Norwegian offshore drilling contractor Odfjell Drilling will retrofit two of its deepwater, semi-submersible drilling rigs with the Siemens Energy BlueDrive DC-Grid system, with the aim to reduce emissions.

The Siemens Energy BlueDrive DC-Grid solution consists of DC/DC converters connected to the existing four drilling drive DC buses from one side and to DC/DC converters connected to energy-storage systems, allowing operators to conduct peak shaving of drilling loads, so fewer generator sets can run at higher and steadier loads — reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions, improving sustainability, and minimizing a rig’s carbon footprint. 

Further, the solution will increase the power plant’s reliability by reducing blackouts, which will prevent downtime and boost asset utilization, Siemens Energy said.

As part of the agreement between Odfjell Drilling and Siemens Energy, the upgrades will be carried out on Deepsea Atlantic and Deepsea Nordkapp offshore drilling rigs, with the opportunity to include Deepsea Stavanger, Deepsea Aberdeen, and Deepsea Yantai at a later stage.Deepsea Nordkapp / Photo: Odfjell Drilling via

With these upgrades, Siemens Energy said, the rigs will push the boundaries for conventionally powered offshore rigs and set a new technological standard in Odfjell Drilling’s strategy towards zero-emission drilling.

“These projects are the result of asking a simple yet challenging question: ‘What would be the most efficient technological approach to minimize emissions from a rig in the short term?’ The resulting ideas were very well received by Odfjell Drilling’s customers and will contribute to their long-term emission targets, so this is business and low-emission targets working hand-in-hand,” said Per Lund, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President, Technology & Sustainability, Odfjell Drilling. According to Siemens Energy, BlueDrive DC Grid technology is the first of its kind to be installed on an offshore drilling rig.

Siemens Energy further said that the long-term relationship and technology cooperation between Odfjell Drilling and Siemens Energy also includes several R&D initiatives related to power from shore or nearby platforms and floating offshore wind farms to fixed platforms or rigs.

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