Construction equipment manufacturer Huisman says it has come up with a solution to the gap in energy supply with an offshore drilling rig that it says reduces emissions and cost.

Huisman's Harsh Environment Semi-Sub

Huisman’s Harsh Environment Semi-Sub

In a statement released today (Monday), the company says its Harsh Environment Semi-Submersible Drilling Rig aims to extract fossil fuels as sustainably as possible while the transition to renewable energy goes ahead.

The rig demonstrates ’holistic optimal efficiency’, says Huisman, with a low-drag electrified robotic drilling system, hybrid power system, 40% reduction of onboard personnel and the option to be powered by wind turbines. The drilling system offers a unique heave-compensated drilling floor that can operate in rough seas, meaning increased productivity and uptime.

”Together with the rig’s sustainability-focused hybrid power system, including energy storage systems storing regenerated energy, this ensures that emissions can be reduced by 30-40% per well,” Huisman says. ”Ideally, the rig is powered with onshore-produced hydroelectricity, via a power cable from a nearby platform. Alternatively, it can be powered by two floating wind turbines, moored next to the rig.

”Both radical but realistic solutions offer extreme low emissions per well. With inclusion of the wind turbines, the reduction in emissions can be increased to as much as 86%.”

Despite the global shift towards trying to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, they will be essential for a long time to come until renewables technology can realistically to replace them.

”If Europe is to have a reliable source of energy for the time being, this is going to involve consumption of oil and gas,” said Huisman poduct manager Dieter Wijning. ”We think it’s important that this exploitation of fossil fuel reserves is done as efficiently and cleanly as possible. It is our vision to drive the growth of renewable energy while making fossil fuel extraction more sustainable.”

”Huisman is working towards the energy transition, developing numerous solutions for the harvesting of renewable energy,” the statement says. ”This includes those for offshore and onshore wind as well as geothermal energy. However, to ensure energy security during the long transition, the company continues to develop increasingly sustainable solutions for conventional energy production.”

Huisman says that in light of today’s geopolitics threatening traditional energy supply lines, Europe has to consider the potential of sources like North Sea gas reserves - particularly as this requires less of a ‘carbon footprint’ to produce than options such as LNG and coal.