North Sea producers BP, Equinor, and Ithaca Energy have agreed to explore electrification options for the oil and gas production facilities located offshore the West of Shetland, UK, to reduce emissions.

Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU), the firms will focus on electrifying three North Sea fields including the BP-operated Clair field, the Equinor-operated Rosebank field, and the Ithaca-operated Cambo field.

UK Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change Graham Stuart said: “This signing is an important step for industry towards reducing their emissions while protecting jobs and delivering on the commitments in the landmark North Sea Transition Deal.”

Some of the electrification solutions being considered include offshore wind, or power from shore using onshore wind.

The firms are also seeking to address technical challenges presented due to the fields’ remote and deep-water locations, as well as some regulatory, commercial, and consenting hurdles.

The MoU comes soon after the formation of the West of Shetland Electrification (WoSE) group that represents the joint venture partners of the three North Sea fields.

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WoSE group spokesperson said: “This initiative seeks to evaluate the technical, commercial, and regulatory challenges of various low-carbon power hub solutions to recommend a technically and commercially viable option that can meet the requirements of the three field owners within the respective project timeframes.

“Continued production from the West of Shetland supports the UK Government’s drive for home-grown oil and gas, with a lower carbon footprint, while protecting the jobs, skills, and supply chain needed to drive the energy transition.”