(Rigzone, Monday, November 25, 2019) -- North Drilling’s West Mira harsh-environment ultra-deepwater drilling rig, which Seadrill Limited operates, is the world’s first low-emission hybrid-powered floating rig, Seadrill reported Monday.

West Mira is the first rig in operation to secure the DNV GL Battery (Power) class notation, according to a written statement Seadrill emailed to Rigzone Monday. The firm stated the unit is the world’s first modern drilling rig with a low-emission hybrid power plant with a battery Energy Storage System (ESS) in operation.

Seadrill stated that West Mira’s four converter-battery systems should reduce the runtime of its on-platform diesel engines by 42 percent. In addition, the firm estimates the technology should curb emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides by 15 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Moreover, the battery system reportedly will serve as a back-up to prevent blackout situations and provide power to thrusters in the event of loss of all running machinery on affected switchboard segments.

“The installation of the ESS creating the first modern floating drilling rig in the world with a low emission hybrid power plant is a major achievement for Seadrill, its partners and the industry as whole,” commented Seadrill CEO Anton Dibowitz. “This is an example of our sustainable business approach in action, as we strive for continuous improvement with environmental responsibility at the heart of our strategy.”

Seadrill noted that it collaborated with Northern Drilling, Siemens, Kongsberg Maritime and DNV GL during ESS installation and testing.

Wintershall Dea reported on Nov. 8, 2019, that it contracted West Mira on the Bergknapp exploration prospect in the Norwegian Sea. The company plans a two-year drilling campaign for the semi-submersible and anticipates at least 12 wells. After drilling Bergknapp, the campaign’s initial well, Wintershall Dea expects to drill two infill wells at the nearby Maria field. Subsequent West Mira deployments will include nine North Sea wells: three on the Vega field and six development wells on the subsea Nova project.

“As a company, we see continuous improvement and technology development as a crucial contribution in addressing two major challenges at the same time: the world’s growing demand for energy and global climate change,” Alv Solheim, managing director for Wintershall Dea in Norway, noted in his company’s Nov. 8 written statement. “We are committed to securing energy supplies while pursuing climate targets.”

Built in 2018 by Hyundai Heavy Industries, West Mira applies a Moss Maritime CS-60Mk design and can operate at a water depth up to 10,000 feet (3,048 meters), according to North Drilling’s website.

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