Offshore Operations: 3 Methods of Powering Offshore Rigs

Trailer Engineering | 30th July 2021

Offshore Operations

Offshore Rig

Power management on offshore rigs is a serious issue for the oil and gas mining industry. This is because it helps ensure:

  • Safety
  • Reliability and
  • Efficiency of electrical systems

This article discusses the possible options that power providers have to help with this problem. A few of these are to use more renewable energy, install battery storage systems, or connect rigs to the grid. This article also goes into detail about how much power to save by using new technologies.

What Equipment Needs Powering in an Offshore Rig?

Offshore drilling rigs require power to run a variety of equipment. The most common types that get powered in an offshore rig include:

  • Offshore Drilling Rig (Platform)
  • Electrical Power Supply Equipment
  • Engines and Generators for the Platform's Auxiliary Systems, Including Heating and Air Conditioning Units
  • Platform Control Systems, Including Safety Equipment
  • Communications Equipment
  • Drilling Fluids Pumping System

In addition to the equipment that needs constant power from a platform's electrical grid or generator systems, offshore rigs require additional generators for emergency conditions. These emergency generators must be well maintained and regularly tested to provide power to the drilling rig in a situation where the offshore rig's power source has gotten compromised.

Common Sources of Power

Diesel-Powered Generators

You can use diesel-powered generators for power generation on offshore rigs. They are a common source of electricity because they produce reliable and continuous power, perfect for long periods without the need to refuel them.

One disadvantage is that it takes fuel to run diesel engines, making this option not cost-efficient if your rig has access to other sources of power. Another disadvantage is that diesel generators are noisy, which can be a safety hazard in some situations.

Fuel Cubes

This is another excellent source to power offshore rigs. Fuel cubes are stationary fuel tanks that are lockable and have a two-way forklift for mobility. They are perhaps the most preferred method of storing fuel to power an offshore rig because they have various advantages.

For instance, they are easy to move from one place to another and highly secure and safe. However, note that they must get transported under supervision, and one must adhere to basic guidelines.

They are also custom made where you can specify your needs and requirements to your producer. Lastly, they are anti-corrosive. This means they don’t rust or corrode quickly from high PH levels of various elements.

Wind Power

Wind power is a common source of power for offshore rigs. Wind turbines produce electricity from the kinetic energy generated by capturing wind and converting it into mechanical energy, creating an electrical current.

This option provides reliable and cost-efficient renewable power at high-efficiency rates that make them an attractive choice when looking for alternatives to diesel-powered generators.

One disadvantage is the need for wind to produce electricity. Another disadvantage is that the noise produced from turbine blades can create a safety hazard in some situations,

The more the rig moves or has to move for other reasons, the greater its daily power requirement. Therefore, minimizing rig movement is critical in reducing energy consumption and costs on an offshore drill platform.

The most effective way of achieving this goal is through better design that minimizes manoeuvring time without compromising safety standards. A well-designed and constructed rig will also use less fuel.

Looking For the Right Solution? Check Out Our Guide and See Why Fuel Cubes Are the Complete Offshore Fuel Source Solution

Looking for the ideal offshore fuel source solution? Check out our guide here to find out why fuel cubes are the ultimate offshore fuel source solution. Alternatively, you can contact a member of our team via our quick and easy contact form below. You can also get in touch and speak to a member of the Trailer Engineering team today on +44(0)1384 564765 or by emailing us at sales@trailereng.com. We look forward to hearing from you.