Working with a new client, a new regulator and onboarding new crew were the key challenges Stena Drilling had to overcome when reactivating the 2001-built semi-submersible Stena Don from cold stack, delegates at this year’s European Dynamic Positioning Conference heard today
Stena Drilling marine superintendent John Flynn told a packed auditorium at this year’s European Dynamic Positioning Conference that the market downturn meant that after 15 years’ service on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, the Moss Maritime CS-30 designed Stena Don was warm stacked in Norwegian coastal waters before being transferred to Inverness, Scotland for cold stacking – the first time Stena Drilling has cold stacked a vessel.
In April 2018 Total offered the vessel a 120-day contract drilling the Glendronach well in the West Shetland frontier. “We had 60 days to reactivate the rig. It took us four months to get it into cold stack,” recalled Mr Flynn.
Working with a new client and new regulator were sizeable challenges; but the biggest challenge was absorbing a new crew, having worked with the same team for 15 years.
To bring the new team up-to-speed, Stena Drilling invested in a drilling-systems rig simulator and worked with third-party trainers to develop training modules that included drilling and tripping, well control and stuck pipe training.
The programme was so successful that Stena Drilling now uses the simulator for all its reactivations and start-ups. Stena Don is now working on new Total contracts that will keep it employed for another year and a half.
Stena Drilling spent US$80M upgrading the Stena Don, including installing an eight-point mooring system and upgrading the DP system to a position mooring system.