WESI, Saitec Researching Renewable Power Option for Offshore Drilling Units


Waterford Energy Services Inc. (WESI), an energy consulting services organization, and Saitec Offshore have been awarded funding by the government of Canada for their project “Modification of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units for Shared Renewable Power Supply and Storage.”

The funding was provided via a competitive process where just under 100 proposals were evaluated to access a $24.4 million pool of funding. The program targeted initiatives which would help in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil and gas operations.

“We are very thankful to all Canadian institutions and to our Waterford colleagues to bring this opportunity,” says David Carrascosa, CTO of Saitec Offshore Technologies. “Commonly, professionals from the oil and gas industry bring valuable know-how and skills to the offshore wind industry. Paradoxically, Saitec is taking the opposite direction – coming from the renewable world to oil and gas. In any case, Saitec is really motivated to tackle the massive challenge of decarbonizing these valuable assets.”

The partnership between WESI and Saitec brings together WESI’s offshore oil and gas engineering and technical know-how with Saitec’s floating wind expertise. Together the partnership will develop harsh environment solutions and create a project plan for the creation of a “plug-and-play” renewable power option for mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) and other offshore or nearshore installations in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, and abroad. 

Natural Resources Canada is funding the project through the offshore research, development and demonstration (RD&D) component of its Emissions Reduction Fund. The fund is being managed by Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador (PRNL), a facilitator of research, technology development and innovation for Canada’s offshore presence.

A second phase of the project, not included in the announced funding, looks to develop a full field demonstration whereby power will be generated by a floating wind turbine and transmitted to an offshore or nearshore installation.

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