Tender assisted drilling has been used with fixed platforms for a number of years. Although new to the deepwater drilling arena, tender assisted drilling provides an alternative method for drilling from dry tree units such as Spars and Tension Leg Platforms (TLPs). Studies have shown that deepwater tender assisted drilling is technically feasible. In addition, a tender assisted drilling program for a TLP is currently in operation in a field with a water depth of 3200 ft, and tender assisted drilling is planned for three developments due for installation within the next two years. Successful execution of tender assisted drilling requires attention to various issues throughout the project from concept selection through detailed design. These factors include the overall field layout, metocean criteria, and applicable design standards. Examples of platform payload impact (compared to self-contained drilling) are included.

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