Equinor’s Dogger Bank offshore wind projects – for which it was awarded contracts for difference in the UK’s Third Allocation Round (Round 3) last week – will be the company’s largest project in 2019-2026 and also rank as the sixth largest offshore development project in the world during in the same period
The UK authorities announced on 20 September 2019 that Equinor and joint venture partner SSE had been chosen to develop what will be the world’s largest offshore windfarm, Dogger Bank, with an expected US$11Bn in capital investments between 2020-2026.
Rystad Energy head of oilfield service research Audun Martinsen said, “Equinor’s mega offshore wind investment promises hope for a deflated service industry. An 11-digit investment programme – a rare occurrence in the offshore oil and gas industry – is entirely unprecedented in the offshore wind space.”
To put this level of investment into context, Rystad Energy ranked all offshore development projects globally by total investment. Looking at Equinor’s current portfolio, Dogger Bank is number one for the period from 2000 to 2026, above yet-to-be-sanctioned oil projects such as Carcara in Brazil and Rosebank in the UK.
“In the global offshore world, the Dogger Bank investment will rival key Brazilian deepwater oil projects such as Mero and Lula,” said Rystad.
“The influx of offshore wind contracts worth billions of dollars will be welcomed with open arms by marine contractors,” said Mr Martinsen.
He said this was particularly the case because “Many anticipate challenging times ahead given the uncertain outlook for offshore oil and gas developments. Order intake is expected to struggle in the early 2020s due to the increasing market share of shale and OPEC oil, and reduced oil prices.”
Mr Martinsen said Equinor hopes to become the world’s largest offshore wind operator. In July, it won a major project off the coast of New York that represents another US$3Bn of potential investment. Another four projects, totalling around 7.4 GW in capacity, are also up for sanctioning in the 2020s.
Mr Martinsen said Equinor’s offshore wind master plan could hold the key to reversing the uncertain trend in oilfield services, as other operators rally behind the company, which has become a standard-bearer “putting the wind in the sails of the offshore industry.”