The Gulf of Mexico is a prime location for the petroleum industry, but that doesn’t mean it’s not ideal for offshore wind opportunities too. As oil and gas operators are facing more governmental and public pressure to expand into clean alternatives and initiatives, the coming decade could be one of the best times for local operators to embrace a more versatile project portfolio to include offshore wind.
Oil and Wind, Side by Side
The future of oil and gas has been controversial for quite some time, but so is the real potential for wind energy. With growing concerns over climate change and the use of non-renewable resources, petroleum extraction companies are likely to see an impact on their operations in the years ahead. However, the increasing and inevitable demand for energy also means that oil and gas operators still have a place in the immediate future, especially if there are prolonged market shortages.
Wind power development has put some oil operators around the United States in an awkward spot, but the opportunities for long-term sustainability and financial security are there. Operators in the Gulf of Mexico don’t have to worry about wind, because like much of the US coast, they are located in an area primed to produce a substantial supply. This among many other attractive benefits has created an uptick in proposed wind farm leases throughout the Gulf in recent years.
Why Embrace Offshore Wind Power in the Gulf?
The Gulf is still a prime spot for oil and gas extraction, which has fueled the growth of production in neighboring states. However, the coastline’s affinity and history with the energy industry, in general, provides a natural advantage for exploring greener resources.
Power from People
One of the biggest challenges when branching into any new industry or technology is access to quality labor, whether it revolves around training, education or experience. The Gulf of Mexico already boasts a highly-experienced oil and gas workforce that is primed to adopt green energy practices and skills swiftly. And since 80% of the US population lives within 200 miles of the coast, there’s lots of room for growth in this sector and the available talent pool that can help make it happen.
Wind and Weather
The efficiency and viability of wind energy depend on local weather patterns throughout the year. The coastal areas around the Gulf of Mexico exhibit a high potential for energy production based on common wind conditions in the area. Offshore developments tend to be more efficient and consistent than those on dry land.
Wind operators may qualify for substantial tax credits each year if they meet certain criteria. The technology and equipment is also more economically sustainable in the long run, which can lower production costs. Additionally, companies can benefit from better public relations opportunities when they invest in clean, renewable and reliable energy sources.
Operating at the Forefront
As offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico look to the future, it is becoming increasingly clear that expanding their project portfolio to include clean, renewable and reliable energy sources such as offshore wind is in their best interest. Not only does offshore wind offer a much lower carbon footprint than traditional fossil fuel-based energy sources, but it is also a rapidly growing industry that presents a significant opportunity for early movers to capture a large share of the market. Moreover, offshore wind farms can provide a valuable source of revenue during the decommissioning process of offshore oil and gas assets, helping to offset the costs of site remediation.
Making Room for Wind
There’s plenty of room in the Gulf for both wind and oil operators to coexist without much conflict. However, leasing options are limited based on regulation, legislation and environmental factors. Currently, wind lease auctions are the convention for designating space to operators in the Gulf and along other US coastlines. The sooner companies branch into wind energy, the sooner they can start bidding and investing in the right locations for their objectives.
Be Safe in All Offshore Operations
With years of experience serving both petroleum and clean energy operators, Pharma-Safe is strategically poised to work with companies branching out into renewable sources. From regulatory compliance to health and safety solutions, we’ve got the expertise and resources to help operators step into the future of energy production.
Contact Pharma-Safe today to propel your production forward.