Odfjell Drilling's Deepsea Atlantic rig

Odfjell to retrofit rigs with Siemens system in push to cut emissions

Offshore drilling contractor Odfjell Drilling will retrofit its newest deepwater, semi-submersible drilling rigs with the Siemens Energy BlueDrive DC-Grid system in a push towards zero-emission drilling.

Odfjell Drilling's Deepsea Atlantic rig (Credit: Marit Hommedal/Equinor)

Siemens said in a statement on Wednesday that the upgrades will be carried out on Deepsea Atlantic and Deepsea Nordkapp rigs, with the opportunity to include Deepsea Stavanger, Deepsea Aberdeen, and Deepsea Yantai at a later stage.

Per Lund, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President, Technology & Sustainability, Odfjell Drilling, said: “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”.

Siemens Energy’s BlueDrive DC-Grid technology
Siemens Energy’s BlueDrive DC-Grid technology

Siemens Energy’s BlueDrive DC-Grid technology was developed and refined over many years to meet the offshore industry’s demanding energy distribution requirements, especially for propulsion and drilling systems.

The 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.

According to Siemens, this allows platform 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.

In drilling applications, the Siemens Energy BlueDrive system will be an integral part of the entire drilling process, enhancing the drill string’s performance when applying high torque during drilling operations.