The only fully convincing way to overcome doubts and concerns over a new technology is to build a first-off and demonstrate the functional and performance capabilities to those who have the need and the authority to introduce new and operationally safe equipment.

Strachan & Henshaw have designed, built and works tested a full scale "Proof-of-Concept" RA-D rig and are now carrying out field trails by performing drilling operations. The drilling industry has been awaiting early release of these results.

The 454 tonne (1,000,0001bs) hook load, modular singles rig using hydraulic power and programmable logic control, has been constructed as a response to a call from the industry for improved safety, low manning, minimum weight, consistent performance and reliability.

RA-D is the result of technology transfer from several industries and represents a significant change in the way drilling facilities and operations can be planned, and managed in the future.

The project is producing results that confirm the concept and the paper discusses these in detail.

It will be seen that the project has crossed boundaries and overcome technical difficulties to produce marketable technology.

The paper also shows how this RA-D technology can be applied to a variety of applications and give short and long term cost benefits.

This first-build programme demonstrates co-operation between Operators, Drilling Contractors, Equipment Suppliers and Government agencies. Each regard the result as a major contribution to the developing technology of drilling from platforms, jack-ups, semi's and on land.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.