Rowan drillships to be fitted with Nautronix systems

Artist's conception of the Rowan Reliance, a GustoMSC 10,000 Class drillship Artist's conception of the Rowan Reliance, a GustoMSC 10,000 Class drillship

JANUARY 13, 2014—Nautronix, Aberdeen, Scotland, has delivered the first two of four NASDrill RS925 and NASeBOP (Emergency BOP Acoustic Control) systems for two of Rowan’s new ultra-deepwater drillships, the Rowan Relentless and the Rowan Reliance.  The total contract value is worth about $10 million.

The Rowan Relentless and Rowan Reliance are GustoMSC 10,000 Class drillships capable of drilling in 12,000 ft water depths and 40,000 ft. The two drillships are expected to enter service in 2015. The Rowan Reliance is expected to go to work in the Gulf of Mexico for Cobalt at a day rate of $602,000. It will be under contract until January 2018.

Rowan Companies, Houston, TX, is one of the largest deepwater drillers in the world.

Fred Brooks, Head of the Deepwater Fleet in Rowan, says, “We reviewed various acoustic suppliers in the global market to ensure we chose the best digital acoustics for our new fleet, Nautronix’ technology was chosen as the NASDrill RS925 system has a fantastic track record of reliability. Their new NASeBOP System has superior capability which stood out amongst their competitors and is what we require so that we can offer our clients the best possible service.  Nautronix’ commitment and positive engagement to supply these new systems with ISQM, ABS and CDS was excellent.  Rowan are delighted to be the first Drilling Contractor to have this implemented on our new fleet."

Nautronix’ NASDrill RS925 system has been designed specifically to meet the requirements for a reliable, stable DP and position reference system for demanding offshore operations, in particular deepwater drilling vessels.

NASDrill RS925 combines the two most accurate deepwater acoustic positioning technologies – Short Baseline (SBL) and Long Baseline (LBL), to calculate multiple independent position solutions providing reliable, repeatable input to the vessels DP system; with SBL mode providing accuracies of 0.15% slant range and LBL mode providing accuracies up to 1m RMS independent of water depth. 

Nautronix’ NASeBOP Control System provides a method of backup control of critical BOP functions in the event of failure of primary communication and control.  At the heart of the system is Nautronix’ ADS² (Acoustic Digital Spread Spectrum) signalling technology. The system achieves a highly reliable communications link from a surface vessel to a subsea isolation device, such as a full BOP, or a simple isolation device which would be used during surface BOP drilling.

These systems are one of the first of their type to be certified to comply with ABS’ new Integrated Software Quality Management (ISQM).  ISQM is a process that manages software control system development and changes on an offshore unit during its lifetime.  The NASeBOP system also meets therequirements of the ABS Classification of Drilling Systems (CDS).  To achieve this certification the system was proven to operate during extensive arduous environmental testing, including shock and vibration, to ensure its reliability.

Mark Patterson, Nautronix CEO, says, “We are delighted to have supplied Rowan with our NASDrill RS925 and NASeBOP systems for their new vessels. It is very encouraging to see the high level of interest we are receiving in these systems from the industry, with increasing orders over the last year.”

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