E&P Case Study: A New Tool to Reduce Emissions from Drilling Operations

EcoCell is a new energy management system set to reduce carbon emissions during drilling operations by utilizing battery energy storage to optimize the number of generators online.

(Source: Patterson-UTI Energy Inc.)

Over the past several years, energy investors have shifted towards companies ranking higher in ESG measures, leading many oil and gas companies to explore ways in which they can reduce their carbon footprint. One solution currently available to reduce emissions produced by drilling operations is EcoCell, an energy management system that utilizes battery energy storage to optimize the number of generators online and keep them in their most efficient power to emissions ratio range.

Currently, six units are operating with many more scheduled to be installed over the next several months. EcoCell can be deployed during a rig walk or move and once on-site, the energy storage system is placed next to the third generator where a fourth generator would be located. By design, EcoCell automatically starts and stops generators based on the rig demand and the state of charge of the batteries, enabling fewer generators to operate at higher loads. EcoCell prolongs the amount of time the rig can operate with one or two generators online by providing additional power if the rig demand surpasses the capacity of the online generator(s). For example, during drilling operations, EcoCell discharges power while the mud pumps are running and recharges the batteries when the pumps are turned off for connections. When the batteries drop to a low state of charge, the unit will automatically start up another generator to recharge the batteries. Tripping operations provide an even greater opportunity for reducing emissions due to the transient demand experienced while hoisting, which traditionally requires at least two generators online. EcoCell is capable of instantaneously providing more than 1.5 times the maximum power of a single generator, therefore, only one generator is required to trip out of the hole with EcoCell.

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