Maersk Drilling and BP Join Forces to Develop Next-Generation Drilling Technology

By MarEx 2013-02-05 09:47:00

Maersk Drilling and BP announced that they have signed a partnership agreement to develop conceptual engineering designs for a new breed of advanced technology offshore drilling rigs that will be critical to unlocking the next frontier of deepwater oil and gas resources.

BP and Maersk Drilling will collaborate on concepts for deepwater drilling rigs that can operate in high-pressure and high-temperature reservoirs up to 20,000 pounds per square inch and 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The agreement is part of BP’s Project 20K, a multi-year initiative to develop next-generation systems and tools for deepwater exploration and production that are beyond the reach of today’s technology, which has a technical limit of 15,000 psi pressure and temperatures of 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

“We are proud to enter into this partnership with BP and see it as recognition of Maersk Drilling’s technological achievements and competencies. The technology developed will move the boundaries of the offshore drilling industry and will enable access to resources that are inaccessible with today’s technology,” says Claus V Hemmingsen, CEO at Maersk Drilling.

The multi-year partnership will focus on evaluating potential rig concepts applicable to BP’s deepwater portfolio. A jointly staffed engineering team will be located in Houston, with back-office support from Maersk Drilling’s headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. The team will perform the engineering studies required to select the optimal design of the 20K drilling rigs, riser and blowout prevention (BOP) equipment. BP will then determine how best to proceed with construction.

It is anticipated some of the technologies to be developed and deployed on the new rigs will include advanced operating systems to aid the situational awareness of the rig crew and inform decision making; real-time blow-out-preventer monitoring to continuously verify functionality of the BOP; and significantly enhanced mechanical capabilities of the BOP, rig structures and piping systems. BP estimates that application of this technology across its own global portfolio alone could potentially access an additional 10-20 billion barrels of resources.

Facts about Project 20K™

BP announced the launch of Project 20K™ in February 2012, setting out its intention to develop technologies over the next decade in four key areas: well design and completions; drilling rigs, riser and blowout prevention equipment; subsea production systems; and well intervention and containment.

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