Battery storage solution for Norwegian North Sea drilling rig

Siemens has supplied a lithium-ion energy storage solution (ESS) to an offshore drilling rig in a move aimed at reducing the costs and environmental impact of oil production. 

The installation will make the West Mira drilling rig the first modern oil platform to operate a low-emission hybrid power plant using lithium-ion energy storage, says the company. The solution comprises four converter-battery systems for a total maximum power capacity of 6 MW.

The integration of Siemens’ BlueVault solution on West Mira will result in an estimated 42% reduction in the runtime of on-platform diesel engines, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 15% and NOx emissions by 12%, adds the company. 

The batteries will be charged using the rig’s diesel-electric generators and will supply power during peak load times. In addition, the ESS will act as a backup in the event of a power loss and can provide power to the rig’s thrusters if all running machinery is lost. 

‘Offshore rigs have highly variable power consumption for drilling and dynamic positioning,’ explains Bjørn Einar Brath, Head of Offshore Solutions at Siemens. ‘By incorporating energy storage, it is possible to reduce the runtime of diesel engines and also keep them operating at an optimised combustion level. This ultimately leads to lower emissions.’

West Mira will operate in the North Sea’s Nova Field, approximately 120 km northwest of Bergen, Norway. In the coming months, Siemens will work with the rig’s operator, Seadrill, to ensure that the ESS meets performance and reliability requirements.

Siemens has recently operated a battery module production facility in Trondheim, Norway as it anticipates greater interest in efficient drilling operations. 

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