The criteria established for proceeding with the Brent Charlie platformNew Drilling Equipment Set (NDES) are safe operation, fitness for purpose, improved workenvironment, reduced rig crew and cost effective design. The project is being implemented with an EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) Contract by a JointVenture (JV) between a German drilling and oilfield systems engineering and construction company and a British fabrication company.

Following the successful demonstration of a semiautomated rig for the Continental Deep Drilling Project (KTB) in Germany, the operating company was satisfied that incorporation of similar state-of-the-art drilling systems technology in the NDES would underpin the economic case for this project.

The transfer of land based technology to offshore applications will be appropriately profiled.

The drilling rig is tailored to meet the present and future needs on the Brent Charlie platform. This rig is the response to the specific requirements of the drilling industry, namely - advanced technology, cost within reasonable limits, and the highest possible safety standards.

The principle design features are remote operations from an enclosed operator's cabin where the driller's and assistant driller's controls, including pipe racking, are all powered functions, together vyith advanced and proven drilling technology and equipment such as handling drill pipes in triples, and making up or breaking out of triples simultanesouly whilst drilling. Proven state-of-the-art automation systems will greatly improve the cost effectiveness of the platform. Ultimately this will provide faster drilling times, provide a safer drill floor working environment, reduce down times, and reduce the number of drill crew required to operate the rig. Many of these systems can be easily incorporated into existing rigs.

The relative benefits and cost savings of the various systems will be presented.

Conceptual engineering design has recently been completed. Detailed drilling systems engineering, procurement and manufacture is now being carried out by the JV team. The partners' commitment to the industry CRINE initiative has achieved further economies. Fabrication and installation of systems and equipment will be carried out in Scotland where the rig will be on display during the commissioning activities. The final completion stage will be during the SPE conference in September, ready for sailaway in December 1995.

The Brent NDES is designed for a working life of approximately 25 years with an anticipated rig shutdown time for maintenance of no more than twoweeks per year and is equipped to handle all present and future drilling operations. The result is a unique drilling rig that not only surpasses all the technical requirements, but is also economical to operate.

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