Nautronix To Supply Noble’s Drillships with NASDrill RS925 Deepwater Acoustic Positioning Systems (UK)

Nautronix have been awarded significant orders to supply NASDrill RS925 deepwater acoustic positioning systems for Noble Corporation’s three new ultra-deepwater drillships due for delivery second and fourth quarters of 2013, and second quarter of 2014 respectively.

These new rigs will be constructed at Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan, Korea and are based on a Hyundai Gusto P10000 design. The rigs will have DP-3 station keeping abilities and the ability to handle two complete BOP systems allowing for operation in water depths of up to 12,000 feet.

Mark Patterson, Nautronix CEO, commented “we are delighted to secure these orders. This marks the first time that Noble has selected our ADS2 acoustic positioning systems and is further recognition the industry recognises the benefits our established digital ADS2 products offer and confirms our statement that our Digital Acoustics are the Global leader”.

Nautronix received orders for their NASDrill RS925 systems through a well known Norwegian DP Supplier who will supply their Dynamic Positioning (DP) System for these vessels.

NASDrill RS925 systems have been designed specifically to meet the requirements for a reliable, stable DP and position reference system for demanding offshore operations, in particular deepwater drilling vessels.

NASDrill RS925 combines the two most accurate deepwater acoustic positioning technologies – Short Baseline (SBL) and Long Baseline (LBL) – to calculate multiple independent position solutions providing reliable, repeatable input to the vessel DP system; with SBL mode providing accuracies of 0.15% slant range and LBL mode providing accuracies up to 1m RMS independent of water depth.

The Noble vessels will be fitted with dual redundant, six-hydrophone NASDrill RS925 systems offering significant built-in redundancy in both topside and subsea elements.

The NASDrill RS925 system is complete with all external interfacing to the Dynamic Positioning System for automatic station keeping and can be used as part of an integrated acoustically-aided INS positioning solution.

For drilling, NASDrill RS925 also provides Differential Riser (Flex Joint) calculation and monitoring capability. Multiple seabed transponder groups can also be assigned to simplify batch drilling, where separate transponder arrays can be deployed at several locations on the seabed, allowing the rig to move between them without the need to collect and redeploy seabed arrays each time, saving valuable rig time.

The system is also fully upgradable to use NASeBOP and NASNet® (Nautronix unique underwater GPS) in the future.

As with all Nautronix leading commercial acoustic systems, NASDrill RS925 utilises Nautronix proprietary ADS² (Acoustic Digital Spread Spectrum) broadband signalling technology which has been proven, with over ten years of successful subsea operations, to provide superior accuracy, repeatability and reliability for dynamic positioning of vessels during deepwater drilling operations.

Source: Nautronix, August 4, 2011;

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