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Equinor drives low-emission rig adoption in Norway and Brazil with rest of the world slower off the mark

By November 9, 2022March 22nd, 2023No Comments

New special market report from Westwood profiles 13 international offshore drilling rig managers

London, UK, 9th November 2022: New research from Westwood Global Energy Group (Westwood) reveals that the availability of emission-lowering upgrades for offshore rigs has been on the rise but adoption of these new technologies is slow outside of Norway and the US Gulf of Mexico due to limited regulatory and financial incentives.

In a new report launching this week, the specialist energy market research and consultancy firm reveals that the biggest users of rigs fitted with emission reduction technology are those with ambitious emission goals of their own, driven largely by Equinor’s Norway and Brazil operations. Between 2020 and 2032, Equinor’s contracted days of low emission upgraded rigs is 33,618 (92 rig years) compared to the combined number of days for all other operators, which is 43,600 rig days (119 rig years).

Operators of Low-Emission Rigs

Teresa Wilkie, RigLogix Director, Westwood, says, “Drilling contractors, and the industry as a whole, are starting to realise that oil and gas will be imperative to energy security over the coming years. But that doesn’t need to come at the detriment of the energy transition. Rig operators have ambitious scope 1 reduction targets, and eco-friendly rig technology is keeping pace. The next step is for regulators to work with the industry to ensure that the framework is there to facilitate adoption of these new technologies in a financially sustainable way.”

Wilkie continues, “Norway is dominating as the biggest user of low-emission rigs, driven by the country’s carbon taxation regulations as well as incentivisation. Pair this with Equinor’s ambitious emission reduction targets and you have a ripe environment for low-emission rig adoption.”

Since the downturn in 2014, newbuild rig orders have almost come to a halt due to lack of demand, mass oversupply of rigs and a resulting stack of newbuilds left abandoned in shipyards with no work. There is still a lack of appetite to invest in costly newbuilds and therefore a deluge of “green” newbuild rig orders is unlikely. Instead, it is expected that we will continue to see more of the current fleet retrofitted for lower emission operations.

Wilkie concludes: “Some drilling contractors are at the beginning of their emissions reduction journeys, while others have been working on emission-reducing technologies, projects and studies for several years. By amalgamating the industry’s different and increasing efforts regarding this complex topic, we can better understand the trajectory of the industry, highlight new technologies and identify the areas of opportunity.”




About Westwood Global Energy Group

Every day, organisations throughout the onshore and offshore energy value chain ask strategic, technical, and commercial questions and turn to Westwood Global Energy Group for the answers. As trusted advisors to companies in key sectors, Westwood Global Energy Group chooses to focus on areas of the industry traditionally underserved by other players.

The Energy Transition means that businesses are facing both new opportunities and risks in how they operate. We are committed to helping the energy industry navigate the transition successfully, by leveraging our extensive track record in providing actionable insight and advice that businesses, industry bodies and investors have relied upon time and time again. From the depth of our data to the insight from our industry experts, our commercial advisory to our quantitative techniques and databases – we insist on excellence in everything we do.

Westwood Global Energy Group is headquartered in London and has offices in Aberdeen, Houston, and Singapore.

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