Global technology powerhouse Siemens has announced plans to install the world"s first lithium-ion battery solution for an offshore drilling rig.
BlueVault, the advanced lithium-ion battery-based solution of Siemens, will be deployed at Northern Drilling"s West Mira offshore drilling rig that will operate in the North Sea"s Nova Field, 120 km northwest of Bergen, said a statement from Siemens.
West Mira is a sixth-generation, ultra-deepwater semi-submersible designed by Moss Maritime and will be the world"s first modern drilling rig to operate a low-emission hybrid (diesel-electric) power plant using lithium-ion energy storage.
The solution consists of four converter-battery systems for a total maximum power of six megawatts, it stated.
"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," remarked Bjørn Einar Brath, the head of Offshore Solutions in Siemens.
"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," stated Brath.
Siemens pointed out that the installation of BlueVault on West Mira would result in an estimated 42 per cent reduction in the runtime of on-platform diesel engines, reducing CO2 emissions by 15 per cent and NOx emissions by 12 per cent, which is equivalent to annual emissions from approximately 10,000 automobiles.
The batteries will be charged from the rig"s diesel-electric generators and used for supplying power during peak load times, it stated.
In addition, they will serve as backup to prevent blackout situations and provide power to the thrusters in the unlikely event of loss of all running machinery, it added.
Seadrill Norway Operations will operate the West Mira rig on behalf of Northern Drilling.
Wintershall has contracted the facility for six wells in their Nova field. The contract includes options for early commencement starting in Q3 of 2019, as well as follow-on options.
As part of a strategy to continue providing low-emissions solutions for harsh offshore operating environments, Siemens opened a fully robotized and digitalised plant in Norway that will develop and manufacture energy storage technologies for both marine and offshore oil and gas applications.
"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," said Brath.
"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," he added