Plan to power oil & gas ops with floating wind unveiled in Azerbaijan
SOCAR and Technip Energies have signed a cooperation agreement which, among other things, will see the two companies working on a joint pilot project for powering upstream operations in Azerbaijan’s sector of the Caspian Sea with electricity produced by a floating wind turbine.
If the project moves forward, it would represent the first offshore wind turbine installed in Azerbaijan.
Under the cooperation agreement, SOCAR and Technip Energies will jointly study sustainability measures in the offshore upstream activities, including CO2 emission reduction, improvement of power efficiency and associated optimisation in the total cost of ownership.
In terms of the pilot project, some of the main objectives are to determine the prospects for supplying renewable energy to Azerbaijan’s upstream sector – which is currently powered by natural gas – and reducing natural gas consumption and increasing gas exports.
Rovnag Abdullayev, SOCAR’s president said energy efficiency was an important part of the company’s strategic plans and that its goals are to reduce operating costs, increase energy efficiency and ensure the sustainability of the company’s operations.
According to Marco Villa, Chief Operating Officer of Technip Energies, the new collaboration is in line with Technip Energies’ energy transition ambitions, as well.
So far, Azerbaijan has no offshore wind turbines, either bottom-fixed or floating, installed off its coasts.
However, the country started getting onto the offshore wind map back in April, when its Ministry of Energy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to cooperate on offshore wind development.
The aim of the cooperation is to assess the potential of offshore wind in the country and the development of a roadmap, and later, tender management related to relevant projects, the definition of partnerships with the private sector, and the implementation of auxiliary investments.
The work stipulated by the MoU will be implemented within the IFC Offshore Wind Development Program, funded by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).
Preliminary analysis provided by ESMAP states that the technical potential of offshore wind energy in Azerbaijan is estimated at a total of 157 GW – 35 GW for fixed-bottom projects and 122 GW for floating wind.