Denmark: Aker H6 Drilling Rigs Use Integrated Milestone Video Surveillance

Aker Solutions advanced H6 drilling rigs use integrated Milestone video surveillance for state-of-the-art operational control in harsh environments.

Aker Solutions is building model H-6e drilling rigs, the latest-generation of semisubmersible platforms specially designed to conquer the challenges of deepwater drilling operations in harsh environments. They include the Aker Solutions MH DrillView™ system for optimal monitoring of the operations in action, which has integrated Milestone IP video surveillance software at its core.

The latest model, the Aker H-6e, is one of the largest drilling rigs ever, constructed by Aker Solutions. Two hulls have been produced by Dubai World Drydocks and towed to Aker Solutions’ yard on the west coast of Norway.

There they have been combined with locally produced topsides and equipped with the integrated Milestone video surveillance system with components delivered by Last Mile Communication AS.

For over thirty years Aker Solutions has been a market leader in the design of drilling equipment and facilities, recognized for its development of new technology for deepwater drilling based on field-proven  equipment.

Satisfying the industry’s requirements for efficiency, safety and reliable operability has always been a prime objective.

Harsh environments require reliable, robust solutions

The topsides of the Aker H-6e rigs weigh 16,000 tons and can drill in water depths down to 3,000 meters, with a maximum drill string length of 10,000 meters. Drilling operations are mainly conducted within enclosed areas of the topside facilities for safe, year-round operations. Exposed operating and inspection areas are shielded from wind and water, and a variety of heating systems compensate for Arctic-weather conditions. The H-6e hulls provide enhanced stability, so drilling can continue in weather conditions that would require other rig designs to shut down.

The MH DrillView system provides a user-friendly interface for acquisition, logging, storage, distribution and display of drilling data, as well as set-up and remote control of drilling equipment.

MH DrillView integrates the drilling systems into one common control and monitoring center for greater efficiency, safety and ease of use. Realtime drilling data can be shared between the driller, rig offices, shore base or other locations accessible by telecommunications.

Integration in practice for local and remote operations or diagnostics

Based on drilling operational experience, the Aker H6 offers a completely integrated platform designed for the entire drilling rig. User friendly screens cover all normal drilling operations, as MH DrillView contains all the mechanisms required to interface with drilling equipment. Typical examples are control of pumps and valves on mud system schematics, hydraulic power units, etc. Users can monitor the status of the individual drilling equipment for efficient trouble-shooting or maintenance planning.

Information is easily accessible due to the system’s versatility and flexibility. Operators can set up trend charts from a large selection of direct and computed variables. All data stored from previous wells can be replayed for analysis and is available for offline reports. The drilling data is stored in an SQL real-time database.

The MH DrillView system has a built-in Web server, which means that all data can be made instantly available on a LAN/WAN/Internet. The drilling stations offshore can be linked via the internet to the remote diagnostics center at Aker Solutions, so trouble-shooting can be carried out in co-operation with customer service without requiring Aker Solutions personnel to travel.

Built-in Drilling Rig Surveillance System

Safe operation of an automated drilling system requires effective monitoring in very demanding environments. Aker Solutions install up to 90 or more video cameras on each rig, and make the outdoor camera housings specially designed and certified for handling harsh demands. The ATEX approved (explosion proof) stainless steel enclosures are IP66 and are specially designed for hazardous location installation. The

dome type pan/tilt/zoom camera used is very small, weighing less than 12 kilos with a standard wall bracket and sunshield: the entire unit is only 155 mm in diameter and 300 mm high, and can therefore be placed in very small areas inside the hull of the drilling rigs. The PTZ camera movement is very fast at 100° per second, with endless panning, no stop and return. The MH DrillView system can also be delivered with fixed cameras, with or without zoom.

To keep the lens view clear from water, the dome glass can be cleaned using a high pressure wash unit. Drying is done by compressed air. Like all outdoor dome cameras, the housing has a fan and thermostat-controlled heater inside that keep them from fogging or icing up.

Milestone IP video software supports mix of hardware models

The MH Dome CCTV system is interfaced to Milestone XProtect™ Enterprise software, which has been tailored by Milestone consultants to the Aker Solutions system use requirements. The Milestone XProtect software provides powerful management and control functions and can be easily made accessible to remote users over the internet or company Intranet.

The surveillance hardware includes a dome camera from Panasonic, model WV-NS202.

Other network cameras used are Panasonic WV-NP1004 and ACTi ACM-1430. On drilling equipment where close-up images are required, “the world’s smallest ATEX approved camera” (analog) from Orlaco is used. For converting analog signals to IP, ACTi SED-2610 or 2120 video servers are utilized.

The MH DrillView systems with integrated Milestone IP video software have been delivered to such customers as Maersk, Seadrill and Aker Drilling.


Source: Milestone, November  11, 2010;

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