The Next Generation of Land Drilling: Hybrid-Powered Rig Combined with Energy Storage
By: Josh Morrison, Caterpillar Oil & Gas (March 2021)
Caterpillar introduces a groundbreaking power solution for drilling contractors aimed at both minimizing operating costs and adhering to strict emissions standards. At the forefront of this innovation is Wyoming's Ensign Energy Services Rig 147, which employs three 1-MW Cat® G3512 generator sets powered by natural gas, complemented by lithium-ion energy storage systems. This hybrid model, housed within a 20-foot ISO container, promises seamless integration due to its compact design. Integral components like the smart engine management system and the Cat Microgrid Master Controller ensure efficient power distribution, with the energy storage system facilitating rapid responses during peak energy demands, akin to diesel systems.
The solution boasts multiple advantages, notably in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and optimizing fuel consumption. By leveraging field gas, the hybrid system has realized an impressive annual fuel cost savings of approximately $1.4 million when compared to traditional diesel solutions. Furthermore, this innovative approach by Caterpillar not only satisfies emerging emission regulations but also enhances transient load management, resulting in consistent engine output even during sudden energy spikes. The article underscores the hybrid system's potential to revolutionize land drilling operations by combining cost-efficiency with environmental responsibility.