Power

Oil giant BP enters offshore wind market in $1bn deal

British energy major BP, aiming to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, on Thursday entered the offshore wind market in a US tie-up with Norwegian peer Equinor.

Under the deal, BP will pay Equinor $1.1 billion (933 million euros) for interests in wind developments off the coasts of New York and Massachusetts, while pursuing other US projects together.

Until now, BP has only operated onshore wind assets, mostly in the United States.

“BP and Equinor today announced the formation of a new strategic partnership to develop offshore wind projects in the US,” the pair said in a statement.

“This includes the development of existing offshore wind leases on the US East coast and jointly pursuing further opportunities for offshore wind in the US.”

BP had last month set out its plans for a greener future for the London-listed energy titan, whose finances and reputation were severely damaged by the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in 2010.

“This is an important early step in the delivery of our new strategy and our pivot to truly becoming an integrated energy company,” added chief executive Bernard Looney in Thursday’s statement.

“Offshore wind is growing at around 20 percent a year globally and is recognised as being a core part of meeting the world’s need to limit emissions.

“Equinor is a recognised sector leader and this partnership builds on a long history between our two companies. It will play a vital role in allowing us to deliver our aim of rapidly scaling up our renewable energy capacity, and in doing so help deliver the energy the world wants and needs.”

Also in August, BP revealed it had plunged into a gigantic second-quarter net loss of almost $16.85 billion as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged oil demand and prices, triggering huge asset writedowns.

Looney took over the helm in February, shortly before the tenth anniversary of the explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico that triggered the worst oil spill in US history.

The disaster killed 11 employees and cost the British firm tens of billions of dollars in damages and compensation.

Agence France-Presse

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