Record for Maersk Invincible: 2278m drilled in one day

As part of a highly impressive campaign for Aker BP, the XLE jack-up became the first rig on the Norwegian Continental Shelf to go beyond 2000m on a 12 ¼” section inside 24 hours.

Record for Maersk Invincible: 2278m drilled in one day

During the spring of 2020, Maersk Invincible was breaking boundaries on the Valhall Flank West field operated by Aker BP. In the nine-well campaign, it was proved that the approach of the jack-up alliance between Aker BP, Maersk Drilling and Halliburton is capable of delivering big efficiency gains.

In a record-breaking feat, Maersk Invincible reached 2278m drilled in one day when drilling the V-2 well on Valhall Flank West. No rig had previously reached 2000m of 12 ¼” section drilling in 24 hours on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

This was part of a continuous series of improvements made possible by the great teamwork in the alliance where all parties are working as one team to maximise end-to-end efficiency in drilling operations. Benchmarked against the ultra-harsh environment rig’s previous non-alliance campaign on Valhall Flank South, the Valhall Flank West campaign registered an 88% improvement in average rate of penetration, and a 186% improvement in connection times.

“The excellent drilling performance is no doubt the result of a team effort, a genuine alliance. Our Plan Do Study Act philosophy has seen the team review all processes in order to maximise efficiency. This process is continuous and we anticipate greater achievements for the alliance in the years to come!” said Warren Power, Drilling Section Leader, Maersk Invincible.

Careful planning and constant learning

The previous record for an Aker BP-contracted rig was 1866m in a day, and the Invincible team had their eyes set on not only beating that record, but being the first to go beyond 2000m. They knew that thorough preparation and planning was necessary to do this.

The first part of preparations focused on getting all necessary components in place. To mitigate the risk of bad weather, the rig team sourced skips and mobilised extra personnel to make it possible to hold the entire 12 ¼” section ready on board the rig. Extra personnel were also mobilised for cuttings handling to optimise turnaround time for the cuttings vessel.

On top of this, the teamwork in the Aker BP alliance in itself proved to be a crucial factor. The constant lessons from the Valhall Flank West campaign were captured in weekly meetings, facilitating improvements from each well to the next.

”The entire drilling alliance team and subsurface team, both on- and offshore, all played a vital part in achieving this goal by continuously pushing and improving limits and performance. This was made possible through hard work, good craftmanship, and by working as one team throughout the entire operation,” said Knut Eugen Svendsen, Assistant Drilling Superintendent, Aker BP.

During the record-setting 24 hours, the maximum speed reached was 280m per hour.

“We are proud to see the hard work of the engineers and crew across departments paying off in setting a new drilling record and delivering impressive improvements in performance across the entire Valhall Flank West campaign. The performance mind-set is pushing the technical limits by challenging all bottlenecks as an alliance,” said Tor Kvinnesland, Rig Manager, Maersk Invincible.