With the advent of a new generation of ‘Super’ Drilling Rigs, including fifth generation Semi Submersibles, special needs have arisen for casing, tubing and drill pipe make up and running. This paper will describe the following new equipment developed for these rigs.

Power Frame

To run on rails similar to the Hydraulic Roughneck capable of suspending any Power Tongs to run casing and tubing in the range 3 ½-in. to 20-in. and drill pipe up to 6 5/8-in.

Mechanized Casing and Tubing Tongs

These tongs come complete with Free Floating Hydraulic Backups and remote operation capabilities.

Soft PLC Control Systems

Using software to simulate traditional PLC Systems and Profibus Communication Links for the remote operation of the Power Tongs and Power Tong Frames.

A plan for fully automated sequence has been implemented in the system.

Mechanized Drill Pipe Tongs

For the running of special drill pipe and Drill Pipe Test Risers.

Circulating Heads

Specially designed for remote operation and for use with new design side door elevators.

Special issues will be addressed, such as the running of casing in triples, a procedure not previously used in the industry. Anticollision systems for the equipment will also be discussed.

The systems described are unique in that not only will there be make-up equipment at the well center but also at two ‘Outboard Stations’ with mouseholes. By this means, many functions such as prefabrication of stands of risers, drill pipe and bottom hole assembly stands can be carried out offline without interrupting or delaying drilling operations. These functions will also include the fabrication and racking back of triples of casing. Considerable timesaving is anticipated.

The minimizing of any human intervention in these operations on the rig floor is critical to these new mechanized designs. Improvements in safety and operational efficiency are the key reasons for the development of this equipment. "Process driven design" and "Fit for purpose" are the two governing principles permanently followed in this project.

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