Photo: Transocean Enabler rig; Source: Equinor

Transocean goes beyond core business after getting carbon capture and storage gig

Offshore drilling contractor Transocean will drill one carbon injection well and a sidetrack for another carbon injection well drilled in early 2020 in support of the Northern Lights carbon capture and storage project.

Northern Lights is a joint venture created by Equinor, Shell, and TotalEnergies. Transocean said on Tuesday that the work on the project will be done later this year as part of its current drilling contract with Equinor. Transocean will use the Transocean Enabler rig for this project.

The project sets out to mitigate emissions and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by creating the first cross-border, open-source carbon dioxide transport and storage infrastructure network in the European Union.

“We are proud to participate in this important carbon capture and storage project in support of the EU’s energy policy and climate objectives,” said Janelle Daniel, Transocean’s Vice President of Human Resources, Sustainability and Communications.

Daniel added: “Beyond our core business of drilling ultra-deepwater and harsh environment wells, this is an excellent example of how we can further leverage our rigs and core competencies in support of renewable and alternative energy projects in offshore markets across the globe.”

The Northern Lights, which is part of the Norwegian full-scale CCS project Longship, builds on more than 23 years of safe carbon dioxide storage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Upon completion, the carbon dioxide transport and storage infrastructure network will offer companies across Europe the opportunity to store carbon dioxide safely and permanently underground.

According to Transocean, it is considered a Project of Common Interest by the EU given it is a key cross-border infrastructure programme that links European energy systems and works toward achieving the EU’s energy policy and climate objectives.

Transocean, as the operator of offshore drilling rigs, is committed to reducing operating Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 40 per cent from 2019 levels by 2030.

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The Transocean Enabler is a semi-submersible drilling rig designed to operate in harsh environments. It is under contract with Equinor until 2024. According to Transocean’s latest fleet status report, the rig’s current day rate with Equinor is $441,000. Equinor used this rig last year to drill a wildcat well in the Barents Sea, which resulted in an oil discovery.