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Drilling Rigs & Automation

Modular MDDM top drive designed to cut time for change outs, slash failures

In 2005, Transocean went in search of a “next-generation top drive” that could significantly improve operational performance to meet customer demands. Specifications required for this new-generation design were tough, including a 99.9% uptime on an annual basis. Out of several ideas proposed by different equipment manufacturers, Aker Solutions’ MDDM (modular direct drilling machine) was selected. According to Aker, the MDDM’s increased performance would enable Transocean to drill wells up to 50,000 ft, with an overall design philosophy of reducing the total cost of ownership of a derrick drilling machine. A contract was signed by October 2005, initiating a development phase with the two companies collaborating on the design and field-testing of the new top drive. Transocean provided background data based ...

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Some manufacturers going forward with PM motors for drilling industry; others hesistant

By Jerry Greenberg, contributing editor Electric motors have been an integral part of the drilling industry for decades. They provide the means to drill a well – powering the drawworks, pumping fluids down the wellbore and separating cuttings upon their return. When the industry began building jackups, electric motors enabled the lowering of legs to the seafloor and the raising of the platform above the waves. On deepwater rigs, they were used to draw in the anchors and to power thrusters on dynamically positioned semisubmersibles and drillships. Since the commercialization of top drives in the early 1980s, motor manufacturers have turned their attention to motors specific to this use. Due to the severe operating conditions of a top drive system, ...

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Rack & pinion technology takes shape in oilfield as multifunctional rigs

By Katie Mazerov, contributing editor Germany-based Max Streicher completed its first-generation vertical directional drilling rig through subsidiary Drill Tec in early 2005. This video shows the rig’s pipe handling system. Horizontal Well Drillers’s rack and pinion design was initially developed for the horizontal river crossing business and was modified for the oilfield two years ago. Norway-based TTS Sense aims to use technology developed for offshore packages in the land drilling market. This video shows a TTS Sense rack and pinion rig built for Ability Drilling. There’s an old adage that says, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Nowhere is that more true than the oil and gas industry, where the need for better ways to tap resources is pushing innovation ...

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Top drives have transformed drilling: Now, new design targets ultra-deep, ERD

By David Reid, Larry Wells and Jeremy Ogg, National Oilwell Varco In 1982, a radically new drilling system appeared in the oil patch, one that would ultimately allow tremendous advances in the oil and gas industry’s well construction capabilities. The advent of the original Top Drive System (TDS) foreshadowed the development of reservoirs that were otherwise considered to be commercially impractical, and greatly improved the net cost, time-to-market and production of many others. Now, in 2008, a fourth generation of top drives from National Oilwell Varco (NOV) aims to continue extending the horizon of reservoir exploitation possibilities. Initially aimed at reducing the costs and risks associated with ultra-deep offshore development projects, the TDX series of top drives is also being ...

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PV Drilling building new rigs as it eyes Vietnams expanding E&P market, exploration successes

By Linda Hsieh, assistant managing editor Vietnam-based PV Drilling is gearing up to be a serious offshore player – just in time, since Vietnam is gearing up for some serious offshore drilling. Just six years ago, PV Drilling – or Petrovietnam Drilling and Well Services Corp – was a company providing small-scale services such as drilling tool rental and oil spill response. By March 2007, it had taken delivery of its first jackup rig – not only the first offshore rig for PV Drilling but also the first ever offshore rig for any Vietnam-based drilling contractor. Since then, the company has ordered two more jackups from the Keppel FELS shipyard in Singapore. Both are scheduled for delivery in 2009. “It’s ...

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Permanent magnet motors lead way to better power efficiency, safety on cranes, winches

By Hege Kverneland, National Oilwell Varco Recognized around the world as a leader in technology-driven drilling solutions, National Oilwell Varco (NOV) has kept its focus on commercializing permanent magnet motor technology and developing innovative applications for its use. The Lifting and Handling Group’s latest technological development is the new all-electric King Post Crane using permanent magnet motor (PM motor) technology with a new type of permanent magnet motor winch (PMW). PM motor Technology The technology of the PM motor differs from the traditional squirrel cage AC asynchronous motor in that it uses permanent magnets to generate the magnetic flux to turn the motor, versus excitation by copper or energizing large copper winding in the rotor. The benefits of the PM ...

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