Energy Diversification Sub Committee

Reflections on Geophysical Survey Activities and Integration for Offshore Wind

Timothy Watton

Timothy Watton
Specialist Geoscience for Renewables, Equinor

Wednesday, June 15th, 2022 – 12:00 PM MST


The offshore wind sector has begun to expand rapidly to meet the increasing demand for renewable energy sources so the world can meet global climate targets.  For the first time it is projected that capital expenditure on offshore wind projects in 2022 in Europe will out compete that of offshore upstream oil and gas projects. This is an important milestone for the geophysical discipline as it indicates change in both the vendor market and the role geophysicists and geologist play in the relative to “traditional” expectations. This talk will walk through the main aspects of an offshore wind development, the requirements for geophysical survey and the challenges faced to make timely, cost-effective acquisition in difficult nearshore environments. Finally, the importance of integration towards engineering disciplines is highlighted showing the changing role that geoscientists have in the energy transition.


Tim Watton has a degree in Geology from the University of Birmingham and a PhD in Applied Volcanology and Rock Physics from the University of Durham. Tim has ten years’ experience working within Equinor from frontier exploration, nearfield exploration, production, well operations and research. Within the last two and a half years Tim’s focus has changed to the renewable sector especially offshore wind. Tim has been the geophysics discipline lead on Empire and Beacon Wind projects in the US and now holds this role for South Korea projects and various Business Development opportunities globally.  His focus now is the promotion of geophysical techniques, interpretation and integration towards geotechnical and survey (hydrographic) disciplines to build robust understanding of the near surface for the placement of facilities. Tim’s safety goal is” Always share and always be open” referring to the need to always share and discuss critical information.