(Houston) ABS today announced it has issued the managed pressure drilling notation ABS MPD™ to Seadrill for the ABS-classed West Capricorn, a 6th generation ultra-deep water semi-submersible operating in the Gulf of Mexico. This notation demonstrates system compliance with the ABS Guide for Classification and Certification of Managed Pressure Drilling Systems (MPD Guide). Seadrill’s West Capricorn is the first Column Stabilized Drilling Unit to receive the ABS MPD™ notation complete with the Maltese Cross, which denotes survey attendance throughout the process, from vendor fabrication to on-board installation.
“As the industry drills in more complex and challenging environments it is essential to integrate MPD technology safely with existing systems to improve efficiency and effectiveness for deepwater operations,” said Joseph Rousseau, ABS Director for Offshore Exploration. “We are proud to award Seadrill the ABS MPD™ notation and support new drilling technologies with standards that continue to enhance safety in our industry.”
“Seadrill successfully attaining ABS MPD™ notations, not only for West Capricorn, but also for two drillships in our fleet, West Capella and West Tellus, are significant milestones for deepwater offshore drilling units,” said Anton Dibowitz, CEO and President of Seadrill Management Ltd. “The construction, installation, operation and overall design of our MPD system provide compelling advantages in performance efficiencies and safety standards. With the ABS MPD™ notation, we demonstrate an independent approval and verification to the integrity of our MPD system.”
The Seadrill West Capricorn features an advanced MPD control system that includes a series of tools and technologies to improve safety, operational capability and system efficiency. Pressure control valves protect the wellbore from unintended high pressure, which can lead to fracturing. The combined integrated choke/valve control system allows easier control, access, and visualization for both onboard and remote drilling operations personnel.
The ABS Guide for the Classification and Certification of Managed Pressure Drilling Systems issued in 2017 is the only standalone guide that provides specific requirements for MPD systems, subsystems and equipment in offshore applications for drilling in complex deepwater wells. It was developed with extensive review from many stakeholders including operators, drilling contractors, original equipment manufacturers and regulatory agencies. Also incorporating lessons learned from implementing MPD systems on multiple rigs, the MPD Guide helps to reduce the chance of incidents, enhance overall system reliability, and promote global safety.
ABS, a leading global provider of classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries, is committed to setting standards for safety and excellence in design and construction. Focused on safe and practical application of advanced technologies and digital solutions, ABS works with industry and clients to develop accurate and cost-effective compliance, optimized performance and operational efficiency for marine and offshore assets.