North Sea Nova rig powered by lithium-ion batteries

Siemens is supplying what it describes as the world’s first energy storage solution to an offshore drilling rig.

Offshore staff

ERLANGEN, GermanySiemens is supplying what it describes as the world’s first energy storage solution to an offshore drilling rig.

The BlueVault lithium-ion battery-based solution will be installed on Northern Drilling ultra-deepwater semisubmersibleWest Mira, which will operate on Wintershall’s Nova field development, 120 km (75 mi) northwest of Bergen, in the Norwegian North Sea.

This will be the world’s first modern drilling rig to operate a low-emission hybrid (diesel-electric) power plant using lithium-ion energy storage, Siemens claimed, the set-up in this case featuring four converter-battery systems providing combined maximum power of 6 MW.

Bjørn Einar Brath, head of Offshore Solutions at Siemens, said: “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.”

BlueVault should lead to a 42% reduction in the runtime of the rig’s on-platform diesel engines, the company added, cutting its carbon dioxide emissions by 15% and its nitrous oxide emissions by 12%.

The batteries will be charged from the rig’s diesel-electric generators and will supply power during peak load times. In addition, they will provide a backup to prevent blackouts, and power to the thrusters in the event of a loss of all running machinery.

Seadrill Norway Operations will operate theWest Mira on behalf of Northern Drilling for the six wells in on Nova, with the program potentially starting next summer.

Siemens will continue to work with Seadrill to ensure the hybrid power solution meets the performance and reliability requirements.

The energy storage solution is based on technology proven in more than 60 marine vessels worldwide, including the world’s first electric car ferry, the MF Ampere, in Norway.


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