German manufacturing conglomerate Siemens has agreed to supply BlueVault, its lithium-ion battery-based solution at Northern Drilling's West Mira offshore drilling rig which is located in North Sea's Nova Field, about 120km northwest of Bergen, Norway.
West Mira is a sixth-generation, ultra-deepwater semi-submersible designed by Moss Maritime and is claimed to be a modern drilling rig that operates on low-emission hybrid (diesel-electric) power plant using lithium-ion energy storage.
BlueVault includes four converter-battery systems for a total maximum power of 6MW. The German company claims that installing BlueVault can help to reduce up to 42% in the runtime of on-platform diesel engines, resulting in the reduction of CO2 emissions by 15% and NOx emissions by 12%. This is equivalent to annual emissions from nearly 10,000 automobiles.
Siemens offshore solutions head Bjørn Einar Brath said: “The integration of energy storage with the power supply and distribution system of a drilling rig represents an important step towards improving the environmental sustainability of the offshore oil and gas industry.
“Offshore rigs have highly variable power consumption for drilling and dynamic positioning. By incorporating energy storage, it is possible to reduce the runtime of diesel engines and also keep them operating on an optimized combustion level. This ultimately leads to lower emissions.”
These lithium-ion batteries will be charged from the diesel-electric generators on the rig and used for supplying power during peak load times. Furthermore, they will act as backup to prevent blackout situations and offer power to the thrusters in unlikely events of loss of all running machinery.
The West Mira rig will be operated by Seadrill Norway Operations on behalf of Northern Drilling. Wintershall has contracted the facility for six wells in their Nova field. This contract includes options for early beginning in the third quarter of next year along with follow-on options. If all the options are exercised, West Mira expects to be contracted to Wintershall until the first quarter of 2022.
In the coming months, the German company said that will work with Seadrill to ensure that the hybrid power solution meets the performance and reliability requirements of the facility.
Brath continued saying: “We expect this market to grow significantly, and consequently have invested heavily in the development of safe and reliable ESS solutions by establishing a production facility for battery modules in Trondheim, Norway.
“The facility will play an important role in helping Siemens meet the global demand for more efficient drilling operations, with the ultimate goal of reducing the offshore industry’s carbon footprint.”