Early December last year Siemens announced the launch of the first hybrid power plant for offshore rigs combined with energy storage featuring lithium-ion batteries.
The company first unveiled the Blue Vault power supply and storage system in May this year in yet another sign of its growing focus on energy storage at just the right time.
As the oil and gas industry has become the favourite punching bag of the environmentally conscious, sector players have scrambled to find ways to relieve the pressure at least partially. This has combined nicely with the cost-cutting drive that followed the 2014 oil price collapse to produce various tech solutions that offer both lower emissions and lower costs for this or that.
In the case of Blue Vault, Siemens said the system could reduce a rig’s fuel consumption by 12 percent with carbon dioxide emissions down by 15 percent. The battery storage part has a maximum power of 6 MW. The whole installation will supply power to the West Mira rig, which is deployed at the Nova Field and operated by Seadrill on behalf of Northern Drilling. According to Siemens, the West Mira rig is the first to benefit from a hybrid power supply system that will reduce the runtime of the diesel engines on the platform, which will in turn reduce the rig’s emissions by an amount equivalent to the annual emissions of 10,000 cars.
That’s pretty impressive, and what’s more, it’s already been tried and tested, just not on drilling rigs but on vessels– 60 of them. And Siemens has great expectations for the future, too.
“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 Siemens’ offshore solutions chief, Bjørn Einar Brath.
Paul Cozma P.Geo