Maersk Drilling and BP have signed a partnership agreement to develop conceptual engineering designs for a new breed of advanced technology offshore drilling rigs, critical to unlocking the next frontier of deepwater oil and gas resources.
BP and Maersk Drilling will collaborate on concepts for deepwater drilling rigs that can operate in high-pressure and high-temperature reservoirs up to 20,000 psi and 350°F. The agreement is part of BP’s Project 20K, a multi-year initiative to develop next-generation systems and tools for deepwater exploration and production that are beyond the reach of today’s technology, which has a technical limit of 15,000 psi pressure and temperatures of 250°F. BP announced the launch of Project 20K in February 2012 to develop technologies over the next decade in four key areas: well design and completions; drilling rigs, riser and blowout prevention (BOP) equipment; subsea production systems; and well intervention and containment.
“We are proud to enter into this partnership with BP and see it as recognition of Maersk Drilling’s technological achievements and competencies. The technology developed will move the boundaries of the offshore drilling industry and will enable access to resources that are inaccessible with today’s technology,” said Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO at Maersk Drilling.
The multi-year partnership will focus on evaluating potential rig concepts applicable to BP’s deepwater portfolio. A jointly staffed engineering team will be located in Houston, Texas, with back-office support from Maersk Drilling’s headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. The team will perform the engineering studies required to select the optimal design of the 20K drilling rigs, riser and BOP equipment. BP will then determine how best to proceed with construction.
It is anticipated some of the technologies to be developed and deployed on the new rigs will include advanced operating systems to aid the situational awareness of the rig crew and inform decision making; real-time BOP monitoring to continuously verify functionality of the BOP; and significantly enhanced mechanical capabilities of the BOP, rig structures and piping systems. BP estimates that application of this technology across its global portfolio alone could potentially access an additional 10 billion to 20 billion bbls of resources.
Project 20K is a trademark of BP