Oil majors Shell and ExxonMobil have begun gas production from a novel drilling rig that uses renewable energy to power its operations.

The unmanned Cutter development field in the southern North Sea will use wind and solar technologies to power the monopole structure, apparently allowing carbon free gas production.

Cutter is located some 120 km from the UK’s Norfolk coast and exports to the Bacton Gas Plant. The field is expected to be producing for at least 15 years.