The paper introduces some suggestions as to why development of new equipment/approaches has been slow in the drilling contracting industry and why this situation now appears to have changed. It goes on to describe a systematic development method utilized by Maersk Drilling in improving the drilling process by focusing on safety and efficiency in the layout and in the equipment chosen.
Some of the results such as driller's control, FOXHOLE etc. are explained from the arrangements on board the contractor' s two new harsh environment Jack-ups presently under construction in Singapore.
Comparison between Drilling and Shipping:
Maersk Drilling has since its start in 1973 acquired the majority of its drilling rigs by new construction, in total 20 rigs. Each new group of rigs incorporates the operating experience from the previous rigs.
The A.P. Moller shipping organization to which Maersk Drilling belongs has in the same period had a new building programme of more period had a new building programme of more than 25 ships per year ranging from ULCCs to container ships and supply vessels.
Whilst shipping has made great leaps forward in applied technology the drilling industry has been much more reluctant to accept new thinking.
The reason for this is to be found in the difference in relationship between contractor and customer in the two industries.
Very simply it can be illustrated by the fact that a cargo of crude oil may change owner several times on the voyage from the Arabian Gulf to Rotterdam, and the containers on board a liner from LA to Tokyo can do the same. A drilling rig, however, is contracted by one customer and the rig and crew work as assigned by the customer's representative on board.
The shipping industry has thus the possibility of optimizing its service based upon possibility of optimizing its service based upon the experience gained. The shipowner is solely responsible for the performance and the quality of the service becomes the customers' decision parameter in selecting the carrier for his cargo. The customers see results but do not interfere in how these results are achieved.
Drilling contractors, on the other hand, operate in a market where the customers success depends not only on the contractor but also on the customers' own planning and execution of the programmes. Furthermore, a large number of third party contractors work on board and in some cases use the contractor's equipment.
Customers' Evaluation of Contractors' Drilling Equipment:
With the very direct involvement of the customers' operations staff, the contractor is not alone in selecting equipment and procedures. procedures.
It is therefore often necessary to sell new ideas to the customer before they can be proven in reality. This is complicated by the proven in reality. This is complicated by the fact that contract duration is often short.