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M/U doubles on the lease and P/U direct to rig-floor (doubles rig)
28 March 2017
Hi folks

At two recent DWOPs (here in Indonesia) the topic of offline M/U of equipment arose. The rigs are both doubles rigs, Loadcraft 1000 HP series (made in the US).

In addition to the use of BHA rollers (, a suggestion was made that doubles of drill-pipe could be M/U on the lease and then picked up directly to the rotary and/or racked back.

In this day-and-age, every second counts ("marginal gains") towards the Perfect Well.  So, our question is:
  1. Is anyone aware of this being done?
  2. If so, where and how?
  3. What size/weight/grade of pipe?
  4. What lessons learnt and precautions are required?
  5. Are you able to share with us: photos, procedures
Many thanks


5 answer(s)
Training/Project Manager
Myspread Users
Total Posts: 15
Join Date: 07/03/16

With reference to Sarah's reply, commenting on the Swift 10 bottom-supported Dutch drilling installation, I met one of their drilling teams during an 4 day WCEQ course at our Aberdeen training centre.  Their emphasis on rig automation is aggressive in an objective drive to reduce drill crew members.  As well as tubular handling automation in use, Swift utilize onshore facilities to inventorize, measure and inspect their drill strings.  Overall, this effectively reduces offshore activities with a reduced manning level required. View the Swift 10 U-tube movie.

Dr Paul.A.Potter/ Training Manager, SUBC Engineering Ltd.
Project Engineer
Total Posts: 2
Join Date: 02/04/15

I was involved early 2016 in discussions with regards to a fully automated drill rig based on an upgrade of the Swift10 jack up. 

At the time, Swift and Herrenknecht were working on the Swift 20 concept - a 450 t Herrenknecht Vertical with the capacity to run doubles of range 2 drill pipe.  An integrated bucking unit is located on the catwalk to make up the pipe horizontally. The pipe was handled by an automated horizontal to vertical pipe handling system.  As far as I am aware, this concept is currently mothballed due to the market conditions but the technology is sound.

Herrenknecht also provided 2 TI-350 rigs for onshore Brazil (Petrobras' Bahia 2009 - 2016).  The drill pipe is made up in doubles and then transports them from horizontal to the vertical well centre position.  The well diameters were from 17 1/2" to 8 1/2".

Consultant [retired Shell staff]
Total Posts: 249
Join Date: 02/09/05
During my active days - admittedly some decades ago - making up threads horizontally could be a recipe for crossthreading.

Not only the tooljoints must have exactly the same wear but also the bucking machine should have to take into account the proper Rotary Shouldered Connections engagement.

I would lacrutinise this technique in light of the above two limitations.
Total Posts: 93
Join Date: 10/04/08
Dave, this sounds like a quick win so long as done efficiently and safely. I don't much highly specialist equipment is required, however, there are some simply and economical power tongs these days that could torque up the threads on the deck. These don't need to be super fast, just easy to use, but could save quite a bit of time when tripping in and out because connections can be made up away from the rig floor. This link is just one example
VP, Engineering
Automated Rig Technologies
Total Posts: 1
Join Date: 29/11/17
Hi Dave,

This is something we are really interested in and we have some experience.

We designed and built some double catwalks for Saxon Drilling. They were designed to screw two joints together. We looked at incorporating a tong for full makeup but did not go that far. We have done conceptual designs for double and triple catwalks.

The triple catwalks would handle double range 3. We have done calculations on the bending of the double range 3 casing stands when you try to pick them up with the elevators and in general it is not a safe practice for any casing under 10". We have determined that triple stands of some drill pipe can be picked up safely, it is a function of size and grade.

We have determined that pretty much any typical drill pipe can be safely picked up in doubles (WRT buckling). We have built a few variations of catwalks and worked on conceptual designs of others.

Please check us out on:


Note from moderator:  This is great!  Please also check out their Continuous Tripping Injector.   A potential game-changer!
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