CATEGORIZED | News, The Efficient Rig

Bentec: Holistic considerations ensure value of top drive upgrade

Posted on 24 September 2013

Integrated turnkey solutions for drilling equipment upgrades, such as for a top drive, must consider how the top drive will work with other existing rig systems from an early stage, Bentec’s Thomas Kipker said.

Integrated turnkey solutions for drilling equipment upgrades, such as for a top drive, must consider how the top drive will work with other existing rig systems from an early stage, Bentec’s Thomas Kipker said.

By Joanne Liou, associate editor 

More drilling contractors and operators are taking a holistic approach to equipment installations on existing rigs, such as for top drives. For such turnkey integration projects, careful planning is paramount, Thomas Kipker, head of product management at Bentec GmbH Drilling & Oilfield Systems, said. “The top drive is an important machine, but nowadays, the top drive influences more rig systems than in the past,” he said at the 2013 IADC Advanced Rig Technology Conference last week in Stavanger, Norway. To ensure a successful upgrade, all parties – drilling contractors, operators and equipment manufacturers – must understand more than just the top drive itself.

Based on cost breakdowns for nearly 60 top drive installations Bentec has performed in the past two and a half years, the company found that approximately 75% of the total investment cost goes toward the top drive unit itself. The rest is being spent on integration and personnel training, which is reflected in increased efficiency due to decreased downtime, improved rig mobilizations and fewer HSE incidents. Although the top drive itself is responsible for 50% of the increased efficiency, thorough integration can contribute more than 35% to better efficiency, Mr Kipker explained. “If you implement spending more efforts into training, it also means more efficiency.”

A good turnkey project typically begins with a rig survey to review the rig’s history. This should be conducted onsite whenever possible so that local environmental impacts can be addressed. Other details should also be noted, such as required visas and permits for personnel. “This can be addressed early and can help avoid delays at rig installation,” Mr Kipker said. Once a rig survey is complete, engineering comes into the picture for post-survey evaluation and analysis of the results.

Bentec finds that the integration component of a top drive upgrade accounts for 20% of the costs but can contribute 35% of the total efficiency increase afterwards.

Bentec finds that the integration component of a top drive upgrade accounts for 20% of the costs but can contribute 35% of the total efficiency increase afterwards.

Fit is also an important consideration for older rigs. “Sometimes a top drive does not fit in the mast top section,” for example, which then requires rearranging the top drive to avoid major modifications on the mast. Companies also need to choose between portable guide rails and fixed guide rails must in the project’s early stages. “Fixed guide rails have fewer transport units because it’s a fixed installation that does not have to be disassembled,” Mr Kipker said. “It can have faster rig moves, but you don’t have flexibility to swap top drive units to other rigs.”

Other considerations include the anti-collision system and interlocks; upgrades can help to prevent dropped objects and damage to the rig. “The top drive needs to take position of the elevator links, while the drawworks is hoisting it up, so interlocks should be installed,” he said.

It’s also necessary to factor in how the drawworks and mud pumps will work with the top drive, as they are both enabling systems. “It means that OEMs need to have more equipment knowledge, not only about the top drive but also about the other systems. They need to have interface knowledge, need to know languages and how the progress is communicated with each other,” Mr Kipker said.

Leave a Reply

*

FEATURED MICROSITES


Recent Drilling News

  • 30 September 2014

    Statoil, Shell and Sonatrach awarded acreage onshore Algeria

    Statoil and Shell were awarded the Timissit Permit License in the Illizi-Ghadames Basin onshore Algeria. The license is in southeastern Algeria and covers an area of 2,730 sq km...

  • 29 September 2014

    Rosneft discovers oil in Kara Sea

    Rosneft successfully completed the drilling of the Universitetskaya-1 well in the Arctic – the northernmost well in the world, according to the company, and discovered oil at the East-Prinovozemelskiy-1 license area...

  • 26 September 2014

    Statoil and PL713 partners discover gas in Pingvin prospect in Barents Sea

    Statoil has together with PL713 partners made a gas discovery in the Pingvin prospect in the Barents Sea. The discovery is a play opener in an unexplored frontier…

  • 26 September 2014

    Maersk Drilling names fourth ultra-deepwater drillship, delivery expected in Q4

    Maersk Drilling’s fourth ultra-deepwater drillship was named Thursday morning in a ceremony at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) shipyard in Geoje-Si...

  • 25 September 2014

    Eni awarded 3 new exploration licenses in Egypt

    Eni was the successful bidder of three new exploration licenses in Egypt as a result of the competitive 2013 EGPC and EGAS bid rounds. The new licenses will be formally awarded after the ratification...

  • Read more news