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Drilling Rigs & Automation

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

MaritimeHub

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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Hand-picked components enable Marathon, ConocoPhillips to build fit-for-purpose MPD system for GOM project

MPD champions must continue to promote the technology’s benefits, as well as find ways to make it more economic, Kelly McHugh, General Manager of Drilling and Completions at Chevron, said at the SPE/IADC MPD and UBO Conference in Galveston, Texas, on 12 April.

In 2013, Marathon Oil and ConocoPhillips decided to retrofit the Maersk Valiant drillship for managed pressure drilling (MPD). Installation of the MPD equipment began in 2014, while the drillship made its way to the US Gulf of Mexico from the shipyard in South Korea.

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Automation lessons can be taken from Disney theme park rides

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Drilling rigs and theme park rides share similarities that most people may not be aware of, said Mike Withers, Retired VP of Ride Engineering for Walt Disney Imagineering. Both the theme park and drilling industries need equipment with high uptime, that can last for many years and is safe. Mr Withers gave a presentation on Disney’s use of automation in its theme parks at a symposium jointly held by the SPE Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section and the IADC Advanced Rig Technology Committee on 29 February in Fort Worth, Texas. The workshop focused on human and machine interaction in automation. In this video with DC, Mr Withers explains how automation has been used in Disney Parks and the company’s process for designing its rides.

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