Ultra-Deepwater Drilling: Technology Design Alliance

Press Release
Monday, February 04, 2013

BP signs agreement with Maersk Drilling to develop designs for a new breed of advanced technology offshore drilling rigs.

The agreement is part of BP’s Project 20KTM, a multi-year initiative to develop next-generation systems and tools for deepwater exploration and production that are beyond the reach of today’s technology.

BP and Maersk Drilling will collaborate on concepts for deepwater drilling rigs that can operate in high-pressure and high-temperature reservoirs up to 20,000 pounds per square inch and 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

A jointly staffed engineering team will be located in Houston, with back-office support from Maersk Drilling’s headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. The team will perform the engineering studies required to select the optimal design of the 20KTM drilling rigs, riser and blowout prevention equipment. BP will then determine how best to proceed with construction.

It is anticipated some of the technologies to be developed and deployed on the new rigs will include advanced operating systems to aid the situational awareness of the rig crew and inform decision making; real-time blow-out-preventer monitoring to continuously verify functionality of the BOP; and significantly enhanced mechanical capabilities of the BOP, rig structures and piping systems.

“This agreement marks another important step in taking Project 20KTM from concept to reality,” said Neil Shaw, BP’s Chief Operating Officer, Projects. “It also highlights BP’s commitment to seeking out the best partners and minds for a project that will move the entire offshore industry forward.”

BP announced the launch of Project 20KTM in February 2012, setting out its intention to develop technologies over the next decade in four key areas: well design and completions; drilling rigs, riser and blowout prevention equipment; subsea production systems; and well intervention and containment.

BP estimates it could potentially access an additional 10-20 billion barrels of resources across its global portfolio over the next two decades with the application of Project 20KTM technology. These resources are inaccessible with current equipment, which has a technical limit of 15,000 psi pressure and temperatures of 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

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