Photo: Illustration; Source: io consulting

Designing of carbon-neutral offshore oil and gas platforms underway

U.S. engineering firm McDermott has teamed up with electrical equipment giant Schneider Electric and io consulting, a Baker Hughes company, to design carbon-neutral facilities for the upstream oil and natural gas market.

The trio said in a mutual statement that they would explore and develop a proof of concept based on an offshore platform reference case.

The result of the collaboration will be published in a joint study on Net Zero Facilities—Upstream before the end of the year.

The study defines a hierarchy of emissions-reduction technologies, ranked by maturity, investment, and impact to enable operators to make informed decisions when prioritizing areas for emissions reduction.

Samik Mukherjee, McDermott’s SVP for projects, said: “This unique venture demonstrates the valuable intersection of thought leadership, digital innovation and project excellence to advance the energy transition across the globe.

By combining our strengths, we will deliver solutions that enable our customers to accelerate the industry-shared goal of reducing carbon impact throughout the production chain“.

The program directly supports a significant carbon footprint reduction within the production and transformation of oil and gas, which, according to the International Energy Agency, is about fifteen per cent of the entire oil and gas carbon footprint.

Richard Dyson, CEO of io consulting, added: “We are in an energy transition and while hydrocarbons will be required for decades, it is incumbent upon us to decarbonise their production.

This study will show what can be achieved when we leverage the technical data and expertise of our parent companies, Baker Hughes and McDermott, and come together with the best minds in the industry to address this challenge.

I look forward to working with our customers to deploy new standard practices for net-zero facilities and transferring our learnings to other industries striving to reduce their carbon footprint”.

The companies expect the collaboration to demonstrate what is achievable with current technology, what new technologies are required and identify break-even carbon pricing to make the net-zero facilities viable now and in the future.

McDermott and its partners will adapt this proof of concept to any geographical region and project, considering local infrastructure and environmental policies regarding carbon pricing. 

Chris Dartnell of Schneider Electric stated: “Our goal is to help customers ensure their future systems support remote operations, optimized asset performance and breakthrough micro-grid management. We believe our partnership facilitates overall digital transformation for our clients—making their operations more sustainable”.

The study applies a decision-quality framework to identify credible and achievable methods for achieving carbon neutrality including power import and electrification, renewable micro-grids, integration with hydrogen networks, integrated energy storage, reduction of fugitive emissions, removal of flare systems, facility de-manning and access method, facility monitoring and control, remote operation, engineered offsetting methods – excluding nature-based offsetting, and digital transformation of design and operations.

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