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Stena Drilling Seeks to Expand Offshore Drilling into Decarbonization

decarbonization exploration offshore drilling
Stena IceMAX, the world's first dynamically positioned, dual mast ice-class drillship (photo courtesy of Stena Drilling)

Published Feb 4, 2021 1:03 PM by The Maritime Executive

In a first of its kind effort for the offshore exploration sector, Stena Drilling announced that it is establishing the framework for what they are calling decarbonization exploration. Working with UK-based dCarbonX they are looking to develop the new sector to realize opportunities linked to the global energy transformation.

Stena, an independent drilling contractor that has been developing new technologies including an ice-class drillship, signed a strategic framework agreement with dCarbonX, a UK start-up founded in 2020 focusing on geothermal, subsurface energy storage, and carbon sequestration. The companies said they will work together to engineer solutions to discover and develop subsurface assets for combinations of geothermal energy, molecular energy storage, and carbon sequestration.

“This innovative partnership dovetails well with the work Stena is doing in sustainability, research into cleaner fuels and emissions reduction,” said Erik Ronsberg, CEO of Stena Drilling. “By employing the skills that our company has built up over the years and utilizing our drilling units to explore for geothermal energy, CO2 and other gas storage locations which dCarbonX have identified, we will be able to play a positive part as the first “Decarbonization Exploration Driller” working towards a low carbon future.”

While geothermal exploration is an established business, expanding the sector into other opportunities connected to the broader efforts at sustainability and energy transition related to decarbonization might provide a new lifeline in the offshore sector. The offshore industry, including exploration and drilling operators, have been hard hit by the long-term downturn in the traditional oil sector.

“Stena Drilling is the obvious strategic partner for our future offshore Decarbonization Exploration activities given its world class fleet of modern drillships and semi-submersible offshore drilling units,” said Tony O’Reilly, CEO of dCarbonX. “Stena’s corporate commitment and demonstrated track record in safety, environmental stewardship, and innovation are further compelling reasons for this partnership. We look forward to working with Stena on delivering our exciting forward program of GeoEnergy projects.”

Stena Drilling, which is a subsidiary of Stena AB, operates four ultra-deep water drillships and two semi-submersible midwater drilling rigs.