Huisman receives order for the first Huisdrill 10,000 drillship from Noble Drilling
The drilling equipment is based on the drilling mast and pipe storage in carousels as currently under construction for the "Bully" rigs, on order by Noble Drilling / Shell. The vessel will be built by Korean shipyard STX in a newly built location in Dalian, China. Huisman is responsible not only for design and building drilling equipment but also for the concept design of the entire vessel. The fact that Huisman performed the concept design allowed a highly optimized integration of the drilling equipment into the vessel from the very beginning of the design process, which resulted in a drilling vessel, that is much more compact than drillships with equal capacities. This means lower building costs and lower operational costs.
This type of drilling unit represents a major step change in the industry. These vessels are designed to offer a low cost and flexible alternative for drilling in ultradeep waters. The selection of Huisman's compact box type drilling tower instead of a conventional derrick allows for a significantly smaller sized vessel compared to other deepwater drillships of similar capacity. In addition, it offers improved operational efficiency as a result of the different equipment layout. In case of the new vessels, not only the derrick is unconventional. Also the vessel design does not follow the traditional concepts for drill ships. For instance, the engine room of the vessel is placed forward, underneath the accommodation. This arrangement is common for most other types of offshore construction vessels, but not for drillships. It leaves the entire aft ship free for drilling equipment or tubular storage.
Vessel and equipment design have been optimized as a single unit. The vessel is of a compact design, measuring 198 by 32.2 m. Its displacement is only 54000 mton. The drilling capabilities however match those of the new generation large drill ships with a max water depth capability of 10.000 ft, 2400 kips static hook load capacity at both the fore and aft side of the mast and 43000 ft pipe storage capacity. The vessel will have DP-3 classification and be suitable for unrestricted worldwide service. Special attention has been given to sea keeping characteristics. Modest vessel motions and a low drill floor result in very low accelerations at the drill floor. The low drillfloor is the result of absence of a substructure below the drilling mast. The drill floor is at a level of no more than 5 m above the main deck of the vessel. This not only reduces sideways motions at the drill floor but also lowers the centre of gravity of the drilling equipment considerably. This is made possible by lowering the BOP through a large hatch aft of the drill mast before skidding it to the well centre, forward of the mast. The top section of the mast can be removed to allow passage through the Panama and Suez Canals as well as below the Bosporus bridge.
The drilling equipment is completely integrated in the vessel. In fact, the vessel was designed around the equipment. All risers are stored below deck, aft of the drilling mast. So are most of the drilling tubulars. The holds are covered by hatches. This leaves a large "free" deck area of 4.200 m2 (45.000 ft2) which can be used for non permanent equipment. The various deck load is a generous 20.000 ton. Huisman will supply the drilling mast with active heave compensated draw works inside, all pipe racking and pipe handling gear, riser handling cranes and the riser tensioning system. Huisman will also supply the driller's cabin and is responsible for all system integration. This includes integration of equipment supplied by others. The system is designed to maximize safety for the crew, and to minimize equipment downtime. This is achieved by combinations of simple robust designs and incorporation of redundancy at multiple levels. The equipment will be constructed in Huisman's Schiedam facility. It will be completely assembled and tested prior to arrival of the vessel. Installation and commissioning on board will also take place at Huisman's yard and is planned for Q2, 2011.