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Hydrogen to power O&G drilling rigs

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Hyzon and Schlumberger have signed a joint development agreement (JDA). The first fuel cell power module is expected to be demonstrated in oil and gas field operations as early as Q4 of 2022, commencing with powering an onshore drilling rig application. The JDA is now in its basic stages.

In accordance with the JDA, Schlumberger will also offer chances for customer validation and take the lead in the projected marketing of the product to both current and potential clients. In order to implement the fuel cell technology in Ensign Energy Services Inc. drilling operations during the upcoming twelve months, Schlumberger has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

With the same horsepower and footprint requirements as a 1.0 MW diesel generator on a high-spec North American land rig, Hyzon’s fuel cells will power an Intelligent Power Management solution that will directly replace the typical 4.0 MW of available diesel generators that currently power an oil and gas drilling rig. It is anticipated that a drilling rig driven entirely by hydrogen fuel cell systems would use around 2.5 tons of hydrogen per day, which, when fueled by hydrogen with a zero-carbon intensity, would eliminate 10,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere annually.

Because hydrogen is so adaptable, oilfield service providers and operators may employ portable fuel cell power solutions for a variety of uses, including running complete drilling rigs, producing useful heat, refueling heavy-duty fleets of vehicles, and more—all with no emissions at the point of use. A lot of additional difficult-to-decarbonize power use cases, such as distant industrial operations, and crucial grid and operations power supply, will also be examined for the deployment of the solution.

According to Parker Meeks, Chief Strategy Officer at Hyzon Motors, “Hyzon’s fuel cell technology was specifically developed to withstand the demands of heavy-duty trucking; the durability, performance, and power required for that application provide the foundation for fuel cells to power Schlumberger’s oil & gas field operations.” The first of many opportunities for high-durability, portable power generation, Hyzon’s patented fuel cell technology, and production capabilities enable us to adapt our present fuel cell offering to this new application.

Elimination of generator noise, vibration, and maintenance is another expected advantage of fuel cell power systems for well construction activities. Operators may reduce downtime while assuring improved health and safety performance for people and the environment with consistent, clean, quiet power production at the rig site. With a hydrogen fuel cell power solution, diesel emissions and/or diesel generator noise would be reduced, opening up drilling in locations that are now off-limits owing to these factors.

According to Brian Winter, Product Manager for Rig Equipment at Schlumberger, “building a lower-carbon future while satisfying the ever-growing need for energy demands greater accountability, newfound operational efficiency, and early investment in promising technology.” “Schlumberger is eager to test-drive Hyzon’s hydrogen fuel cell devices to power rigs and allow quick decarbonization of today’s drilling operations.”

Arnes Biogradlija
Creative Content Director at EnergyNews.Biz

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