Oil and Gas in the future
Energy demands will continue to grow over the coming decades. Renewables cannot meet this growing demand alone as they will only provide around half of the total energy requirement by 2050. Oil & gas production will continue to be necessary during the transition period and Dutch players have the opportunity to offer the most sustainable solutions worldwide. The North Sea accommodates Europe’s largest oil and natural gas reserves, the majority owned by Norway and the UK. Other owners of North Sea oil & gas are the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany.
The Netherlands has around 160 oil & gas platforms on the North Sea with 13 companies licensed to track or extract oil and natural gas. These companies research possible reserves in the soil and under the North Sea, and extract the oil and/or natural gas after drilling.
Several recent drilling campaigns for gas were realised logistically from IJmuiden and new production platforms taken into use. Although the current gas prices are putting pressure on new investments, North Sea gas will remain essential to stop gas extraction on land in Groningen.
Due to the transition to sustainable energy and the approaching end of the economic lifespan of oil & gas platforms, substantial investments will be required in wind at sea, the modification and electrification of existing platforms and the disassembly of outdated ones.
- Increasing the sustainability of existing platforms. Methane emissions from production platforms are high. The sector has made agreements to reduce this figure by 50% and is also looking at using electricity from wind at sea to electrify platforms.
- Reusing platforms and infrastructure. Old platforms wells can be reused for the underground storage of captured CO2, or platforms and pipelines could produce and transport hydrogen produced at sea. A prime example is PosHYdon, a pilot project on the Q13a field and a partnership between Neptune Energy, Nexstep and TNO.
- (Re)considering disassembly. Production locations can reach the end of their economic and/or technical lifespan. Current developments certainly make it worthwhile expanding their lifespan or maintaining the infrastructure to avoid costs in the future. This is an option for gas extraction, but also for alternative uses. Some 60% of the current installations are expected to be dismantled in the next decade.
We see major opportunities for our members in all activities. Many organisations in our association are strong in custom maintenance and modification solutions and have experience in offshore. The techniques required are currently being developed and the related innovation can be provided by AYOP members in the form of:
- Knowledge and experience
- Product and service portfolio
- Network and existing partnerships
- Development of the Energy Port (extra space for activities like storage and assembly, directly by the sea)
- A focus on suitable staff and innovation