Malaysian oil & gas developer Ping Petroleum has taken delivery of a so-called floating storage and offshore loading (FPSO) vessel that will be part of project in the central North Sea that is exploring the option of wiring in a floating wind turbine to cut emissions from future operations.

Ping, a subsidiary of Dagang NeXchange Berhad (DNeX), said it aimed to modify the Sevan Hummingbird FPSO, built by contractor Teekay, to link it to a dedicated deepwater wind turbine that would power the vessel during production at the Avalon field, “minimising diesel usage and associated greenhouse gas emissions”.

“The planned development allows Ping to expand and diversify its portfolio of producing assets in full compliance with the UK’s energy security and net-zero targets,” said the company.

DNeX group managing director Tan Sri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said the acquisition of the Sevan Hummingbird FPSO was “a key milestone” for Avalon in reaching “full operational deployment” of the FPSO by 2025.

“We have a tangible asset ready with the newly acquired Sevan Hummingbird. Our next step is to secure approval for our field development plan, which will be submitted in the coming months,” he said.

First commissioned in 2008, the Sevan Hummingbird FPSO, which has a storage capacity of 270,000 barrels of oil and can produce 30,000 barrels per day, is expected to recover 23 million barrels of reserves over a period of 12 years from Avalon.

Employing offshore wind to decarbonise oil & gas operations is gaining traction with operators around the world, with the first commercial project, the 88MW Hwyind Tampen, soon to be online in Norway and several others taking shape in various maritime markets.

Scotland has moved with intent to progress the concept via the upcoming INTOG (Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas) leasing round, with an eye on spurring, some 4GW of offshore wind to power existing fossil fuel assets, and a further 500MW in a separate ‘pot’ of sub-100MW developments linked to areas such as green hydrogen.

The International Energy Agency in a major new report earlier this year said a halt to new fossil fuel projects – and “immediate and massive” renewables deployment quadrupling last year's record-setting build – is needed if the world is to tread a “narrow but still achievable” path to a net-zero energy system by 2050.