Monday, December 19, 2016

Statoil Bails on Canadian Tar Sands Oil, Dives into Offshore Wind Power

New York Proposed Lease Area (Image Credit: US BOEM) Click to Enlarge.
Norway’s state-owned Statoil oil and gas company won the right to develop an offshore wind farm in US waters last week, practically within hours of selling off its tar sands oil assets in Canada.  The new wind area is off the coast of New York State, hard by New York City, which makes it a high status, high visibility site for the global energy giant.

Bidding for the offshore lease was “intense,” which brings up the question:  exactly what kind of great deals will President-elect Donald Trump bring to the US public, as steward of the nation’s vast fossil and renewable energy resources?

Offshore Wind Taking Off In The US
The new wind lease is part of a coordinated program to develop wind farms off the Atlantic Coast.  Including the new New York lease, the US Department of the Interior has now leased 11 offshore areas for development through its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Much of the 3,000-mile-long coast is ideal for renewable energy development.  The relatively shallow waters of the Continental Shelf are one attraction.

Another plus is the proximity of major population centers all along the coast, from Boston to New York City and on down to Miami.

The warm, electricity-hungry southern coastal states form another added bonus in terms of demand growth.  Climate change is one factor (think: more air conditioning).  Another factor is the region’s notoriously lax worker protections, which have helped to spark a resurgence of industrial activity.

As for Statoil, the company is still a leading oil and gas developer with recent investments in the Gulf of Mexico, and its US shale assets are problematic to say the least.  Some are located in the Bakken play, starting point of the proposed (and temporarily stalled) Dakota Access oil pipeline.

On the other hand, the ditching of the tar sands oil is a step in the right direction, and Statoil has been transitioning rapidly into wind energy.

Read more at Statoil Bails on Canadian Tar Sands Oil, Dives into Offshore Wind Power

No comments:

Post a Comment