Noble Interceptor rig; Source: Noble Corporation

20 Noble rigs sport digital emission-monitoring solution

With energy transition gaining more ground, offshore drilling players are getting increasingly embroidered in emission reduction quests and Noble Corporation is not different from its peers. The rig owner is taking this quest by the horns, as illustrated by a new milestone in the fleetwide rollout of Energy Efficiency Insights (EEI). This digital emission-monitoring solution is now available on 20 rigs in its fleet.

Noble’s determination to tackle emissions is demonstrated by the EEI solution, which was developed in-house, and allows its crew to monitor fuel consumption and derived greenhouse gas emissions in detail. The offshore drilling contractor explains this provides the basis for further analysing and modelling, enabling its team to gain insights into potential emission reductions and best practices.

Noble Interceptor rig; Source: Noble Corporation

According to the rig owner, it has been documented that EEI, supported by a sustainable behaviour programme, can deliver 6-10 per cent reductions in fuel consumption and derived emissions across multiple operations and rig types. As a result, Noble’s senior management turned the EEI rollout across its entire marketed fleet into a strategic priority in support of the firm’s emission reduction ambitions in partnership with its customers.

Freddy Falck, Noble’s Director of Decarbonisation and Technology, commented: “EEI enhances awareness by providing real-time insights into energy usage, encouraging sustainable fuel consumption patterns. Using this tool, Noble enables analysis and optimisation of our daily activities as well as understanding of the impact that energy efficiency initiatives have on our greenhouse gas emissions.”

The company claims that its sustainability framework underpins its mission to help provide “affordable energy efficiently, safely and sustainably.” Therefore, the rig owner wants to do its part in addressing climate change by supporting low-carbon energy initiatives, protecting the environment within which it operates, and being conscious of consumption patterns.

In line with this, Robert Eifler, Noble’s President and Chief Executive Officer, recently said: “As the overall global energy demand increases, the world will continue to rely on dependable sources of energy, and hence demand for hydrocarbons will continue to exist for decades to come. We wish to support customers in meeting the demand for oil and gas in a responsible manner.”

Decarbonisation efforts heat up

Within its sustainability highlights from 2022, Noble outlines that oil and gas will continue to play a significant role in meeting demand for energy as renewable sources are yet to reach technological maturity and global scalability. With the havoc climate change is wreaking across the globe and the surge in energy prices leaving its mark on the global economy and future prospects while underscoring the importance of energy independence, the company highlights the role the pursuit of low-carbon initiatives has against such a landscape.

In a bid to decarbonise the offshore drilling industry, Noble is actively exploring alternative power sources such as a green methanol feasibility study in 4Q 2022, conducted in collaboration with a customer and a third party, which aimed to provide insights on the implications of converting a jack-up rig from operating on conventional marine diesel oil to green methanol. The rig owner points out that converting a rig to operate on green methanol has the possibility of delivering annual reductions of up to 95 per cent of CO2 emissions.

Prior to this study, Noble conducted a test of running the Noble Interceptor rig’s engines on 100 per cent sustainable diesel in March 2022, with a comparable high level of engine performance, which resulted in a more than 94 per cent reduction of CO2 emissions. This test was conducted while the rig was quayside in Grenaa, Denmark.

The offshore drilling player is engaged in a flagship carbon capture and storage (CCS) project – run by the Project Greensand consortium, which is led by Ineos and Wintershall Dea – located offshore Denmark, where the goal is to build the capacity to significantly contribute to the Danish national target of reducing CO2 emissions by 70 per cent by 2023, compared to 1990.

As the preferred drilling contractor for Project Greensand, Noble retains a right to all drilling work involved in the project until the end of 2027. Greensand aims to develop a storage capacity of up to 8 million tons of CO2 annually by 2030.

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Caroline Alting, Noble’s Senior Vice President, Operational Excellence, remarked: “Leveraging a track record of decarbonisation efforts, we remain committed to supporting our customers’ emissions reduction ambitions through increased efficiency and low-emission solutions.”

Other offshore drilling contractors are also working on curbing emissions. This is hammered home by a hybrid system upgrade, which Odfjell Drilling carried out on one of its semi-submersible drilling rigs. In addition, Diamond Offshore joined forces with Norway’s Stepwise in February 2023 to reduce the carbon footprint of its rig fleet and improve energy efficiency.