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Modular offshore rig design reduces deployment costs

Posted on 28 July 2014

The Modular Offshore Rig Facility has two main modules - the drilling equipment set  and the drilling support module - that can be delivered using the client’s service fleet and then assembled using a combination of crane systems.

The Modular Offshore Rig Facility has two main modules – the drilling equipment set and the drilling support module – that can be delivered using the operator’s service fleet and then assembled using a combination of crane systems.

William Jacob Management (WJM) has introduced the 3,000-hp Modular Offshore Rig Facility (MORF). “Our team of design engineers deliberately downsized the individual modules so they could function like a set of interlocking building blocks and be lifted in place by ‘leapfrog’ cranes,” Trevor Smith, VP of Drilling Facilities Engineering, said. “This solution enables the modular rig to be configured for drilling and integrated production below, while providing significant cost savings in deployment.”

The rig has two main modules: the drilling equipment set (DES) and the drilling support module (DSM). The DES has the capacity to access 15 wells arranged in a 3 x 5 matrix and is capable of drilling wells up to 25,000 ft. The DSM is equipped with a pair of rig cranes that streamline installation. Because of their compact size, the modules can be delivered using the client’s service fleet and then assembled using a combination of crane systems. The blocks containing the cranes are installed using a temporary leapfrog crane package. Once the rig cranes are operational, the installation is then completed using the rig’s own cranes. This strategy effectively eliminates the need to contract a lift barge.

The MORF was initially developed for a national oil company (NOC) with a major presence in the Gulf of Mexico. The project was driven by the NOC’s demand for improved cost performance across its offshore operations.

“WJM set out to create not just a drilling unit but also a strategic asset,” said WJM President Michael Duffy. “The design of modules and interconnects provides flexibility for a wide range of environments and enables efficient decommissioning and redeployment for the next opportunity.”

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