The efficiency of drilling operations carried out from floating drilling units in hostile environments is adversely affected by movement of the vessel, particularly heave. Over the years various systems have been developed in an endeavour to minimise the problems caused. This paper describes the impact that heave has on the efficiency of floating drilling operations, the compensatory methods and systems that have been used to date, and highlights some new developments that promise to improve safety and drilling performance, while reducing the potential adverse environmental effects of drilling operations.

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