The announcement by the Danish parliament that it intends to abandon its planned round of tenders for oil exploration and stop all production within the Danish sector of the North Sea by 2050, was a shock to many observers within the industry. Although Denmark intends to provide support to local towns that are heavily dependent on the oil industry, there has been no mention as to what, if any support, will be provided to the helicopter companies that fly to the oil platforms in the region.
Denmark’s Minister of Climate, Energy and Supply, Dan Jørgensen, said: “I am very pleased that we now have a broad agreement on the future of the North Sea, and I would like to thank the parties for their constructive approach to the negotiations. The agreement sets a new, green course for the North Sea, and at the same time strikes a really good balance, and it benefits everyone. We are now putting an end to the fossil era, and drawing a straight line between our activities in the North Sea and the Climate Act’s goal of climate neutrality in 2050.”
The long-term impact that this may have on helicopter operators that support the oil and gas industry is only now being discussed. As the world tries to remove its reliance on fossil fuels, those myriad industries that support the oil and gas companies may well have to look for alternative sources of revenue in the future. While offshore helicopter operations will comfortably continue for at least another decade, operators such as Babcock are confident that nothing drastic will change in the immediate future. This is demonstrated by its preparation of three Airbus H175s for the Danish register, which will operate from Esbjerg. This will be the first time that Babcock has operated from Denmark, and marks the start of a five-year agreement. So, although things may ultimately change in the end, as the world seeks for more environmentally friendly sources of energy, helicopters will in some way be helping this to eventually become a reality.