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Challenges and opportunities for oil & gas shipowners in transitioning to renewables

ABL Group’s Director of Energy Services, Alex Harrison, recently authored an article for The Shipowners Club discussing the trends on the ground when it comes to redeploying assets across sectors, or acquiring new assets and technology – and the challenges this presents.

Renewable energy production has been expanding across the globe for decades, and with this expansion comes a rapid growth in the shipping fleet required to build, operate and service the infrastructure. Traditional heavy lift operators that currently service the oil & gas market have an opportunity to transition here and meet the demands of renewables projects. However, issues arise across vessel availability, suitability and cost efficiency.

Alex Harrison

“Jack-up vessels are the preferred installation method for most fixed offshore wind farms (OWF). A key consideration in this regard is the number of jack-up operations needed on an average project. In O&G, a typical shallow water (50-100m) development may require 10 or so jack-up operations, but in an OWF project this number could rise to several hundred. The greater the number of jack-up operations required, the higher the additional risk, and associated costs in terms of risk assessments and assurance measures.”

Alex Harrison, Director of Energy Services, ABL Group

The future is not all challenges though. Alex highlights a number of areas where oil & gas vessels could prove to be in high demand, if shipowners act now to be prepared and take advantage of transition opportunities:

“The further offshore that farms are positioned, the longer the cables and the larger the capacity of carousels that will be needed. Therefore, ultimately, any vessel that can safely lay cables – particularly if already fitted with sophisticated lay systems like on large O&G flowline and umbilical lay projects, or large internal carousels, will be much sought after.”

Alex Harrison, Director of Energy Services, ABL Group

Read Alex’s full article on The Shipowners’ Club: