Maersk Drilling Orders 20K™ Blow Out Preventer & Risers

By Joseph R. Fonseca
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
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Maersk Drilling has ordered four Blow Out Preventers (BOPs) and two risers from GE Oil and Gas to be used in the Project 20K™ agreement with BP. The BOPs and risers are intended to be delivered and deployed on two Maersk Drilling 20K™ Rigs by year-end 2018. The order includes options for provision of further BOPs. The order is subject to BP and Maersk Drilling taking the final investment decision on a 20K™ Rig contract.

BP and Maersk Drilling announced in February 2013 a joint study agreement to develop conceptual engineering designs for a new breed of advanced technology drilling rigs that will be critical to unlocking the next frontier of deepwater oil and gas resources. Called 20K™ Rigs, the BP-Maersk Drilling agreement will result in developing deepwater drilling rigs that can safely and efficiently operate in high-pressure and high-temperature reservoirs up to 20,000 pounds per square inch and 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Gary Jones, Vice President of BP’s Global Wells Organization, says “This is a key milestone in progression of BP’s delivery of Project 20K™ technologies and supports our industry relationships toward the delivery of standard industry solutions”.

In order to have the BOPs developed, qualified, tested and commissioned to enable delivery of the 20K™ Rigs as early as 2018, the order has been placed with GE Oil and Gas now. Going forward, Maersk Drilling will engage in talks with various ship yards regarding the potential construction of a series of 20K™ Rigs.

“GE Oil & Gas is proud to join with BP and Maersk Drilling in developing new 20kpsi drilling system technologies to meet new ultra-deepwater production goals,” says Andrew Way, president of GE Oil & Gas - Drilling & Surface. “By drawing upon the combined expertise of GE’s technology portfolio and operational excellence, we are excited to provide one of the most advanced drilling systems the industry has to offer.”

For Maersk Drilling, the order is another milestone in realization of the drilling contractor’s deepwater ambitions.

“Maersk Drilling has an ambition of becoming a significant player in the ultra-deepwater market and to grow in what we call technically and operationally challenging areas. Our agreement with BP on Project 20K™ fits perfectly into this strategy, and with the order of the Blow Out Preventers, we are passing a key milestone in the development of a truly purpose built 20K™ Rig. This project has been a unique opportunity to work closely with BP and co-create a new rig design that is safe and efficient and technologically best-in-class. The intention and our expectation is to see a 20K™ Rig contract realized next year,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO in Maersk Drilling and member of the Executive Board of the Maersk Group.

A jointly staffed engineering team located in Houston with back-office support from Maersk Drilling’s headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, has been working on the engineering studies required to select the design of the 20K™ Rig, riser and blowout prevention systems. BP has estimated the application of this technology across its own global portfolio alone could potentially access an additional 10-20 billion barrels of resources.

Facts about Project 20K™BP announced the launch of Project 20K™ in February 2012, setting out its intention to develop technologies over the next decade in four key areas: well designs and completions; drilling rigs, riser and blowout prevention equipment; subsea production systems; and well intervention and containment. 20K™ is a trade mark of BP plc.

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