StatoilHydro puts rig money on "robot roughneck"

Published Aug 28, 2008
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StatoilHydro has quietly invested in a new sub-sea drilling technology aimed at drilling exploration wells without rigs, risers or dedicated vessels, it was learned Thursday at the ONS 2008 tradeshow in oil capital Stavanger.

The investment in Seabed has come with the first finished prototype of a remotely operated “roughneck” for Seabed Rig’s revolutionary drilling machine for deployment from offshore supply ships.

A finished version of the independent driller is understood to be operations-bound by 2012. The innovation will shave millions in rig costs for operator StatoilHydro, and, together with a number of well-interventions performed by specialist offshore vessels, looks set to produce vast savings for the oil company.

The drill kit climbs, descends and swivels along an “umbilical” to the surface ship, using and storing casing and tubing as it works, and sending cuttings to the ship’s “shaker” along with mud. The pipe is suction anchored, and a standard blow-back preventer is used.

The design first appeared in Scandinavian Oil-Gas Magazine last year.

At ONS 2008, a model of the “roughneck” prototype stood in Hall E, and an operator’s animated, “joystick” view of the underwater operation could be seen in the darkened Hall G Innovation Park. The software outfit behind the animated tool is Advanced Control of Stavanger.

Tags: Seabed Rig, StatoilHydro


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