Sonardyne International Ltd has been awarded a contract by Noble Corp to supply a wireless acoustic emergency BOP control system for its new deepwater drillship. The Noble Globetrotter II is the fifth Noble newbuild vessel, along with other existing rigs, to be equipped with Sonardyne’s safety critical acoustic technology, providing through-water wireless communications, positioning and BOP control in an emergency situation.
The Noble Globetrotter II is currently en route to the Netherlands for tower and drilling system installation and, once complete, will be capable of drilling in water depths up to 10,000 ft. The vessel is due to begin work in the Gulf of Mexico in the second half of 2013 on long-term contract to Shell.
In the event of loss of normal communications with a BOP stack, Sonardyne’s self-contained, high-security acoustic command and control backup system is used to execute emergency shutdown and riser disconnect procedures. The digital wideband acoustic signal technology incorporated into the supplied system has been proven to offer reliable performance in a well blowout scenario despite intense noise pollution from a ruptured wellhead that would have severely limited the performance of an analogue acoustic BOP system.
“The redundancy of the equipment chosen for the Noble Globetrotter II means that they will be able to reliably communicate with the BOP from either the rig or remotely from a standby vessel if the need ever arises,” said Ted Kenny, business development manager of subsea control systems at Sonardyne.