Although the ultimate aim is to end our dependency on fossil fuels, research shows it would be a great waste to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The Norwegian oil and gas sector possesses a wealth of expertise, products and services that can be adapted for offshore wind, offshore aquaculture, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and the like.
In recent years, several groups of researchers at the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture at the University of Oslo have studied companies along the value chain in the petroleum sector and their forays into new markets – one of which is offshore wind. The researchers explore the situation from various perspectives, including the technological and the market-related.
According to the authors of one study, six out of 10 dedicated offshore wind companies in their survey reported that their activities draw on experience from offshore oil and gas.¹ Offshore wind requires specialised skills, equipment and services. Thanks to technology overlap, notably in the maritime and subsea areas, it is not an insurmountable step for oil and gas companies to adapt and redeploy their existing technologies in offshore wind. This makes it an attractive industry to enter.
Diversification to offshore wind is also attractive from an economic perspective, as activities in the oil and gas sector can be reorganised relatively quickly in response to fluctuations in market conditions.
Thus, in addition to opening up new business opportunities, diversification may enable companies to reduce dependence on a single market and to reorient and distribute resources between markets according to the situation – retreating from or returning to their core market. ²