Solar-powered gas platform makes North Sea debutRoyal Dutch Shell has started pumping gas from its new "Cutter" gas platform. The new platform, powered solely by two wind turbines and two solar panels, measures just eight metres square, half the size (and half the cost) of conventional installations.
Tom Botts, Shell's European VP for exploration and production, says it shows the company's commitment to environmentally sustainable design.
An alternative view is that it demonstrates Shell's desperation to keep pumping gas from rapidly declining fields. The smaller, more flexible platform design is key to Shell's ability to exploit increasingly marginal fields.