April 22, 2021

Oil industry companies are transitioning into cleaner energy

2 min read

According to information from the Petroleum Equipment and Services Association, companies in the oil and gas sector laid off approximately 100,000 employees by August last year. The Covid-19 pandemic played a significant role in the job losses. Companies have since re-absorbed about 21,000 workers.

The offshore wind industry is projected to take over the green energy sector by the collar, with hundreds of billions of dollars invested in new generation turbines on a global scale. Economies will grow, new jobs will be created, warehouses and storage yards will be constructed, and specialized ships deployed to install turbines and barges. As the offshore industry blooms, oil industry firms are eyeing this new opportunity with open eyes. After tagging along with the oil industry for several decades, companies such as Crowley Maritime Corp are shifting to the promising renewable energy sector.

“I think this industry, offshore wind, but renewables in general, is going to be a platform for Crowley as they move forward for the next 100 years, without a doubt, “noted Jeff Andreini, head of the New Energy Division at Crowley. Crowley is not alone in this transition.  Most suppliers previously working with oil industries are considering renewables. As the world bounces back to stable economies after a brief disruption by the pandemic, energy companies and other industry players are presenting their green energy proposals.

Europe leads with the highest capacity of offshore wind. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, countries need to expand their offshore wind capacity to reach four times the current capacity. Investments towards offshore wind projects have to be increased from $18.9 billion to $61 billion yearly by 2030.

The US under Biden could boost wind energy through its new strategies to curb climate change. Besides, companies such as BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have plans to fund wind and other green energy sources to reverse their carbon footprint over the years that has contributed to global warming.

For Crowley, the plan is already in place with the newly created New Energy Division. The branch will implement several renewable energy projects such as liquid natural gas, photovoltaic solar arrays, and carbon capture technology.

“Renewables has now reached a sort of tipping point that it will just grow and grow and grow,” commented Ben Hooker. Hooker is the director of business development at Oceaneering International Inc., an offshore company that conducts ocean surveys, site assessment, and oil companies’ construction.

The oil industry is still the darling of many for reliability. However, the renewables sector is coming up strongly due to sustainability. “To be sure, the oil industry still dwarfs the renewable market. But wind turbines and other projects represent steadier work because they’re frequently backed by tax incentives and other government subsidies,” noted Soren Lassen, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie energy consulting firm.

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