With operating costs of more than $1 million USD per day, if a drillship is not drilling, it’s not making money.
Drillships rely on power to maintain their deepwater position in the face of wind, waves and ocean currents. Keeping the drill ship in position is critical—drifting can result in very serious environmental and economic consequences.
The Jasper Explorer, a dynamic positioning (DP) Class 2 drillship owned by Jasper Offshore, was having power management system problems. Due to insufficient communications between the power management system and the DP system, the Jasper Explorer was restricted from operating beyond 60% of its rated power capacity.
Between drilling assignments, Jasper reached out to SEL for help via their electrical consultant, looking for a cost-effective solution that they could implement quickly.
Because [of] our bad power factor and [the DP system] didn’t have the information from the KVR and the amps, [we reduced] the power from 5,000 kW to 3,000 kW.
Working in conjunction with Jasper Offshore’s consultant and a local system integrator, SEL designed and implemented a communications and automation solution that provides the ship’s DP system with critical power plant information in real time, enabling the Jasper Explorer’s crew to make correct decisions regarding how much power is needed to run the thrusters in varying conditions.
With the SEL solution, the Jasper Explorer can now operate at full capacity, increasing productivity and saving fuel and maintenance costs. The Jasper Explorer was able to increase their power output by 40% and avoid the expense of a major overhaul. The cost for the system improvements was recovered in less than one day of operation.
All the sections of the rig depend on power . . . If we have a blackout and we start drifting off, you got so much of an angle where you must disconnect. If you don’t, there’s a huge, major cost. Things start tearing apart . . . Power is very, very, very important.