Hyundai Heavy’s Next-Generation Drillship Design Receives ABS Approval in Principle

An illustration of the HHI's HD12000 drillship design. Image courtesy HHI
An illustration of the HHI’s HD12000 drillship design. Image courtesy HHI

The American Bureau of Shipping says it has awarded approval in principle (AIP) for Hyundai Heavy Industries’ next-generation HD12000 heavy duty, wide beam drillship designed for ultra-deep water and harsh conditions.

The drillship, which can accommodate a 20,000-psi blowout preventer system, has been designed in full compliance with the ABS Guide for the Classification of Drilling Systems (CDS Guide) and other applicable ABS Rules and industry standards.

The HD12000 drillship will be capable of operating in 12,000 ft (3,658 m) water depth with a drilling depth to 40,000 ft (12,192 m). The drillship will also feauture an innovative hull form based on HHI’s proprietary technology, with enhanced dynamic positioning (DPS-3) capability through reduced hull resistance and thruster interaction, improved motion performance in maximum roll angle, and reduced wave resistance at field transit conditions.

The HD12000 drillship design was developed as part of a joint development project between HHI and Lloyd’s Register and first unveiled in January 2013. The drillship is said to have greater versatility, strength and more available deck space than its predecessors.

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As part of the basic approval work scope, ABS reviewed the concept design and associated configurations interfacing with the drilling equipment and systems that will be installed on board the drillship.

“Awarding AIP is an important step toward supporting the evolving needs of our clients as we collectively work to enhance safety and efficiency standards,” says ABS Executive Vice President, Energy Development Ken Richardson. “Addressing greater complexity in offshore drilling, the ABS CDS Guide provides a comprehensive approach to classing offshore drilling systems and their associated support systems and equipment.”

“This is an important milestone toward meeting the applicable classification requirements for validating the structural integrity of HHI’s latest generation of drillships,” says Mr. Yun-Sik Lee, Senior Vice President, Initial Design Team at HHI. “Through the award of AIP, the design of HD12000 has been developed and verified with improved versatility and strength, increased deck space, benign motion characteristics and a reduced maintenance profile.”

“It is essential to verify new design concepts by an independent party and it is also desirable to share experiences throughout the collaboration process that can improve on the design early on,” adds Mr. Yun-Sik Lee, Senior Vice President. “AIP provides HHI and the future owner with the additional confidence to carry out this innovative design and improve drilling efficiencies.”

In 2013, ABS says they maintained their top position in the mobile offshore drilling units (MODU) and floating production installation markets with 54 of 72 new orders for drillships awarded to ABS class and 109 out of 121 new orders in the jack-up market delivered to ABS class.