This paper will focus on the application of lithium-ion energy storage solutions (ESS) for offshore oil and gas (O&G) installations. It will discuss the benefits that can be achieved by integrating energy storage in hybrid power plants, using the West Mira semisubmersible installation in the North Sea as a representative case study. West Mira will be the world's first modern drilling rig to operate a low-emission hybrid (dieselelectric) power plant using lithium-ion batteries. The integration of energy storage with the power supply and distribution system of a drilling rig represents an important step towards improving the environmental sustainability of the offshore oil and gas industry by reducing emissions and paving the way to harnessing clean but intermittent renewables, such as offshore wind. Offshore rigs have highly variable power consumption for drilling and dynamic positioning. By incorporating energy storage, it is possible to reduce the runtime of combustion engines and also keep them operating on an optimized combustion level. The installation of an ESS on West Mira will result in an estimated 42% reduction in the runtime of on-platform diesel engines, reducing CO2 emissions by 15 percent and NOx emissions by 12 percent, which is equivalent to annual emissions from approximately 10,000 automobiles. The batteries on West Mira will be charged from the rig's diesel-electric generators and used for supplying power during peak load times. In addition, they will serve as backup to prevent blackout situations and provide power to the thrusters in the unlikely event of loss of all running machinery.
With the most recent industry downturn still fresh in many minds, the oil and gas E&P sector is approaching this recovery with a commitment to long-term cost discipline. As a result, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies are being adopted by operators and service companies alike as a means of cost savings while driving operational efficiency.
AR technologies employ enhanced visualization hardware, techniques, and methodologies to create new environments wherein digital and physical objects and their data coexist and interact with one another, enhancing the user experience of the real world (
Until recently, these technologies were primarily applied as enhanced entertainment products, most notably within the gaming industry. However, during the past several years, and thanks to the introduction of hands-free, head-mounted display (HMD) technologies, such as Microsoft® HoloLens™ and now HoloLens 2, AR and VR are migrating into the enterprise sector.
While the oil field has not been as quick to integrate AR and VR as other sectors, such as medicine, defense, and aeronautics, operators and service providers alike have increased adoption overthe past 12 months. Motivated by a mandate to keep operating costs low and improve efficiencies in terms of field processes, operators have begun implementing AR/VR applications as collaborative problem-solving, planning, and design tools.
For example, some operators are initiating ARconcepts to promote internal use development and prototyping for both oilfield applications and remote refinery inspections. Additionally, service companies are embracing the use of smart glasses and wearable technologies to help improve remote work and collaboration to help increase in-field safety and reduce downtime.
As part of its strategy to help drive the oil and gas industry's digital transformation, one major service provider is developing AR/VR applications to create digital representations of physical oilfield assets on the Microsoft® HoloLens device. One area of focus is the planning, design, and deployment of solids control, fluid separation, and handling technologies for offshore drilling applications.
Emerson will increase its foothold in the oil and gas industry with the purchase of software maker Paradigm. As the GE-Baker Hughes deal moves closer to finalization we now know who will be leading the combined company. The offshore drilling sector has taken a step towards consolidating an oversupplied market and Ensco will emerge from this most recent deal as the owner of the largest combined fleet of floaters and jackups. A Houston-based energy consultancy concludes that a series of downturn deals have contributed more to the resiliency of the US shale sector than a rise in oil prices.
The merger of Ensco and Rowan creates a company with growing cash flow from the biggest fleet of jackup rigs, and growth potential as deepwater drilling comes back. A strong reason for removing old platforms from the Gulf of Mexico, rather than trying to squeeze more years of marginal production out of them, is hurricanes.
When the underlying cause of flow-related issues on offshore projects is unknown, an expert said an investigation of fluid flow behavior based on an understanding of the first principles of flow assurance is necessary. Past experiences with problematic situations often drive the decision-making process, and while experience may be helpful, it can also lead to the development of biases that hamper an organization’s ability to manage dynamic environments such as unconventional projects. How do mooring systems reduce risks of hurricane damage to mobile offshore drilling units?
ABS will classify a new self-elevating platform with a unique triangular monocolumn design from Calm Oceans Pte Ltd. The hollow hook will weigh close to 1000 kg and have a safe working load of 325 metric tons. ABS granted Approval in Principle to new designs for a floating production storage and offloading hull, a self-elevating unit for a mobile offshore drilling unit, and a tension-leg platform.
The subsea tieback is expected to start up in 2021. This is Shell’s second major development on a tieback in the US Gulf of Mexico, following Kaikias’ startup in May. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reported about 14% of oil production and about 14% of natural gas production remains shut in following Tropical Storm Barry. Offshore personnel are reboarding Gulf of Mexico platforms, oil and gas production begins recovery. All 20 dynamically positioned rigs have returned to pre-storm locations.
The E&P sector has maintained a strong focus on capital discipline during its recovery from the 2014 oil price downturn, as investors look for companies to generate free cash flow to help pay down debt. How will this focus affect sector growth in the near term? The decision may alleviate some of the pressures oil and gas producers faced in the wake of their imposition last year. Canada and Mexico made up a combined 20% of US imports of oil country tubular goods in 2017. How will a US steel tariff affect the oil and gas supply chain?