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Siemens Energy delivers energy storage solution for Maersk Drilling jack-up drilling rigs

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Oilfield Technology,

Siemens Energy signed an agreement with Maersk Drilling to upgrade two ultra-harsh environment CJ70 jack-up drilling rigs in the North Sea with hybrid power plants using lithium-ion energy storage. The rigs – the Maersk Intrepid and Maersk Integrator – were retrofitted with BlueVault™ batteries from Siemens Energy. They are the first jack-ups to employ a combination of hybrid, low-emission solutions on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The batteries have enabled Maersk Drilling to reduce the runtime of onboard combustion engines and maintain an operational setpoint where energy efficiency is maximised. The initial data point shows that Maersk Intrepid in the first month of operations with the full set of upgrades installed was able to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% and NOX emissions by 95% compared to the baseline average for the rig.

“We’re thrilled to receive a promising first data set on emission reductions,” said Caroline Alting, Head of Integrity & Projects for Maersk Drilling. “It’s still too early to make any definitive conclusions on average emission reductions over time, but the preliminary results are promising with reductions around 25% compared to the rig’s baseline, driven by both energy-saving technology and behavioural changes supported by the low-emission package.”

The advanced BlueVault battery system is suited for both all-electric and hybrid power applications and is specifically designed to minimise emissions and ensure continuity of power on offshore vessels. The solution has been installed on various marine vessels worldwide, including the West Mira ultra-deep semi-submersible, the world’s first low-emissions drilling rig to use lithium-ion energy storage.

Offshore rigs are ideally suited for hybrid power plants, as they have highly variable power consumption for drilling, dynamic positioning, and station keeping. The diesel-electric solution with BlueVault energy storage will reduce the transient load on generator sets, meaning that basic requirements can be met by fewer engines operating at a higher load, thus decreasing carbon emissions.

The batteries' temperature is regulated with a water-cooling system, which works as a passive safety layer to prevent thermal runaway. Another differentiating feature is the system’s digitalised condition monitoring system, which provides state of health (SOH) and state of charge (SOC) transparency for individual cells to maximise the batteries’ performance and lifespan.

Siemens Energy also supplied BlueDrive power electronics and advanced monitoring software.

“We are proud to contribute to Maersk Drilling’s strategy to set a new industry standard for low-emission offshore drilling and look forward to bringing this highly sustainable solution to additional rigs in the future,” said Jennifer Hooper, Senior Vice President, Industrial Applications Solutions for Siemens Energy.

Maersk Drilling applied for project funding through the NOX Fund – a Norwegian fund dedicated to reducing NOX emissions. The fund is contributing a grant of up to 80% of project costs (subject to verification of the emission-reducing upgrades). It has high hopes that the ultra-harsh jack-ups will be a benchmark for the offshore industry as it drives toward emissions reductions.

The global fleet of Jack-ups is nearly 500 units. Siemens Energy believes that approximately 300 of these may be eligible candidates for similar upgrades with BlueVault batteries. Upgrading all of these drilling rigs with batteries would potentially reduce emissions by more than 1 million tpy of CO2, equivalent to annual emissions from 725 000 automobiles.

Read the latest issue of Oilfield Technology in full for free: Oilfield Technology's November/December 2020 issue

The November/December issue of Oilfield Technology begins by reviewing the state of the North Sea before moving on to cover a range of topics, including Drilling Technologies, Deepwater Operations, Flow Control.

Contributors come from Varel Energy Solutions, Gyrodata, Clariant Oil Services, Drillmec and many more.

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