Ullrigg Drilling and Well Centre, UBBS, was separated from IRIS Energy as a separate division in 2015 and today has a staff of 24. Of these, 8 are project managers, 8 are project workers including technical groups, 4 are dedicated to TFL (Through Flow Line) for Statoil and 4 work in administrative management. The background to the separation was to increase visibility both internally and externally. UBBS primarily works on activities in testing, verification, qualification and training in new drilling and well technology. UBBS is closely connected with IRIS Energy. IRIS Energy has the experience and history to deliver projects for the industry that also include elements of verification and qualification of solutions. This is performed to a great extent at our shore-based drilling rig Ullrigg.
The test facility works in three main areas: Ullrigg, High Pressure Test Halls and TFL. On Ulrigg, projects are run that are related to activities involving drill floor machinery or the use of equipment and systems on the drill floor. This category includes activities relating to handling drill sludge. Two of the UBBS projects are also members of Rogaland County’s examination board for well technology. All technical examinations in this subject are taken on Ullrigg and in the course of 2015, we examined 189 candidates in the subject.
Our second activity area is well equipment and services. Specially developed test areas handle testing of various products and services for use in wells. There are strict requirements for the handling of high energy, a combination of high pressure and temperature. Activities in this area also represent the greatest volume of assignments.
The third activity area is TeamTFL, the section that performs a Through Flow Line service for Statoil on Snorre-A. In 2015 this team performed and assisted in seven offshore operations. These well intervention assignments were finished in the budgeted time and contributed to increased production and regularity on the Snorre field.
QHSE is central to Ullrigg Drilling and Well Centre. In 2015, two campaigns were performed to maintain focus on HSE and the reporting of incidents. In recent years there has been a good culture of reporting non-conformance at UBBS and almost a third of the reports are improvement suggestions and positive observations. This is a good contribution to continuous improvement of quality and safety on the test facility. UBBS and IRIS also received excellent feedback after audits related to Achilles JQS, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
There were two important milestones in 2015: the installation of the world’s first drill floor robot purchased from Robotic Drilling Systems, RDS, and the assembly of the world’s first robotised drilling rig, the Continuous Motion Rig, CMR, for West Drilling Products.
Both these projects are considered to be quantum leaps in topside drilling equipment and systems and represent a revolution in fully-automated drilling without the use of personnel. While RDS will cover a substantial market potential for retrofit, West is aimed at new builds. Both these projects have provided good marketing for UBBS and IRIS. Several hundred visitors have come from Norway and abroad during the course of the year and have been given an impression of the flexibility, professionalism and value that Ullrigg Drilling and Well Centre represents as a test centre for different projects and project development.
IRIS has a strategic goal of furthering the development of automated drilling. IRIS Energy focuses on the development of functions and services in this area, while UBBS seeks to support R&D and the industry’s need for an arena for testing this. The last half of 2015 saw work on a major Demo2000 application to establish a fully-automated laboratory for drilling and well.