Employed in the oil and gas industry for 60 years, simple and sturdy swamp and posted drilling barges have been a preferred method to drill in shallow water. This basic design has made it possible for the barge to drill in water depths from six through 24 ft., as well as the ability to be towed and to travel the Intercoastal waterway, lakes, bays and bayous. With the average drilling depth in the northern Gulf of Mexico ranging between 12,000 and 18,000 ft. in shallow water depths, the standard drilling equipment was designed to accommodate drilling depths to 25,000 feet. The new proposed drilling depth is 40,000 ft., which far exceeds the design of standard swamp and posted drilling barges. However, there is a solution. The Super Barge, patented by Herman J. Schellstede, has the ability to maintain vessel stability in soft bottom conditions, operating in surf zone ocean areas containing tidal wave conditions driven by hurricane winds, providing lifting equipment to drill to 40,000 ft. depth.
In addition, Super Barge is designed to:Drill cluster wells and provide well protection systems;House solids control systems, which will provide drilling mud quality for 40,000 ft. drilling employing large diameter drill pipe; Provide an environmental center, which includes the disposal and treatment of cuttings; Maintain location in major storm conditions; Support 100 operational personnel; Lift casing and drill pipe bundles (100 ton capacity)Provide 4-3000 N.P. mud pumps having 7,500 p.s.i. operating service; Handle various drilling muds and control the drill cuttings and other waste; Operate in depths from six through 25 ft.; The drilling pod, which is separately supported and described in the Schellstede patent, will eliminate any settlement or misalignment of the drill floor and substructure with
respect to the well base.
Herman J. Schellstede and Associates Inc. has served the oil industry worldwide since 1968. During its 33 years of business in the oil industry, the company has developed various drilling barges, jack-up rigs, submersibles and platform drilling rigs. In 1999, the company developed and obtained a patent on the most advanced drilling barge developed for cluster well drilling, which is presently working in West Africa. Classed by ABS (restricted service) with USCG Certification, the Super Barge is unique in design, regarding the requirements necessary for drilling to 40,000 ft. employing a barge vessel.