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Hyzon working to decarbonize oil, gas field operations

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Hyzon Motors says it is teaming up with Schlumberger Limited to reduce emissions in upstream oil & gas operations with power generated by its heavy-duty fuel cell systems.

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Hyzon announced a joint development agreement (JDA) with Schlumberger, a provider of technology to the global energy industry.

Under the JDA, Hyzon says it will utilize its expertise in engineering and manufacturing high-power fuel cell systems for heavy-duty commercial mobility to co-develop zero-emissions fuel cell power generation solutions initially for North American oil & gas well construction for land drilling rigs, with opportunities for collaboration into other field operations in the broader oil & gas market. Hyzon’s technology is intended to be integrated into Schlumberger’s portfolio of Intelligent Power Management solutions and powered by Hyzon. Currently in the initial phase of the JDA, the companies expect to demonstrate the first fuel cell power module in oil & gas field operations as early as Q4 of 2022, starting with powering an onshore drilling rig application.

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The Intelligent Power Management solution that Hyzon’s fuel cells will power is a direct replacement for the typical 4.0 MW of available diesel generators that power an oil & gas drilling rig today, meeting the same horsepower and footprint specifications of a 1.0 MW diesel generator on a high-spec North American land rig, the company says. A drilling rig powered completely by hydrogen fuel cell systems is projected to consume approx. 2.5 tons per day of hydrogen, which when fueled by zero-carbon intensity hydrogen would eliminate 10,000 tons per year of CO2.

The versatility of hydrogen enables oilfield service companies and operators to use transportable fuel cell power solutions in a wide range of applications: to power entire drilling rigs, generate useful heat, fuel fleets for long-haul, heavy-duty transport, and more – all with zero emissions at the point of use, the company says. The solution will also be evaluated for deployment in many other hard-to-decarbonize power use cases such as remote industrial operations and critical grid and operations power supply.

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Another anticipated benefit of the fuel cell power systems to well construction operations is the elimination of generator noise, vibration and maintenance. With dependable, clean, quiet power production at the rig site, operators can minimize downtime while ensuring enhanced health and safety performance for people and the environment, Hyzon says. This technology is ideal to enable drilling in areas that are restricted today due to diesel emissions and/or diesel generator noise levels, both of which would be mitigated with a hydrogen fuel cell power solution, the company says.

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