Across the ocean drilling and explorating- how drillships work?


Have you heard that drillships are modificated marine vessels?
The first drillship was the Cuss 1 created especially for Mohole project which was an ambitious attempt to drill through the Earth’s crust into the Mohorovičić discontinuity and was executed from 1961 to 1966. Fortunately, the collapse of these plans didn’t prevent fast-developing technology of the drillships. Nowadays, these units are fitted with a drilling derrick and moon pool.

Additionally, drillships have extensive mooring or positioning equipment, as well as a helipad to receive supplies and transport staff. In order to drill, column called as marine riser need to pass through the vessel’s moon pool
and connect outlet of the well with the bottom of the drillship.
The major advantage is possibility to drill on very deep waters, from 610 to even 3,048 meter! Furthermore, drillships are completely independent, in contrast to semi-submersibles and jackup barges which need to be transported by another units like seagoing tugs.

Drawbacks? The main disadvantage is susceptibility to being agitated by waves, wind and currents. It’s especially troublesome when the vessel is actually drilling, because the drillship is connected to equipment thousands of feet under the sea. This is why these units are equipped with the most sensitive mooring systems. Sometimes, especially on the shallower waters, drillships are moored to the seafloor with a few anchors but when waters are deeper drillships depend on dynamic positioning systems (DPS) to keep the vessel in place while drilling.
The most expensive drillship ever built is DrillMAX ICE constructed in South Korea.

More you can find on:
How Does a Drillship Work? |RIGZONE

Would you like to work among staff of the drillship? Share your opinon with us.

Photo by Aker Solutions

About author

Maciej Wawrzkowicz

Fifth year student of Mining and Geology at Faculty of Drilling, Oil and Gas at AGH University of Scince and Technology in Krakow, Poland. In YoungPetro, Deputy Editor-In-Chief, social media co-conductor, manager of the 'Ambassadors' project and 'How it works' section. HR manager of SPE AGH UST Student Chapter Poland. As a Lab assistance conducts also researches in terms of water recovery from drilling fluids. Interested in various sources of energy. Privately, loves high mountain tourism and low cost traveling.

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