Abstract

There has been a lot of discussion around rigs with some capability to perform Managed Pressure Drilling - MPD - operations, with rigs having different permanent equipment installed. But all the rigs, somehow, would all be classified as ready to perform MPD operations. In order to clarify a bit this subject, this paper clearlt differentiates rigs with some permanent equipment installed, but the specialized MPD equipment and service are still provided by a service company, which is herein called MPD-Capable-Rigs, from rigs which have installed all the equipment needed for MPD, and the drilling contractor is the one offering the service, which is called Complete-MPD-Rigs. The objective of the paper is to discuss and illustrate what is involved in preparing an offshore and even onshore Complete-MPD-Rig. The paper also discusses the evolution of MPD, initially provided by service companies, with equipment needed to be rigged up and down on rigs, all the way to current stage where drilling contractors are providing the service directly. To achieve this stage the drilling contractors are equipping their rigs with the full MPD package and providing the service directly to the operators.

The paper describes the evolution of equipment installed and owned by the rig, from a few lines in the very beginning to a complete packge today. The movement towards the drilling contractor owning and offering the MPD service started with the deepwater rigs, but evolved to onshore rigs also. Today, both onshore and offshore drilling contractors Complete-MPD-Rigs.

Some examples of rigs with partial equipment installed are provided, illustrating the evolution of what a rig would own, until the most recent onshore and offshore examples of Complete- MPD-Rigs. This is definetly the future as it simplifies not only contractual and legal aspects but also improves a lot the competency of the rig crew and significantly reduces the problems of communications during an MPD operation when the equipment is not owned and provided by the rig.

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