1993 will see the culmination of six and a half years effort in the development from first principles of the Rig Automation-Drilling Proof of Concept equipment.

It is timely that Offshore Europe ’93, whose venue is adjacent to the International Drilling and Downhole Technology Centre where the project was sited, provides the ideal opportunity to present the results of the project, explore some of the problems encountered, successes experienced and lessons learned.

The most significant aspect of this project is the benefit of collaboration between Operators, Drilling Contractors and Equipment Suppliers to develop and demonstrate that innovative technology proven in other industries is suitable and relevant to the oil and gas drilling operations.

This 1,000,000 lb hook load modular singles rig, hydraulically powered and using programmable logic control, has been installed onshore and has been put through its operational routines with development as necessary to demonstrate the concept. This concept is capable of meeting the increasing needs for maximum safety with minimum cost operations.

The RA-D concept, in whole or part, is applicable to many drilling scenarios whether onshore or offshore, modular or highly mobile. The paper will discuss some of the applications and will show the benefit to Operators and Drilling Contractors. The project demonstrates that the application of the RA-D concept yields cost reductions in the drilling operation and, whilst all these are not yet capable of being physically demonstrated, a number of field studies and individual equipment assessment studies have provided encouraging indicative results.

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