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Wind-Powered Oil Rigs?

• May 02, 2012 • 9:37 AM

It takes fossil fuels to find more fossil fuels: the offshore platforms that produce an ever-greater amount of the world’s oil and natural gas use loads of power, and emit loads of greenhouse gases, in the process. But those gigantic drills and subsea pumps could be run instead on eco-friendly wind power, say a group of Norwegian researchers. In a paper presented at the Offshore Technology Conference, a colossal annual gathering of some 70,000 energy industry professionals, the researchers make the case that wind power could save companies millions of dollars in operating costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well. Those cost savings come in large part because of taxes Norway has imposed on carbon emissions in an effort to slow climate change. Somehow, I doubt that subsidizing the underwater oil industry is what they had in mind.

Vince Beiser
Vince Beiser is an award-winning journalist based in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter @vincelb.

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