Photo: Saipem

Saipem unveils new solution for offshore energy operators

Italy’s oilfield services provider Saipem has joined forces with MCS, an underwater technical and digital solutions company, to launch a new asset integrity management system for offshore energy operators, which the Italian giant sees as a further step towards the digital and sustainable transformation of the energy industry.

Saipem disclosed this week that it had launched the PALM Suite – Platform for Asset Lean Management – solution in collaboration with MCS to unlock “a new layer of service-oriented capabilities and leverage advanced features such as 3D reconstruction for subsea dimensional control and IoT data gathering.”

According to the Italian player, this collaboration combines its asset integrity expertise and subsea robotics portfolio with MCS’s distinctive data science and software competencies.

The PALM Suite is designed to support offshore energy operators with asset data management, risk assessment and inspection planning of offshore infrastructures across oil and gas, renewables, power and data network for the entire data lifecycle, highlighted Saipem.

Experimenting with hydrogen to power gas turbines

Saipem is actively participating in different projects in pursuit of sustainable solutions for the energy industry. This was hammed home by the Italian company on Thursday, when it confirmed its participation as a technology partner in Snam and Baker Hughes’ operational tests at the Snam natural gas compression plant in Istrana, Italy.

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Based on Saipem’s statement, these tests were experimenting with the use of hydrogen as a fuel to power the gas turbines of this plant. The company’s assignment was to manage the design of the integration between the assets of the plant and the systems and temporary treatment package required for the test, as well as the technical, management and safety coordination of all the companies involved during the preparation and execution of the tests.

In addition, the Italian oilfield services player handled the certification of the safety documentation according to the compliance criteria of Italy’s standards currently in force and applicable to similar situations.

“The aim of the experiment, the first of its kind, was to assess the compatibility of the plant’s various assets with the use of a blend of hydrogen and natural gas. The other technology partners are Max Streicher and Siad, which supplied the hydrogen,” explained Saipem.

The company also added that it has been collaborating with Snam on various initiatives to assess the compatibility of natural gas transportation systems with hydrogen blends. Additionally, Saipem is conducting similar assessments for other clients and is involved in the design of plants for the production and injection of hydrogen into networks, such as the Puglia Hydrogen Valley.

While hydrogen has been making inroads over the past several months, especially in Europe, where the notion of substituting natural gas with green hydrogen to remove emissions from hard-to-abate sectors has been given wings thanks to multiple investments, many believe that 2022 proved to be a disruptive year for the hydrogen industry due to supply chain developments, carbon footprint reductions and the rise of low-emission hydro.

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In a bid to shed some light on the state of hydrogen and trends that will impact the industry in 2023, Rajiv Sabharwal, VP, Business Development and Energy at Bureau Veritas North America, recently outlined that tech investments are driving the industry forward. He also included the rise of ESG and increased mobility across the industry as drivers in his outlook while adding that workforce is an important factor in the hydrogen industry.

Sabharwal underscored that the U.S. Department of Energy’s recent investment of $62 billion in new tech developments, which entail carbon capturing, mass-scale volume production, and electrolyzers, will push the development of the hydrogen industry further.

Moreover, he believes that hydrogen will play “a key role” in 2023 ESG strategies, thus, companies determined to reduce their carbon footprint will use hydrogen to accomplish their goals. With the rapid growth of warehousing hydrogen mobility internally with cranes and equipment, hauling with both large trucks and vehicles has reduced carbon emissions and contributed to EV and hydro fuel cells, pushing the industry forward, stated Sabharwal.

On the other hand, handling hydrogen and working with hydrogen-powered technologies is not without its safety risks, elaborated Sabharwal and pointed out that it is crucial that training be thorough, up-to-date, and delivered by experts – whether they are involved in project conception, design, operations, monitoring or maintenance.