ABS approves Diamond Offshore’s innovative drillship concept


ABS, classification and technical services provider to the offshore industry, has approved Diamond Offshore’s new Floating Factory drillship design.

ABS said that recent work on the Floating Factory drillship concept was an example of how the company worked with drilling contractors, in this case, approving the basic design for this innovative concept.

The classification company added that the drillship was conceptualized as an asset that could adapt to carry out different functions for the entire life cycle of the well, changing from one operational phase to the next and reducing transition times between phases by carrying out some of the necessary functions off the critical path.

ABS executive VP for global offshore, Ken Richardson, said: “ABS is working on multiple fronts to help the offshore industry find efficiencies and streamline operations. We are coordinating efforts for standardization and working one-on-one with companies that are changing the way offshore projects are executed.”

Diamond Offshore senior VP for technical services, Karl Sellers, added: “We understand the need to reduce well delivery times and improve economics to try to drive down the costs of offshore development. We’re rethinking designs and making enhancements based on input from customers and equipment providers, and we’re relying on classification societies like ABS to help us validate our concepts.”

The finalized concept for the Floating Factory drillship is based on Huisman’s HuisDrill 12000 design and includes a drill tower that enables tripping in unrestricted mode at 5,000 ft/hr in areas where there’s no surge and swab risk, such as open water.

The tower also allows for 180 feet stands of pipe, compared with the more traditional 135 feet stands, removing the need for two pipe connections.

Diamond Offshore also increased the length and width of the drillship design to create a large and flat deck. The Floating Factory design contains 50 percent more dedicated deck space than the average sixth-generation drillship.

Preliminary calculations by Diamond Offshore suggest that the Floating Factory concept could shave 16.5 days from a 100-day well, on average. The bulk of this reduction would come from the high-speed tripping ability and the reduced connection time.

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