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Hillcorp Innovation Rig

Bringing it all together

In 2014, Hillcorp Energy purchased interest in several Alaskan North Slope oil fields from BP. As a result of the acquisition, Hillcorp decided to take a new look at how to efficiently work in the Arctic environment. They determined that the existing fleet of rigs that were available on the North Slope did not fully meet all of their development plans for the new acquisitions, and began to solicit front end engineering design studies on a new rig design. Hillcorp contracted a group of companies to build a new rig based on that joint front-end engineering design study.

In late 2015, Entro was awarded the contracts to build all of the supertrailers, walking systems, heavy wheel systems, and heavy haul jeeps that would mobilize the rig and its support modules. What made this contract more challenging was the demanding schedule that would require the custom rig to be delivered in July of the following year. If the rig missed the delivery window, the scheduled barge would not be able to deliver the equipment to Alaska before the Arctic sea ice would close the North Slope to shipping for another year.

In addition to the moving equipment, Entro was awarded the automated drill-pipe racking systems used on the rig. The systems were built to allow an entire loader full of pipe to be placed on external interface arms, then brought into the rig and processed in batches. This allows the pipe doors to be opened for only a short time period while pipe was being transferred into the rig to minimize exposure to the Arctic weather and reduce operator workload.

The project was a complete success due to close integration and cooperation between all of the companies that worked on the project.