The Megathyst class rig design is an evolution of the Amethyst class rig targeted for mid range deepwater applications in benign environment. Although most rig designs are duplicated many times they are seldom identical in rig equipment and rarely deployed in the same geographical areas to take advantage of the standardization. A total of 6 (six) Megathyst class rigs were originally planned specifically for deepwater operations in Brazil for Petrobras and development drilling operations. Because of market conditions at the time, only 4 (four) units were built and all are deployed in close proximity of each other in Brazil.

This paper describes the benefits of a rig design that was very much influenced by the client and tailored to the client's operational needs. It gives an overview of the unique rig design, specifications and characteristics that favour and are tailored to the clients long range development programs in the mid range deepwater areas. It covers a total of 19 rig years of operational experience and optimization towards operational excellence.


The paper addresses the key elements of:

  • Client's influence on rig design

  • Improvement opportunities in reliability of equipment

  • Standardization of processes

  • Fleet spares and Inventory optimization

  • Cross training of personnel

  • SPS and major overhaul scheduling


In the process of expanding deepwater exploration and development in Brazil, Petrobras in the late nineties chartered the services of 6 (six) drilling vessels to provide drilling, completion and workover services for oil and gas wells (vertical, directional and horizontal).

The contract was awarded to the Megathyst design: a compact dynamic positioned semi-submersible, self propelled drilling rig able to drill in 1500m of water depth with a 10,000 psi well control system in wells up to 5500m deep. The contract initially called for the construction of 6 (six) identical units. However, with the increased market activity, the construction of the last two units was much delayed and resulted in the cancellation of the contract.

Only four units were built: Pride Brazil (Korea, Year 2000), Pride Carlos Walter (Korea, Year 2000), Pride Portland (United States, Year 2004) and Pride Rio de Janeiro (United States, Year 2004). The Megathyst was an evolution of the Amethyst class rig and tailored to the contract needs, providing the client with an optimized solution that could meet their technical and operational challenges.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.