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Transocean Offshore, Inc. is a drilling contractor that has developed a new generation of deepwater drillships. These are ships (835-ft long, in this case) for drilling petroleum exploration wells in deep oceans. Ships and drilling operations are very expensive, and the company targeted cost reduction in their new dynamically-positioned drillship design.
A "dual Activity Drilling Package" was conceived to attach the "flat times" that can consume up to 65% of the well construction. Normal drilling operations are bottlenecked by operations that occur through the rotary table (part of a drill rig). That is, most all the critical path activities involve process with the rotary table.
The critical path is used to:
The most common way to shorten a construction project is to do more of the activities in parallel. Transocean Offshore was able to do this by configuring the new drillship with a second complete drilling system. While one system is drilling, the other can be making up stands of drillpipe, for example.
This design is a step improvement in functionality, made possible by applying smart project management thinking to the new drillship design. They estimate that time savings will be 15-25% for single wells and up to 40% for multiple wells.
I recommend reading this article if you are designing new equipment or processes that will be used in the projects your company performs.
John Schuyler, May 1999. Revised Dec. 2000
Copyright © 1999-2000 by John R. Schuyler. All rights reserved. Permission to copy with reproduction of this notice.