Drillmec introducing fully automated drilling rig with 50% reduced footprint


Drillmec introducing fully automated drilling rig with 50% reduced footprint

HOUSTON -- Based on the experience of the HH Series rigs and their field results, Drillmec has developed a new generation of fully automated drilling rigs, named “AHEAD”(Advanced Hydraulic Electrical Automated Driller), designed to meet the highest HSE standards and to enhance drilling performance. The first rig of this kind is expected to complete construction in early 2015.

The AHEAD Series represents the results of a strong focus on innovation, automation and continuous improvement of technology, that leads to an enhancement of the key parameters in oil and gas drilling activities: highest safety level, environmental protection, highest performance in drilling and moving operations, with substantial cost saving.

The AHEAD design allows about 50% footprint reduction compared to a conventional land rig (1,500 hp). The visual impact is drastically reduced thanks to the special telescopic mast design and the fast moving is possible thanks to trailer mounted components (total 21 loads).

The substructure can be a sling shot type or an hydraulic self-leveling elevating system, which grant fast and safe rig up without cranes, the hoisting system is based on a Telescopic Mast with Double Hydraulic Piston in tandem (patent pending) manufactured in compliance with API 4F and equipped with integrated Drillmec ETD series electric top drive.

AHEAD is also equipped with a new fully automated off-line system to make up stands of two Range 3 DP (or three Range 2 DP) directly on mouse hole. The system allows to reduce risks for the rig crew and NPT reduction as well. The Off-line System is able to handle even the casing joints, placed on special racks, positioned at ground level. The system includes a vertical and horizontal pipe handler, and a modular vertical pipe rack with a total capacity of 5.000 m of 5½-in. Range 3 DP.

The AHEAD series can also be equipped with Rig walking system, Drillmec DAS (Data Acquisition System) and DMS (Drilling Monitoring System). Drillmec AHEAD series is also designed to be equipped with the Drillmec HoD (Heart of Drilling), a complete package combining continuous circulation system, high-resolution flow rate monitoring and an anti-friction device, which provides a significant step ahead in drilling efficiency and the achievement of the planned T.D. in all conditions always with very high HSE levels.

The continuous circulation of drilling fluid in the wellbore, combined with the fine monitoring of the flow rate, can play a key role in drilling wells which are characterized by a very narrow pore/fracture pressure gradient, where the usual mud circulation interruption during the drill pipes connections, may cause very dangerous situations. The HoD package is completed by an anti-friction device, integrated in the continuous circulation subs or in the drill pipe tool joints, which is able to reduce top drive and string stresses while drilling high angle or horizontal sections of ERD (Extended Reach Drilling) wells.

The combination of these three tools ensures a continuous dialogue with the bottom hole, the constant presence of two safety barriers on the well (mud circulation and BOPs) and the optimal working conditions for the top drive, ensuring the highest HSE level and enhanced drilling performances, with reduced drilling and connection times, giving a cost saving solution with always maximum control of the well.

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