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Drilling Rigs & Automation

Remove the barriers to automated MPD to enable automated well control

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Automated MPD can enable automated well control, making for a generally safer and more efficient drilling operation. However, barriers remain that obstruct industry’s implementation of automated MPD, including liability and traditional roles and responsibilities. Drilling contractors are typically responsible for equipment integrity on the rig, but during MPD...

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IADC Maintenance Committee seeking additional OEM partnerships

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The IADC Maintenance Committee’s partnerships with National Oilwell Varco and Caterpillar have both helped the committee to develop solutions to asset integrity and reliability challenges, and the committee is now looking for additional OEM partnerships. The group has also started working with other IADC committees, such as the Well Control Committee, to help drilling contractors improve reliability on equipment, such as the BOP, said Frank Breland, Diamond Offshore Manager Planned Maintenance and IADC Maintenance Committee Chairman. Watch this video with Mr Breland from the 2016 IADC Asset Integrity and Reliability Conference on 30 August in Houston to learn more.

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QGOG simplifies fleet maintenance through ISO 14224 standardization

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To simplify maintenance through standardization, Queiroz Galvão Óleo e Gás (QGOG) recently began implementing ISO 14224 methods for asset integrity on the company’s offshore rigs. ISO 14224 provides a comprehensive basis for collection of reliability maintenance data in a standard format for all equipment. Implementation is already complete on QGOG’s Brava Star drillship and is in progress on eight more rigs. QGOG Asset Integrity Engineer Thiago Amato discussed the process for implementing ISO 14224, as well as results of the implementation, at the 2016 IADC Asset Integrity and Reliability Conference on 30 August in Houston. Watch the video with Mr Amato to learn more.

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Early planning, effective communication crucial to five-year SPS’s

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Applying best practices – including early coordination between the drilling contractor and OEM, constant communication and contingency plans for unplanned work – can help drive down the cost of five-year special periodic surveys for drilling rigs. In a presentation at the 2016 IADC Asset Integrity and Reliability Conference in Houston, Trey Walker, Fleet Care Manager for National Oilwell Varco (NOV), presented examples of successful in-yard and in-field surveys completed ahead of time and within budget. In this video from the conference on 31 August, Mr Walker explains how early planning helped NOV preform these surveys successfully. He also discusses how applying best practices helped the company to complete the in-field survey several days ahead of time despite unexpected changes to the project’s scope.

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Caterpillar eases Tier 4 transition with 3512E engine

The 3512E, Caterpillar’s Tier 4-compliant engine, has a similar skid size to the commonly used 3512C for an easier transition from Tier 2 to Tier 4 engines.

By the end of 2017, drilling contractors will need to have transitioned to engines compliant with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Tier 4 standards for non-road diesel engines. The EPA’s flexibility provisions had allowed onshore drillers and OEMs in North America to continue using Tier 2 engines, but the flexibility period will end next year.

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OESI panel encourages more engineering, training for alarm management

From left are Evelyn Baldwin, Human Factors Lead Instructor at Maersk Training; Jarvis Outlaw, Petroleum Engineer at the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE); Trent Martin, Senior Manager – Technical Support Service at Transocean; Mike Fairburn, Operations Manager at Shell; and Eddie Habibi, Founder and CEO of PAS. The panelists participated in the Ocean Energy Safety Institute forum, “Focusing on Alarm Management for Safer Offshore Operations,” held on 24 August in Houston. Bob Blank (right), Vice President Operational Excellence at Noble Drilling, moderated the panel discussion on alarm management at the forum.

By Alex Endress, Editorial Coordinator Today’s offshore drilling rigs are highly complex and equipped with numerous digitized and interconnected systems. To monitor the functionality of these systems, rigs have also been equipped with numerous alarms – some that are safety- and mission-critical, and some that aren’t. Deciphering which alarms are critical and reacting accordingly is a matter of proper engineering and training, both of which were discussed at an Ocean Energy Safety Institute (OESI) forum, “Focusing on Alarm Management for Safer Offshore Operations,” held on 24 August in Houston. “Alarm fatigue or alert fatigue occurs when one is exposed to a large number of frequent alarms and consequently becomes desensitized to them,” Bob Blank, Vice President Operational Excellence at Noble ...

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Mediterranean Maritime Hub introduces rig pit stop concept in Malta


Malta-based Mediterranean Maritime Hub (MMH) has launched a concept called “Rig Pit Stop” that aims to allow companies to cut costs without cutting capability. “The ‘Pit Stop’ principle is that a rig can come in and offload, for example, a BOP whole and bring on a new BOP that’s sitting there,” Steve Colville, MMH CEO and former CEO/President of IADC, said. “The old one is refurbished once the rig has left, so the rig does not have to wait while the equipment is refurbished. We think it’s possible to reduce yard costs by at least 15%.”

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Rig briefs: Robotic arm for automated pipe handling, 20,000-psi riser system, ergonomic driller’s station among industry innovations

Tripping speeds for MHWirth’s QRT 4000 LS drilling riser system have been reported at up to 12 joints per hour. The company designed the system without high-strength bolts, which removes the risk for hydrogen-induced corrosion. Further, the spider and gimbal have been integrated into one unit without any critical welding. This reduces inspection requirements and increases the possibility to conduct maintenance and repair offshore.

The best derrickmen in the drilling business can rack a stand of pipe at an approximate rate of about 20 seconds per pipe at the start of a tour, according to RigArm, a Calgary-based drilling equipment manufacturer. However, fatigue then begins to set in and can affect performance.

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