Rolls-Royce to power high tech drillships

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, today announced orders worth over £70 million to supply large thrusters for offshore drilling vessels.

These latest orders, which include options for additional thrusters, are from a variety of customers who are expanding their drillship fleets and are driven by greater demand in oil and gas exploration in deep water and harsh conditions.

Rolls-Royce Senior Vice President Offshore, Helge Gjerde said: "Numerous drillships with Rolls-Royce thrusters have been delivered in the past few years, making Rolls-Royce the clear market leader for this type of propulsion. We are very pleased to see that customers in this industry continue to have confidence in our abilities to support their business with mission-critical systems, products and services."

These high specification drillships operate in dynamic positioning (DP) mode, using satellite technology to automatically maintain position without anchoring. This places a heavy responsibility on thruster performance and reliability. Highly efficient propulsion during transit moves to a drilling site, and closely controlled position keeping when drilling operations are in progress are key requirements of these giant thrusters.

Seadrill has specified Rolls-Royce thrusters again for three drillships to be built by Samsung in Korea. Each vessel will be equipped with six azimuth thrusters, each rated at 4,500kW. A similar thruster order is specified for a drillship ordered by Pacific Drilling, while more powerful thrusters of the same design have been ordered for an Ensco drillship, both to be built at the same Samsung yard.

Rolls-Royce thrusters are also to be used on drillships previously contracted in Korea by Rowan, Noble and Fred Olsen at Hyundai and by Attwood, Transocean (Aker) and Vantage at Daewoo.

  1. Rolls-Royce is a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, and has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy.
  2. As a result of this strategy, Rolls-Royce has a broad customer base comprising more than 500 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 4,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in more than 80 countries.
  3. Annual underlying revenues were £11.3 billion in 2011, of which more than half came from the provision of services. The firm and announced order book stood at £62.2 billion at 31 December 2011, providing visibility of future levels of activity.
  4. Rolls-Royce employs over 40,000 people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in over 50 countries. Over 11,000 of these employees are engineers.
  5. In 2011, Rolls-Royce invested £908 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental performance of its products, in particular reducing emissions.
  6. Rolls-Royce supports a global network of 28 University Technology Centres, which connect the company’s engineers with the forefront of scientific research.
  7. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills.
  8. The Marine business of Rolls-Royce employs 9,000 people in 35 countries with the main manufacturing centres being in the UK, the Nordic countries, the United States and increasingly Asia.
  9. Rolls-Royce is a world leader in marine solutions, providing products, service and expertise to more than 30,000 vessels in the offshore, merchant, naval surface and submarine markets. It designs ships and its product range includes propulsion systems featuring diesel engines and gas turbines, propellers, thrusters and water jets. Rolls-Royce also provides manoeuvring and stabilising systems and deck machinery.
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