The Scottish oil industry is declining like wind energy beacons

Aberdeen, Scotland – It is easy to see how important oil is to the glorious port city of Aberdeen, on the northeast coast of Scotland. Get out of the door of a small international airport and be hit by the sound of helicopters flying over the oil fields scattered across the North Sea.

Drive to the city and visit some 71,000 engineers, geologists, drills and other large office parks in Scotland working in the oil and gas industry. Overall, the industry accounts for approximately 7% of Scotland’s economic output.

But Scotland’s oil and gas industry is in trouble.

Oil production in Britain’s North Sea has plummeted for two decades, and last year production was about one-third higher than in 1999. Natural gas production in the region is also declining: in recent weeks, gas prices have skyrocketed, causing bills to fall. According to Oil & Gas UK, work related to the offshore oil industry has dropped by about 40 percent in the last five years.

At one point, Scotland’s economy and a major source of government funding, the oil and gas industry “is not the only source of income,” said Malcolm Forbes-Cable, vice president of energy consulting.

In fact, the cost of shutting down and demolishing thousands of wells and hundreds of platforms, estimated at 46 46 billion ($ 68 billion) recently, has exceeded their revenue potential.

Last month, under pressure from environmentalists, Scotland’s first prime minister – the highest-ranking official – urged the British government to visit overseas licenses, which are still in the planning stages. He called on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to reconsider his plans “in light of the seriousness of the current climate crisis.”

The approval of such licenses is often a foregone conclusion, and the move has sent shock waves through the industry. Mr Johnson has a final call, but oil executives say blocking new oil fields, up to 18 growths and effectively stopping more than ቢሊዮን 21 billion in investment over the next five years could be a death knell for the industry.

Ms. Sturgeon’s main target is an oil field known as Cambo, west of the Shetland Islands, which is considered to be one of the most promising resources. Sikakar Point Energy, the majority owner, said the private equity firm, which owns the giant Blackstone, has already spent $ 190 million on the field. Creates 1,000 direct jobs. Opponents of climate change have called for an immediate end to hostilities, calling for an immediate end to hostilities. (Mr Johnson has previously said the government “cannot terminate contracts”).

According to Forbes-Cable, Sturgeon is “running a tightrope” between Cambo’s work and investment in a referendum on oil exploration in the North Sea that requires her support. Scottish independence.

The current congestion of natural gas prices in Britain and internationally could intensify the debate over the sustainability of industrial development. Despite declining North Sea production, Britain is still the second largest oil producer in Europe after Norway, a feature that may seem more valuable a few months ago.

Ms. Sturgeon and Mr. Johnson also want to see Britain tackle climate change as Britain prepares to host a major United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) in November.

Questions about the future of the oil and gas industry in Scotland highlight the trends that have evolved over the years. Last year, investment in British exploration and drilling fell to just 7 3.7 billion, the lowest level since oil production began in 1973.

For her part, Mayer Spooge, director of the Alderder Institute at Strateklide University, said it was difficult to find new sources of paid work, but it was important for Scotland’s economic and social health.

“We do not want to repeat the mistakes of the 1980s,” she said, adding that the loss of home and unemployment in Britain, such as the severe loss of coal and heavy industry.

For many, renewable energy development in Scotland, especially on the coast, could provide a way to gradually replace ships, oil and gas. Globally, marine turbines still account for less than 1 percent of the world’s energy, but Hemi Bahir, an analyst at the International Energy Agency, said the project will attract $ 29 billion by 2020, with 8 percent of the world’s total renewable energy.

And a pilot farm on the Pitherhad fishing port north of Aberdeen represents a new frontier for this field.

Instead of sitting at the bottom of the ocean, these turbines are attached to cables on top of long standing structures called floats. Because they float, they can be placed at sea, taking into account the practical limits of most turbines, which are approximately 200 feet deep.

That would not only open up the vast oceans where the machines would be stored, but would also enable them to take advantage of strong, steady winds far from the surface.

A $ 230 million wind farm floats in the 300-meter-deep waters of Peterhad, bringing all of Britain’s coastal wind farms to their theoretical potential – about 54%. The reason is the strong wind.

“We can go to deep water, high wind speeds,” said Ben Lawson, a wind farm owner and maintenance manager who owns and operates a Norwegian company. The success of this project should not be underestimated.

In fact, that opens the way for billions of dollars of wind farms along the coasts of California, Japan, and France, there are major power markets, but the water is too deep for conventional overseas machines.

“These are the areas where we work,” said Sonja Chiriko Inrebo, vice president of the Incarnation Floating Wind.

Aberdeen sees the opportunity. It is building a new 350 350 million port with a large number of turbines designed to accommodate a large number of turbine units as well as oil terminals.

“Once in a lifetime, you will have the opportunity to work on the new port,” he said.

The idea requires the same skills as designing, building, and operating floating structures to build and manage overseas equipment and drilling platforms.

“Properly and collaboratively between industry and the government, it will create the next big industry for Scotland in the next 50 years,” said Jim McDonald, chief chancellor and vice-chancellor of Strateklide University and Scottish government adviser. Energy.

The Scottish government is also selecting new offshore wind rental companies with potential investments of up to 30 30 billion.

All major European oil companies, including BP, Total, Equatorial and Royal Dutch, are participating. And some are not ashamed of the telegraph that their victory will help keep wages in their Aberdeen offices, which are at risk of oil and gas shortages. If BP finds the farm it needs, the company says it will create 120 jobs for Aberdeen’s growing marine business.

His dream is not only to build wind farms from Britain, but also to develop the Aberdeen region to supply the world with wind power, just as he did in the oil industry, where the world’s marine technology is leading.

The old hands warn that floating in oil and gas turbines is useful in oil turbines, but the businesses are also different.

Turbines are much smaller than naval forces, for example, new technology means “everything is done automatically” because former BP CEO Alan Makaskil, who recently completed a wind farm near Aberdeen.

Paul De Lee, director of the Institute for Energy Transfer at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, said the energy industry could find more jobs by the end of the decade. But Scotland and Britain as a whole should prioritize the use of locally produced equipment (many parts have been built elsewhere for turbines off the coast of Britain) and ensure that oil and gas failures are very slow.

“If you don’t do these things, we can get fewer jobs than we do now,” he said.

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