This paper presents design, testing, installation, and lessons learned with the world's first completely integrated managed pressure drilling (MPD) control system on a deepwater drilling rig. While previous MPD installations have included driller-operated systems, they all include additional human machine interfaces (HMI) and standalone control network components with limited use of rig data and limited to no interfaces to other critical drilling machines on the drilling rig.

For the installation described in this paper, all MPD control functions were permanently installed on the main drilling control network of the drilling unit, providing direct access to high speed data from other drilling machines that influence the wellbore pressure. This includes the rig's mud pumps, top drive, and drawworks. Moreover, the MPD control system has the ability to actively control the drilling machines, thereby optimizing performance through coordinated control of mud pump, top drive, and MPD chokes during drilling and connections.

During the development phase, the specific drilling control system for the vessel was replicated in a hardware-in-the-loop environment, including all the main PLC software for the drilling machinery and supporting subsystems such as logging servers. This approach greatly reduces the risk of errors during installation, commissioning, and operation.

The most essential MPD parameters and control set-points are included in the standard drilling screen for immediate overview and monitoring, with the ultimate goal being a robust and advanced, but low OPEX MPD deployment, delivered by the drilling contractor.

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