A team conducting dropped object surveys, lifting equipment inspections and bolt tightening on an offshore drilling rig derrick.

Upstream Drilling

Vertech has a wealth of experience in servicing the upstream drilling market and intimately understands the specific challenges faced in this sector. Our approach is quite simply to ensure minimal impact on drilling operations while providing a safe, high-performing, and cost-effective service that is compliant with the necessary standards.

Mobilising our experienced workforce from our strategically located facilities in WA, NT, QLD, and NZ we have delivered full Special surveys, comprehensive lifting and drill handling tool management programs, NDT inspections, derrick maintenance and repairs, Top Drive System (TDS) inspections and DROPS programs across all asset types.

We understand that drilling campaigns are fast-moving and as a result proponents expect speed, efficiency, quality, and the ability to react from their contractors. We pride ourselves on the ability to do that for our upstream clients while still providing a best-in-class deliverable.

JACK-UP RIGS (JACK UPS)

Jack-up rigs are often used for shallow wells. Standing on three (sometimes four) legs secured to the ocean floor, the oil platform can travel up and down the legs as water levels shift. The “jacking” of the platform up and down is where this technology gets its name. For the first time, jack-up rigs provided a stable platform from which to drill oil offshore. Soon, these rigs appeared all over U.S. coasts.

The first jack-up rig was invented in 1954, but technological advances continued to improve it into the 1980s and 90s. As of 2013, 540 jack-up rigs are still in use offshore all over the world. Today, “premium” jack-up rigs can drill as deeply as 400 feet (which is now considered shallow in today’s industry).

The view from a derrick rope access inspection and lifting survey on a Jack up rig under tow between Australia and Singapore
OUR PRINCIPAL SERVICES TO JACK UPS INCLUDE:

SEMI-SUBMERSIBLES (SEMIS)

This type of drilling platform is a massive floating vessel. The platform rests on huge columns that are secured to large pontoons. It uses dynamic positioning systems (thrusters) or anchors to stay in place during drilling. Among floating rigs, semi-submersibles are considered the most stable and can be retrofitted for harsh environments.

When drilling is being considered for rough waters or possible cyclonic weather, companies will often use semi-submersibles for their ability to remain stationary in less-than-ideal settings. Contemporary rigs can drill below 3,000 feet—the newest below 10,000.

A Vertech rope access special survey team conducting a 5 yearly SPS survey on the underside of a semi-submersible drill rig
OUR PRINCIPAL SERVICES TO SEMIS INCLUDE:

DRILLSHIPS

Drillships are now the most in-demand drilling rigs. Of the drilling platforms currently under construction, most of them are drillships because drillships offer a faster alternative to semi-submersibles. The first 8th generation semi was built by Transocean in May 2022

The advantage offered by drillships is that they can operate in remote locations with fewer supply trips required. Also, their mobility and increased depth capabilities allow owners to charge more per day for use. However, they are less stable than the average semi-submersible.

The drilling apparatus on a drill ship is mounted in the center of the ship over a moon pool, which is a reinforced hole in the bottom of the ship through which the drill string is raised and lowered. The ship can be turned into the oncoming wind or currents for better stability, and it can operate in water too deep for anchors.

A Vertech rope access lifting inspector conducting lifting inspections on the Transocean Deepwater frontier Drillship in Australia
OUR PRINCIPAL SERVICES TO DRILL SHIPS INCLUDE:

TENDER ASSISTED DRILLING (TAD)

Typically, the Tender-Assist Drilling (TAD) is stationed next to a platform and is capable of providing development drilling, well completion, workovers as well as plug and abandonment operations in waters as shallow as 30 ft. to as deep as 6,000 ft, with a drilling depth of up to 30,000 ft. They can be categorised into two types, i.e., the mono-hull tender-assist drilling rig (barge tender) and the semi-submersible tender-assist drilling rig (semi-tender). These rigs are often seen across southeast Asia and developed gas fields like the Gulf of Thailand.

The main benefits of TAD are the drilling package’s self-erecting capability, large storage capacities for tubular and fluids, and offline capabilities. Once the drilling operations are completed, it can then rig down and move on to another platform for different operations. This translates to efficiency and sustainability for the client.

The rob ray T7 tender barge conducting drilling operations in the gulf of Thailand
OUR PRINCIPAL SERVICES TO TAD INCLUDE:

UPSTREAM PRIMARY SERVICE LINES

Drill handing tools laid out on an offshore drilling facility for Magnetic particle Inspection, visual and dimensional inspection
NON-DESTRUCTIVE TESTING
The Vertech rope access inspection team on a Diamond offshore semi-submersible drill rig
SPECIAL SURVEY INSPECTION
access management: A Vertech IRATA rope access technician conducting helideck inspections offshore
SPECIALIST & ROPE ACCESS MANAGEMENT
A Vertech IRATA lifting and NDT insepctor conducting Ultrasonic testing on a crane boom
CRANE INSPECTION, REPAIR & MAINTENANCE
One of vertech groups ELIOS UAV drones conducting accredited SPS insepctions on pontoons and tanks on a offshore drill rig
UAV CLASS INSPECTION