies responsible for removing hundreds of offshore platforms — an operation which comes with an estimated £55 billion total price-tag.
With further shutdowns and cuts looming, Wood Mackenzie believes that UK oil firms could become world leaders in the up-and-coming global decommissioning market. Others in the industry have voiced similar opinions.
Erik Bonino, the Chairman of Shell UK, said in the Guardian last year: “North Sea oil and gas fields offer the UK the chance to create a world-class hub for the safe and responsible decommissioning of platforms and pipelines.”
Bonino cited the closure of the Brent platform in February 2015 as an example of how closures won’t spell an end to productivity at offshore oil facilities. The decommissioning work reportedly requires 10 years and 1,000 people working offshore to be completed.
Five North Sea oil fields have been closed so far in 2016.
SOURCE: [Herald Scotland]
Read the May 2016 issue of Energy Digital magazine
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.