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Meeting the environmental challenges of deepwater oil exploration

Global Well Response and
the Dalian Developer
Our business approach
About Global Well Response
The Macondo oil spill in mid-2010 highlighted the
risks of deepwater oil exploration and production
as well as the oil & gas industry’s inability to swiftly
and adequately respond to an oil spill incident of
such magnitude with the right set of tools and
systems. Post Macondo, much effort has been spent
by regulators and the oil & gas industry to ensure
that the risk of another incident happening is
reduced as well as ensuring that the industry is better
prepared and equipped to handle a potential
Several well containment systems are being designed
and built. The challenge is a global one and requires
industry-wide cooperation. In response to this
challenge, Technip has teamed up with Global Well
Response Ltd, a company affiliated with the owner
of the Dalian Developer drillship. The objective is
to develop a vessel that combines both drilling and
oil spill containment capabilities, using the Dalian
Developer as the platform. Technip has performed
the conceptual design of a topside production
system capable of Extended Well Testing (EWT) of
heavy crudes as well as acting as an oil capture
system that can be integrated with Dalian Developer’s
drilling and oil storage capabilities.
When completed, the Dalian Developer will be the
world’s largest drillship. Her unique payload, deck
space and cargo storage capacity (1 million barrels),
enables her to perform additional functions that
are far beyond the capability of other conventional
drillships. In addition to demanding drilling duties,
the Dalian Developer is able to act as a stand-alone
spill response vessel, capable of handling an oil spill
significantly larger than Macondo. One of the
challenges during Macondo was the mobilisation
and then coordination of several vessels when
operating in close proximity. The Dalian Developer
drillship is able to rapidly mobilise and then perform
all these functions in a single fast-transit vessel.
As a fully functioning drillship, the
Dalian Developer can be successfully
deployed and fully utilised in normal
drilling mode in virtually any
deepwater drilling region worldwide.
The Dalian Developer
A unique drillship and oil spill response solution
The Dalian Developer is more than double the size of a
conventional drillship, at nearly 300 metres long and 50
metres wide. She has cargo tanks capable of storing up to
1,000,000 barrels of oil. She also has the deck space and
deck load capacity to install an oil production plant for
the processing of up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day. She
is a fully operational ultra-deepwater drillship with
combined capabilities to act as an emergency response
capture vessel in case of an uncontrolled well spill situation.
The Dalian Developer’s oil containment equipment is
primarily designed as an Extended Well Test (EWT) or early
production system that has been debottlenecked to cater
for the oil containment scenario. This also means that the
incremental cost associated with the oil containment
system can provide cost effective economic utilisation to
an operator through Extended Well Testing and/or early
production in addition to its drilling services utilisation.
Extended Well Test (EWT) and early production
30,000 barrels/day oil, 30% water cut
Heavy oil capable <20 API (17.2 API used as design case)
All export specifications compliant (i.e. meets RVP = 12 psi, BS&W = 0.5% vol and salt content =10 ptb)
Oil containment
100,000 barrels/day total fluids
100,000 barrels/day oil or 70,000 barrels/day oil + 30,000 barrels/day water (35 API used as design case)
200 mmscfd gas flaring
All safety specifications compliant (i.e. meets RVP specifications but may not meet BS&W or salt)
The Dalian Developer’s production system is therefore
designed for the following two primary operating cases:
The Dalian Developer
will be compatible with
existing subsea capture
and containment systems
and could potentially
install the same.
The philosophy adopted in
providing the oil
containment equipment is
to first acknowledge that it
may never be used and is
potentially a sunk cost.
The key challenge in designing an
optimal spill capture vessel is finding
a way to ensure it is an effective
capture tool in emergency mode
whilst also ensuring good economic
utilisation during normal operating
mode. The Dalian Developer is
considered an economically superior
solution which may facilitate
widespread adoption and
deployment of multiple units across
the world’s main offshore drilling
basins. It represents a very cost-
effective way for oil companies to
mitigate the risk of future oil spills.
Ultra-deepwater, 6
generation, DP3 drillship
Oil spill emergency response & containment
Capture, process and store well flow
Drilling relief wells
Emergency subsea intervention
Mother-ship / command-centre
Warehouse logistics offshore hub
Lower dependence on supply chain
Serve multiple vessels in remote offshore areas
A unique concept: the Dalian Developer is the only mobile drilling unit in the
world large enough to capture, process and store oil spills in excess of
Macondo’s flow rate.
Safe, simple and reliable: this single asset solution means reduced interface
complexity (operations / logistics / communications / procedures / flow
splitting issues) compared with the multi-asset system used for Macondo.
Only tried and tested systems and technologies are used on the Dalian
Developer. On board storage of bulk methanol and dispersant chemical
simplifies logistics and avoids the need for subsea storage and injection
Rapid response time: limited time needed to disengage from active drilling
and transit distance to spill site. The unit has a 12 knot transit speed.
Suitable as emergency operations hub or command centre: thanks to her size
and excess capacities (storage / accommodation / power).
High weather resistance: the Dalian Developer’s hull size, motion
characteristics and full DP3 system enable her to operate safely even under
harsh weather conditions in virtually all major drilling basins worldwide.
Double moonpool design: combined with size and stability makes her ideal
for subsea intervention activities.
Superior economics: as a fully functioning drillship with Early Well Testing /
Early Production System capabilities, her earnings capabilities in normal mode
should ensure an attractive return on total investment.
The unit is under construction: it can therefore be ready for deployment
much sooner than a newbuild unit.
Unique versatility
Extended Well Testing with more reliable reservoir data / history
Early production achieving early cash flow
Simultaneously drilling & production:
Drilling appraisal wells while testing
Drilling development wells while producing
Intervention & Subsea installation works
Drilling while carrying out well intervention
Dual gradient drilling
Underbalanced drilling
Advantages provided
by the Dalian Developer
Design features:
Double hull structure built to DNV ICE class C.
Identical bow and stern sections for +/- 90˚ heading change.
Motion characteristics equivalent to or better than 6
generation semi in head seas.
2 moonpools (one for drilling, second for subsea work and production).
Equipment / system modularized and elevated above tank top – less integration.
Accommodation upgradable to 240 men.
Large available deck space (5000 m²) for production systems, subsea equipment and spill containment equipment. (EWT, EPS, etc.).
Large storage capacity – 1m bbls - for production, chemical dispersants, etc.
Dalian Developer - Main characteristics
Basic design: INOCEAN
Detailed design: COSCO
Class: DNV – DP3
LOA: 291.25 m
Breadth: 50.00 m
Depth: 27.00 m
Drilling Draft: 13.00 m
Displacement: 240,750 mt
Water depth: 3,050 m
Drilling depth: 10,670 m
Transit speed: 12 knots
Accommodation: 180 men
Crude oil storage: 1,000,000 bbls
Variable deck load: 32,000 mt
General particulars:
Global Well Response Ltd
77 Robinson Road #30-02
Singapore 068896
Phone: +65 9647 5662
89 avenue de la Grande Armée
75773 Paris Cedex 16
Phone: +33 (0) 1 47 78 25 37
March 2012
Each deepwater basin in the world
will require a contingency plan for oil
spill response. The Dalian Developer
offers an economically viable solution
which will lead to the deployment of
multiple units across the world’s main
offshore deepwater basins.
Global Well Response
Global demand map
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