Photo: West Capricorn; Source: ABS

West Capricorn rig picks up MPD notation from ABS

Offshore classification organization ABS has issued the managed pressure drilling (MPD) notation to Seadrill for the West Capricorn semi-submersible drilling rig.

ABS said that on Thursday that the 6th generation ultra-deepwater rig, operating in the Gulf of Mexico, was compliant with the ABS Guide for Classification and Certification of Managed Pressure Drilling Systems (MPD Guide).

According to the organization, 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 from vendor fabrication to onboard installation.

Joseph Rousseau, ABS director for offshore exploration, said: “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. 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.”

Anton Dibowitz, CEO and President of Seadrill Management Ltd., added: “Seadrill successfully attaining ABS MPD notations, not only for West Capricorn but also for two drillships in our fleet, the West Capella and West Tellus, are significant milestones for deepwater offshore drilling units.”

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 also said that the 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.

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