Lessons Learned with Real Integration of a Deepwater MPD Control System

Hovland, Svein (NOV) | van Kuilenburg, Robert (Noble Drilling) | Eide, Trym (NOV) | Stridsklev, Christian (NOV) | Munro, Colin (NOV)


This paper presents design, testing, installation, and lessons learned with the world's first completely integrated managed pressure drilling (MPD) control system on a deepwater drilling rig. While previous MPD installations have included driller-operated systems, they all include additional human machine interfaces (HMI) and standalone control network components with limited use of rig data and limited to no interfaces to other critical drilling machines on the drilling rig. For the installation described in this paper, all MPD control functions were permanently installed on the main drilling control network of the drilling unit, providing direct access to high speed data from other drilling machines that influence the wellbore pressure. This includes the rig's mud pumps, top drive, and drawworks. Moreover, the MPD control system has the ability to actively control the drilling machines, thereby optimizing performance through coordinated control of mud pump, top drive, and MPD chokes during drilling and connections.