Plans Underway to Install Floating Wind Farm at Barents Sea Oil Field Site

(OE) Norwegian oil and gas company Vår Energi will collaborate with floating wind technology firm Odfjell Oceanwind and Source Galileo to pursue a pilot project for floating offshore wind at its Goliat oil field in the Barents Sea, offshore Norway.

The Goliat platform is currently electrified and is supplied with power from shore through a power cable with a capacity of 75 MW. 

The purpose of the project, which is called GoliatVind, is to use the cable as infrastructure for electricity to the mainland and increase renewable power generation in Finnmark. 

“GoliatVind is a pilot project to demonstrate new, Norwegian offshore wind technology and can contribute to further electrification in a time of increased demand for renewable power,” Vår Energi said.

The project is currently in an early phase, and multiple factors are being studied before a concept selection and a development decision can be made. This covers regulatory framework conditions, including incentives and a development licence from the authorities, the company said.

How Many Floating Wind Turbines Are Planned for Goliat?

The Goliat platform in the Barents Sea. – ©Vår Energi

Vår Energi said that the preliminary plan was to build three to five floating wind turbines at Goliat, each with a capacity of 15 MW

This means that GoliatVind may contribute up to 75 MW of installed capacity, depending on the project’s scope. 

Current operations on Goliat require about 50 MW. Regardless of the scope, the project can increase overall power generation in the Hammerfest region. 

According to Odfjell Oceanwind, the floating wind farm could become operational in 2026 at the earliest.

Vegard Bruaset, Vår Energi’s VP Barents Sea Area, explains:”The Government has decided that all parts of society must be electrified to reach Norway’s climate targets. This requires the development of new renewable power generation. 

Vår Energi is exploring opportunities to make the power cable and necessary capacity on the platform available precisely to contribute to this. Odfjell Oceanwind and Source Galileo will be the developer and owner. Vår Energi has no plans to enter into commercial or operational commitments in the wind park.” 

One important prerequisite for the project to succeed is good coexistence with fisheries interests in the region and that the connection to Goliat does not entail an operational risk for production on the installation, the company said, adding that dialogue with relevant fisheries organizations and technical studies on Goliat have been initiated. 

Vår Energi aspires to be a leader in ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) and a preferred partner on the Norwegian shelf. We believe that GoliatVind can help bolster these ambitions if the project is realised, Bruaset concludes. Goliat, operated by Vår Energi with Equinor as partner, came on stream in 2016 and has been supplied with power from shore since the start. 

This, Vår Energi said, reduces CO2 emissions by 300,000 tonnes annually, the equivalent of emissions from 100,000 cars. The company aims to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions from its own production (scope 1) by 50% by 2030, compared with the 2005 level.

Deepsea Star Foundation

Odfjell Oceanwind’s floating wind foundation Deepsea Star has been selected for the GoliatVIND wind park 

Water depth in the Goliat area is 300-400 meters which is considered ideal for Odfjell Oceanwind’s Deepsea Star floating wind foundation design. The Goliat FPSO is owned by Vår Energi and Equinor, which have granted the GoliatVIND consortium rights to use the Goliat FPSO cable infrastructure to connect to the onshore grid.  

The Deepsea Star is a moored semisubmersible floating wind foundation in steel. The design is currently undergoing Basic Design Approval (BDA) by DNV for a multi-locational design basis, qualifying the design for use in all relevant locations for floating wind in the North Atlantic region, including all relevant Scotwind areas, INTOG areas, Utsira Nord, in addition to the Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea. 

The BDA process for Deepsea Star follows the recent DNV Approval achieved for the Deepsea Semi 12MW design.

“GoliatVIND represents a perfect stepping-stone for Odfjell Oceanwind to demonstrate our Deepsea Star™ design, including our supply chain and our ability to deliver projects in a safe and reliable manner. The Odfjell companies have long experience in operating steel semisubmersibles in the arctic Barents region, and we look forward to working closely with our project development partner Source Galileo to realise this project”,  Per Lund, CEO of Odfjell Oceanwind, said.

“GoliatVIND is a very exciting, yet challenging project for Source Galileo. Subject to final investment decisions, it will be our first floating offshore wind project. The location outside Finnmark north of Norway represents challenging environmental conditions, but the local infrastructure like ports and bases are representative of what we will face when developing similar projects across Europe. The knowledge we will gain together with Odfjell Oceanwind from developing and executing a project like this is invaluable for our journey towards floating offshore wind becoming an important part of the future energy mix”, Source Galileo Norge CEO Gunnar Birkeland said.

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