Performing Well Under Pressure
As a provider of offshore drilling services, Noble was designated an essential service for critical infrastructure during this COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore in this difficult time, we have continued to operate but only after activating our internal response team pursuant to our crisis management and business continuity plan, and taking comprehensive steps to protect the health and safety of those on our rigs, those traveling for crew change, those serving extended hitches offshore due to travel restrictions, and those providing shoreside support. While conditions differ significantly in the areas around the world where we operate, we continue to follow the direction and guidance of the respective local and national governments to best protect health and safety of our people and those around us.
Following the government’s guidance on signs of improving conditions at certain locations, we moved forward with our procedure for a tempered and systematic return to certain offices. This is taking place over the course of several weeks with added health and safety measures for both the transition back and while on location. Whether working from home during the shelter-in-place, or back at our offices under eased restrictions, our work and support for our offshore employees and dedication to our customers will continue.
Please note: While we may be back at some shoreside locations, our offices will remain closed to onsite visitors and guests until further notice.
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In June 2019, the Noble Globetrotter II successfully completed a drilling program in the Black Sea using a Noble-owned managed pressure drilling (MPD) system. This event marked the completion of a project that was more than a year in the making and was a tremendous collaborative effort. The Noble MPD system allowed Shell to drill an exploration well in the Black Sea that was otherwise not possible due to challenging geological formations. Managed Pressure Drilling allows precise control of the bottom hole pressure by manipulating the pressure in the riser (surface back pressure). Kicks and Losses are measured with gallon precision within minutes and stopped with a click of a button. Steep pressure ramps and drilling losses are mitigated without changing the mud weight; decreasing drilling cost for our clients.
Partner-based Installation Success
A fully integrated MPD system gives Noble a distinct edge in a competitive market. Together with our partners, (AFGlobal, NOV and Huisman), Noble’s engineering and operations group installed and delivered the MPD system with zero lost-time incidents, zero spills, zero drops and generated more than 3,000 STOP cards. The rig crew committed to the project from the beginning and fully embraced this step change in technology.
Guided by a detailed project scope, laser scanning surveys and accurate 3D modeling, the fabrication of necessary structures and piping for the project was installed safely and on time in challenging Bulgarian weather conditions. Additionally, the NobleAdvances center created specific MPD training classes for the Globetrotter II crew and our client to participate in theoretical and simulator training sessions.
MPD Gains Popularity
Managed Pressure Drilling is not a new technology, but historically was reserved for only the most challenging wells. During the last few years this mindset has changed significantly, as most offshore contracts now require the asset to be “MPD ready”. The Noble Hans Deul, Noble Bully II, Noble Sam Turner, Noble Sam Hartley and the Noble Clyde Boudreaux have all used Managed Pressure Drilling, even in high-pressure, high-temperature formations. The unique feature of the Noble MPD System installed on the Globetrotter II is its full integration with the rig drilling control systems. By leveraging the experience of the drillers, Noble MPD Leads can concentrate on specific MPD issues; decreasing the level of third-party crew on board and improving the economics and application of MPD.
Noble is well positioned to offer added MPD services to our clients through a unique combination of ownership of outstanding equipment, world-class training and experienced crews.
MPD Pressure Control Equipment
Running MPD Riser Joint onboard Noble Globetrotter II