Abstract

Noble Drilling, Gusto-MSC, client and selected 3rd party vendors teamed up to design a self-propelled jack-up rig specific for Arctic Operations. The rig design is based on the concept of "mission", fully integrating the rig into the logistical, environmental and operational aspects of the overall project. As a result, the rig design takes significant lower cost to build, operate and maintain while still maintaining the capabilities to complete the tasks required.

The paper will provide details on the rig performance, environmental compliance and loading capacity. Specific attention will be given to reduction of crew, fully enclosed rig design possibilities and safety of operations.

The paper will furthermore discuss the earning capacity of the rig: the rig can be employed all year, working in the Arctic theatre during summer and autumn (the Arctic open water and initial freeze-up season), while drilling in other areas around the world during winter and spring. Thanks to its self-propelled concept, the unit can transit between such distant areas at high speed and be self-installing upon arrival made possible by its DP-2 capability. Therefore the unit requires no assistance from other vessels. This is augmented by the high loading capacity of the unit, comprising a full drilling program of pipes and casings as well as fuel storage, thus requiring no or very limited re-supplies during drilling of a well.

The paper will thus demonstrate that the combination of reduced capital & operational costs, engaging all stakeholders early in the design plus a high earning capacity provides a ground breaking step in cost effective drilling operations in the Arctic and other parts of the world.

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