In this way, the company aims to set a new technological standard for low-emission drilling on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The upgrades are being carried out in cooperation with Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor, which has introduced compensation formats to stimulate emission reductions.

Maersk Drilling has applied for project funding through the NOx Fund, a Norwegian industry fund dedicated to reducing NOx emissions. The fund is contributing a grant of up to 80% of project costs, subject to verification of the emission-reducing upgrades.

The low-emission package introduced on the rig consists of three upgrades in total:

  • Hybrid power: By installing energy storage by use of batteries, the rig will have power instantly available when needed, meaning that basic energy requirements can be met by fewer engines operating at higher intensity – which is both more efficient and reduces CO2 emissions.
  • Energy Emission Efficiency software: The cloud-based software developed by Maersk Drilling uses real-time data to monitor all energy use onboard the rig, which allows for continuous optimisation.
  • SCR units to reduce NOx emissions: Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems capture NOx exhausts and use ammonia injections to convert the gas into harmless water and nitrogen. By installing SCR units on all the rig’s engine exhaust pipes, Maersk Drilling expects to be able to reduce NOx emissions by more than 90%, while also reducing soot emissions significantly.

The first upgrade of Maersk Intrepid will be the installation of batteries for the hybrid power solution, expected to be completed by July 2019.

The full implementation of all low-emission upgrades is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, and Maersk Drilling will use the learnings from Maersk Intrepid to evaluate how to proceed with potential upgrades to reduce emissions from other Maersk Drilling rigs.

Maersk Intrepid is an ultra-harsh environment XLE jack-up rig, built in 2014. It is currently contracted to Equinor for operational support on the Martin Linge field offshore Norway.