AGR Field Tests Deepwater Riserless Mud Recovery Technology

AGR Drilling Services, together with their Joint Industry Project partners Shell, BP and the Norwegian Research Council, have undertaken a successful field trial of the Deepwater Riserless Mud Recovery (RMR) system at 1,500m water depth.

The new Deepwater RMR system was deployed from the semisubmersible rig Atwood Falcon in Sabah, Malaysia in September 2008 and used during a live drilling operation for Petronas Production Sharing Contract operator Sabah Shell Petroleum Co. Ltd.

The RMR system returns drilling mud and cuttings from the seabed to the rig while drilling the top-hole section of the well, prior to installation of the riser. Top hole drilling conventionally discharges drilling fluid and cuttings onto the seafloor. AGR's RMR technology collects the mud at the seabed and pumps it back to the drilling vessel where it is cleaned and reused. This technology allows the Driller to use engineered mud systems in the top-hole section.

Lynn LeJune, Project Manager of the Deepwater RMR JIP, stated, "RMR brings many technical, economic, and environmental advantages to the Operator during the drilling operation."

Industry leader AGR's existing fleet of RMR systems, rated to 600m water depth, have been used on more than 75 wells to date in a wide range of geographies and applications. The successful trial of the Deepwater RMR system extends the known benefits of the RMR to Operators drilling in deepwater.

Tom Hasler, Executive Vice President of AGR's drilling services division, said "The RMR now allows deepwater drillers to drill top-hole sections cheaper, faster, more safely and with less impact on the environment. The success of this unique technology development maintains AGR's place at the forefront of subsea drilling technology."

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