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Wednesday, February 3, 2021 

A collaborative, green solution developed between Kongsberg Maritime, COSL Drilling Europe and drilling equipment provider NOV is expected to generate major environmental and financial savings in offshore drilling operations.

COSL’s ‘Energy Control’ project is intended to simultaneously cut greenhouse gas emissions and lower fuel and maintenance overheads on the company’s rigs situated on the Norwegian shelf in the North Sea. Having already spent years pursuing energy efficiency in its drilling operations, COSL called upon the technological expertise of Kongsberg Maritime and the specialist knowledge of NOV to take its corporate aspirations to the next level.

Collaboration arrived at an integrated solution which combines Kongsberg Maritime’s energy management systems with NOV’s research into energy optimisation. Analysis of historical data on estimated maximum power consumption derived from COSL’s semi-submersible DP3 rigs COSLPromoter and COSLInnovator revealed that it would be possible to make changes that removed the need to run all six of its 4,800kW Wärtsila Vasa 12V32 diesels during drilling operations.

While NOV worked on a new software update for optimal energy usage, Kongsberg Maritime used the estimates to develop a targeted and efficient means of controlling onboard energy production and distribution. A core principle of the joint solution was to limit and optimise generator usage, and it was soon established that the rig would still be able to carry out full drilling operations using only three of its diesel generators, on average.

By halving the generator capacity, the engines operate at higher loads, which in tandem with the switch-off of the other units results in radically improved fuel efficiency, a sharp decrease in carbon deposits, and a concurrent reduction in maintenance requirements. Annually, fuel consumption will be reduced by around 2,300t, CO2 emissions by 7,300t and NOx by 125t, equating to an overall saving in fuel and emissions of more than 25%. The project is supported by the NOx Fund, a Norwegian Government initiative for reducing NOx emissions.

Kongsberg Maritime’s patented DP system technology is key to maintaining the efficiency of the rig’s installed thrusters, enabling the deployment of a dynamic load prediction strategy which anticipates thruster requirements. A Kongsberg K-IMS (Information Management System) collates performance data and uploads it to the cloud so that ongoing improvements can be verified against benchmarked data.

“We’re serious about performance and sustainability,” said Morten Firing, Operations Manager, Global Customer Support Offshore and LNG, Kongsberg Maritime, “and it’s very encouraging news for the future energy sector that we share this essential goal with far-sighted companies such as COSL and NOV. Our integrated solution is delivering significant improvements in environmental sensitivity and operational cost-effectiveness, making an inarguable case for the adoption of green, digital strategies across the maritime industry. Meanwhile, the built-in digital solution for receiving real time performance data on shore will allow for continuous improvement in all aspects of rig operation for the future.”

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