Practical Engineering have recently returned from a successful mission to PNG assisting Western Drilling (WDL) with a permanent repair to a mast segment on their Rig 1. To provide some background, in the midst of a drilling operation in the PNG Highlands in late 2014, site personnel noticed a suspicious deformation in a front mast chord. At the request of WDL, Practical was mobilised to site to assist in designing a temporary repair to allow drilling to continue until completion of the hole. With practical thinking, using available materials and supported by office based design and formal reporting, we were able to provide invaluable assistance to WDL. This enabled them to safely finish the hole with the blessing of all commercial and government stakeholders rather than a costly extraction of the Rig 1 mast out of the Highlands.
Following the end of that contract, with Rig 1 back at base near Port Moresby, Practical was engaged to design and implement a permanent and compliant repair procedure for the mast segment. After considering alternatives, a creative repair solution was developed and implemented. Our Engineering Manager, Joe Norris, and Senior Engineer, Patrick Taylor, travelled to PNG with a boilermaker and successfully carried out the repairs, resulting in significantly reduced measured deflection to within allowable limits.
A secondary objective for the trip was to survey the entire Rig 1 to record any damage or opportunity for improvement as significant damage had occurred to the drill floor cross beams during transport. Practical was expected to capture critical dimensions in the field, design and supply replacements after return to Brisbane. Finding pre-qualified boilermakers in PNG is difficult at the best of times. After recognising the extent of repair required in the field, Practical proposed, designed, implemented and certified a full replacement of the damaged sections on-site. This resulted in significantly reduced repair time and costs for WDL.
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