US oil giant ConocoPhillips has joined Chinese peer CNOOC in plans to develop offshore wind capacity to help power a massive hydrocarbons field off China.
In what’s being claimed as a first in Chinese seas, ConocoPhillips China and CNOOC said they will jointly invest in the Penglai Offshore Windfarm Pilot Project, which will feature four turbines totalling 34MW to supply the Penglai Oilfield in Bohai Bay, off China’s northeast.
Penglai is said by the partners to be “China’s largest offshore oil and gas production base” and one that is still set for further expansion, with the wind farm offering the potential to cover more than 30% of its operations.
“This pilot project represents a first-of-its-kind integration of offshore wind power being harnessed solely for offshore oil and gas facilities in China,” said Bill Arnold, president of ConocoPhillips China. “We believe it will become a benchmark for future low carbon emission offshore oilfield developments.”
The two oil giants said they are also evaluating opportunities for power from shore and carbon capture and storage at the field.
No further technical details of the project or its timeline were given in an announcement of a signing of a co-investment between ConocoPhillips and CNOOC, which has unveiled plans to become a major player in China’s booming offshore wind sector and is particularly targeting floating wind.
The Penglai project joins a growing roll-call of international initiatives to tap renewable power, onshore and off, to decarbonise oil & gas operations.
ConocoPhillips is itself involved in the gigawatt-scale Trollvind floating wind project led by Equinor that aims to help green fossil production off Norway.
Scotland has also kicked off its pioneering INTOG leasing round to spur floating wind that can be lined to North Sea oil & gas assets.