Jackups for harsh environments

June 19, 2007
Harsh-environment jackups are a viable alternative for the Grand Banks.

Judy Maksoud
International Editor

ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland and Labrador -- Harsh-environment jackups are a viable alternative for the Grand Banks. Graham Bagnell, engineering manger for Rowan Companies Inc. told attendees at the 23rd Newfoundland Ocean Industries Association annual meeting that Rowan's Gorilla VI has proven the viability of jackups over the course of two years on the Grand Banks offshore Newfoundland.

TheGorilla VI, a Super Gorilla Class jackup, working on in the harsh environment of Atlantic Canada in 2005 and 2006, Bagnell said. The rig worked on four locations on the Grand Banks and one location on the Scotian shelf offshore Nova Scotia.

The Gorilla Class jackup's performance has proven its capability in harsh environments, Bagnell said, noting that Rowan learned from its work in Atlantic Canada. One lesson came from a rig move within the Grand Banks that resulted in leg damage to theGorilla VI. The jackup had to be towed to shore for repairs.

Rowan learned the value of effective planning, Bagnell said, and has since invested in technology, monitoring equipment, and specialized training for personnel who will be involved in harsh-environment operations.

In the 2005-2006 timeframe, Rowan was able to reduce jackup mobilization time by 20 days, reduce certification cost, and reduce dry tow costs. The savings amounted to nearly $10 million, he said.

"Jackups offer a substantial cost savings potential," Bagnell said. "We continue to address jackup drilling demands in harsh environments."