Maersk Drilling has entered an agreement to invest USD 1m in the California-based company Clean Energy Systems to help develop a new technology called Carbon-Negative Energy. The concept builds on proven technology originally developed for the aerospace industry, which is now being deployed in a process that is expected to result in net-negative carbon emissions. For Maersk Drilling, this is one of several opportunities being pursued in order to help the company’s customers move towards carbon-neutral drilling.
A full-scale deployment of the Carbon-Negative Energy concept will produce renewable fuel and power, and simultaneously remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The net negative carbon emissions can be converted into carbon credits. The agreement between Clean Energy Systems and Maersk Drilling gives Maersk Drilling an option to offset the emissions resulting from drilling for its customers or for the company itself.
Maersk Drilling is working to reduce the emissions associated with offshore drilling in multiple ways. The company recently announced that it has joined a consortium that is maturing one of the most progressed CO2 storage projects inside Danish jurisdiction, and other solutions include the first-ever rig to operate on shore power and the upgrade of two jack-ups to hybrid, low-emission rigs.
The Carbon-Negative Energy solution being developed by Clean Energy Systems is based on using biomass waste which is readily available in California due to local weather conditions and an excess of waste from forestry and agriculture.
The biomass is used to fuel the production of a synthesis gas which as the next step is used to produce renewable natural gas, renewable hydrogen and electricity with full capture of associated CO2
The resulting products can be fed into the state’s existing energy infrastructure and used to e.g. charge electric cars, while the captured CO2 can be stored safely and permanently.
By using biomass fuel which consumes CO2 over its lifetime, combined with CO2 storage, the process results in net-negative CO2 emissions, effectively removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
The net-negative emissions can be converted into carbon credits and used to offset emissions from other sources.
The Carbon-Negative Energy solution is based on proven technology. For example, the oxy-combustion system used to convert syngas to electricity is inspired by rocket technology that was used for 30 years during the US Space Shuttle programme.
Clean Energy Systems estimates that its first project will be able to capture and store 300,000 tons of CO2 per year, with operations expected to begin in late 2022.
(Source: Maersk Drilling)