Transocean Gets Drilling Work On Carbon Capture Wells
Offshore drilling contractor Transocean will drill one carbon injection well and a sidetrack for another carbon injection well drilled in early 2020 in support of the Northern Lights CCS project.
Northern Lights is a joint venture created by Equinor, Shell, and TotalEnergies. Transocean stated that it would use the Transocean Enabler rig to work on the project later in 2022 as part of its current drilling contract with Equinor.
According to the offshore driller, the project sets out to mitigate emissions and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by creating the first cross-border, open-source carbon dioxide transport and storage infrastructure network in the European Union.
“We are proud to participate in this important carbon capture and storage project in support of the EU’s energy policy and climate objectives,” said Janelle Daniel, Transocean’s Vice President of Human Resources, Sustainability, and Communications.
“Beyond our core business of drilling ultra-deepwater and harsh environment wells, this is an excellent example of how we can further leverage our rigs and core competencies in support of renewable and alternative energy projects in offshore markets across the globe,” she added.
The Northern Lights builds on more than 23 years of safe carbon dioxide storage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Upon completion, the carbon dioxide transport and storage infrastructure network will offer companies across Europe the opportunity to store carbon dioxide safely and permanently underground.
It is considered a Project of Common Interest by the EU given it is a key cross-border infrastructure program that links European energy systems and works toward achieving the EU’s energy policy and climate objectives.
Northern Lights will receive captured CO2 transported on a ship to Øygarden municipality on the western coast of Norway. Here, the gas will be temporarily stored before it is sent through a pipeline to the storage site on the continental shelf. At the storage site, CO2 is pumped down to a sealed reservoir for permanent storage 2,600 meters below the seabed.
The reservoir is in utilization permit 001 in the northern part of the North Sea southwest of the Troll field and east of the Oseberg field. The licensee – Equinor – has estimated the total investment under the development plan to be close to $700 million, and annual operating costs at around $43.6 million. The approved project can store 1,5 million tons of CO2 annually, and a planned operation period of 25 years.
As for the Transocean Enabler, it is a semi-submersible drilling rig designed to operate in harsh environments. It is under contract with Equinor until 2024. The rig is currently on a $441,000 dayrate.
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