Environment and climate performance


At Maersk Drilling we are aware of the critical role we play in the global energy supply chain and we reduce our environmental footprint through industry collaboration and our focus on innovation. In 2015, we were able to demonstrate this through the various examples of environmental practices on board or drilling units, the projects we collaborate on with clients, and our network initiatives with industry stakeholders.

Shared value through energy effeciency

With our Energy Efficiency Management Programme, we aim to reduce our own and clients’ environmental footprints from CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gas emissions.

As part of Maersk Drilling’s Energy Efficiency Management Programme, we have adopted an Energy Efficiency Operational Index (EEOI) from the shipping industry and modified it to our drilling units. The aim is to enable performance benchmarking across the fleet and potentially across the drilling industry going forward.

During a pilot study with one of our customers, conducted between September 2014 and September 2015, we found that we could reach fuel savings of 8% per year. This particular rig consumed 4000 tonnes of fuel at a cost of USD 3.8 million and total CO2 emissions of 12,500.

For the environment and our customer, the value was:

  • A reduction in emissions of 1000 tonnes of CO2 per unit per year
  • A reduction in fuel-costs of USD 304,000 per unit per year
  • An improvement of 32% in EEOI

“We try to enhance our own and our customers’ competitiveness while safeguarding the environment we operate in. In the new oil reality, our Energy Efficiency Management Programme creates shared value for both our customers and for Maersk Drilling,” explains Varun Ramdas, Senior Environment and Energy Specialist at Maersk Drilling.

Fuel consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions are by far the most significant issue, when evaluating environmental impacts associated with offshore drilling. Aside from cost, this is a risk due to increasing mandatory disclosure of CO2 performance across the industry, escalating compliance requirements, fiscal controls and reputational risks.

Maersk Drilling strives for zero-spill operations with the Team Zero initiative

Unfortunately Maersk Drilling did not have its best year in regard to spills. The volume of external spills was significantly higher than in previous years. 12 external spills were recorded, whereof three of them were above 1 bbl in volume. 

“It is a poor result compared to earlier years. We need to strengthen our procedures when it comes to handling oil-based mud, for instance.
We have tightened up a variety of procedures,” Bent Nielsen says.

He believes that the procedures devised to control the handling of liquids had grown so numerous in recent years that those same procedures had become hard for crew members to get an overview over and comprehend.

“We have now reduced the number of procedures from 148 to just two, so that the crew members do not have to grapple with so many of them when they are planning an operation. We expect to see some significant benefits from this effort in 2016.”

With the Team Zero initiative we strive towards a zero incidents culture. A culture which needs to be embedded in all aspect of our business in order for us to succeed. With the substantiel reduction in procedures, we believe that the foundation has been layed in reaching a zero incidents mentality in regards to spills. 

Management of Waste

Operating a drilling rig involves the use of many different substances and materials. This inevitably generates wastes. On-board waste streams may include discharges that can be characterised as common waste, oil-contaminated waste, or chemical waste.

To ensure that the waste is being disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner, Maersk Drilling has evaluated the facilities used by our clients to dispose of our waste. 

In 2015, we produced 14 thousand tonnes of waste compared to 9 thousand tonnes in 2014.

In 2015, Maersk Drilling experienced a 8% increase in hazardous waste from 2014 baseline and a 46% increase in non-hazardous waste. 

Waste management is on many of our drilling units managed by Maersk Drilling’s clients. It is therefore difficult for us to generate a substantial improvement in recyclable waste without the engagement of our customers. 

Management of Chemicals

Maersk Drilling continuously works to enhance our handling of chemicals and management performance. In 2015, we continued our efforts to train both onshore and offshore employees in chemical-handling in order to ensure the safety of our personnel and the environment. 

In our endeavour to improve our performance we for instance risk assessed chemicals used by ourselves and by third-parties. It is our intention to replace possible hazardous chemicals with non-hazardous chemicals. 

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