BP is hiring a head of floating wind as it ramps up its presence in the sector, the oil & gas supermajor confirmed.

The UK-based energy giant is in the process of recruiting an executive to lead a push into floating, which will “play a key role in our strategy”, BP’s vice president of offshore wind in the UK told Bloomberg.

A BP spokesperson confirmed the appointment plan to Recharge, and that BP expects to increase its offshore wind staff to around 800 next year from just over 220 now. The supermajor this year appointed former Orsted Asia chief Matthias Bausenwein to head its offshore wind operations.

BP has made huge inroads into the offshore wind market since a dramatic entry to the sector in September 2020, when it bought into Equinor’s projects off New York, but has kept a sharp focus on fixed-bottom developments as it built a portfolio off the UK and prepared bids in other key markets such as the Netherlands and Norway.

Sandford stressed the heritage in floating structures in the oil & gas market as he set out its plans to hire a chief for the sector.

The crossover potential for engineering and project execution expertise from the hydrocarbons sector has been evident since floating wind’s earliest days, with pioneers such as Norway’s Equinor joined by other oil & gas giants such as Shell and TotalEnergies in taking stakes in technology developers, projects or both.

Sian Lloyd Rees, UK managing director for Mainstream Renewable Power, told the Recharge-organised Energy Transition Forum in London last week that the emerging floating wind industry could learn valuable lessons from the oil & gas sector in areas such as collaboration.