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The Design of a Self-propelled Jack-up Drilling Rig

for the Chukchi Sea

John Bandas, Sarah Schlosser, Sean Finn, Nathan Garza, Andy Lister, and Jeff Phillips
Ocean Engineering Program, Zachry Department of Civil Engineering
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3136

Abstract- ConocoPhillips asked the team to design a self designed to be functional despite any heavy gear worn by the
propelled jack up drilling rig for exploratory work in the crew.
Chukchi Sea, during the warm water season, at a location that is To ensure that this jack up rig can be built with the support
approximately 131 feet (40 meters) in water depth. This was
accomplished using computer programs including StabCAD, of the different classification societies the following
SolidWorks, AutoCAD, and Visual Analysis. The legs of the jack regulations were complied with during design. The jack up rig
up were designed to withstand ice collisions with the aid of is classified by ABS as a Self-Elevating Drilling Unit [3]. This
patrolling ice breakers. The jack up rig had to be capable of unit is capable of floating freely to the desired location under
traveling at speeds up to 11 knots (5.65 m/s). The stability during its own power or tow, and raises itself on its legs to a
transit was analyzed for an intact condition as well as a damaged determined elevation. Particularly, this drilling unit had to
condition (assuming two ballast tanks are damaged). The centers
encounter first- and second-year ice over its operation. This
of gravity and buoyancy were calculated, as well as metacentric
height. A geotechnical analysis was performed on the spud cans required special accommodations as shown in the ABS Steel
of the rig . The rig was designed to comply with all safety Vessel Rules [4].
regulations specified by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), The vessel had to meet the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit
the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) Rules, the (MODU) rules which are created by ABS and reference the
International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules, and the T&R International Maritime Organizations (IMO) stability
5-5A Design Criteria set by the Society of Naval Architects and requirements. These requirements entailed an intact stability in
Marine Engineers (SNAME) and Marine Pollution Act (Marpol
100 knot (51.5 m/s) winds, and damaged stability in 50 knot
(25.8 m/s) winds. The final waterline could not submerge any
watertight opening, and the righting moment had to equal
I. INTRODUCTION twice the heeling moment at a certain angle [3].
Environmental loading rules are given in Reference [3].
A jack up drilling rig was designed to operate in the These rules cover loads due to wind, waves, and currents, as
Chukchi Sea. The rig meets the requirements of Conoco well as phenomena such as vortex shedding and gravity
Phillips and is capable of surviving the open water season. loadings due to the unit resting on the seabed. Additionally,
The drilling location is 71°N, 165°W between Alaska and the design loads and pressures encountered by ice are
Russia where the water depth is approximately 131 feet (40 described in Ref. [3].
meters). Fire and safety measures are also described. The bulkhead
The jack up is intended to be used during the open water divisions are characterized along with the various means of
season which is from June to mid December when the ice is escape. The overall structure arrangement is defined by
minimal in this location. The rig is capable of operating in MODU and SOLAS safety guidelines. Other required
broken ice conditions that are typical during the beginning and guidelines include procedure for escaping in case of
end of the open water season in the Chukchi Sea, holding emergency, and are followed by making sure all the
enough fuel and supplies as well as have enough storage for equipment needed for proper evacuation are within the jack up
the entire season, and accommodating 110 people. The jack up rig [2].
rig was designed in accordance with the ABS Class Rules as Fire fighting systems were arranged to protect the general
well as the Site Specific Requirements to SNAME T&R 5.5 area of the rig as well as the drilling area [5]. Additionally, fire
criteria [1]. water stations are located along the drilling area per ABS
Some major design considerations include the effect of the guidelines. All fire hoses are collapsible and are within the
ice and the extreme temperatures. The ice is a major design required length of 30m (100ft) [3]. Portable fire extinguishers
consideration due to the catastrophic consequences of ice were provided in accordance with National Fire Protection
colliding with the jack up rig. The rig was designed to be able Association (NFPA) standards in type and size [6].
to sustain minor collisions. The comfort of the crew was also In the event of an evacuation, the rig was designed to
taken into account. With temperatures reaching as low as -20 provide multiple routes of escape. Stairways and ladders are
degrees Celsius, the crew needed to be able to function in provided to be used during evacuation. In machine areas,
these extreme temperatures [2]. Operations on the deck were vertical ladders were installed to ensure a quicker and more

0-933957-38-1/09/$20.00 ©2009 MTS

practical means of exiting the areas. These machine areas is derived from MODU 3-1-A2 and is found using (1) [3].
consist of two vertical ladders each which are insulated to
provide a safe escape and fire shelter [3]. For evacuation Here pressure is a function of density , gravity g, and
purposes, five 25 man life rafts are on both the starboard and
depth d. The dynamic pressure applied to the structure takes
port side and numbered even and odd, respectively. There are
into account the wave number and varies exponentially with
300 life jackets on site to account for the crew with half
depth as shown in (2). H refers to wave height, while k is the
located throughout the rig itself, and the other half located
wave number.
near the life rafts. A three minute evacuation plan is also in
place to satisfy Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) guidelines [6]. (2)
Through site research, the team determined this is rarely ever The dynamic and static pressures were superimposed to
pack ice, meaning it is usually just relatively small pieces determine the total pressure profile. At a depth of 131 feet (40
floating, therefore not requiring the use of a special ice m), the total pressure is 731.3 kips (3250 kN).
capable life raft. The wind loadings were calculated using the beam and
The superstructures for the hull, decks and deckhouses are bow profiles of the jack up rig. The projected areas of the rig
constructed of ASTM A53 Grade B steel which can withstand from both views were calculated and a shape coefficient is
temperatures as low as -60°C and is used primarily in offshore given to each section. The two profiles of the jack up were
structures [8]. Steel was chosen due to its high modulus of then taken and divided further and given a height coefficient.
elasticity and is also used for framing and ceiling construction The height coefficient changes as the height increases every
as well. Other areas such as control and service spaces are 51.5 ft (15.7 m).
constructed using material with minimal flame-spread The annual frequency of occurrence of wind in the
characteristics. Chukchi Sea was obtained from reports by ConocoPhillips
The bulkhead divisions of the rig were designed in [10]. From statistical analysis of this table the average wind
accordance with MODU 3-4-1 and SOLAS Regulation II- conditions were found as well as storm conditions for up to a
2/3.3 [2][6]. The selected division for the structure is to be A- 100 year storm. The average wind conditions are presented in
60 class division, subdivided by space classifications ranging Figure 1 and the direction they normally propagate in any
from control stations to sanitary spaces to the fire integrity of given year is shown in Figure 2. The average wind speeds in
bulkheads separating adjacent spaces [2]. When cables and the Chukchi Sea range from 8.2 ft/s to 24.6 ft/s (2.5 m/s to 7.5
other pipes penetrate through the hull, the open spaces are m/s) as shown in Figure 1 and this wind is coming for the
made air tight in order to prevent smoke and fire from northeast nearly 30% of the time. This data is useful when
spreading. To prevent oil spills several safety precautions are positioning the rig as tests can be run to determine which
implemented on the rig. Containment modifications to the angle allows for the least drag when drilling.
hull design are implemented as well to avoid hydrocarbons According to ABS MODU rules the rig must be designed
entering the surrounding environment [8]. Pressure relief to withstand storm conditions of a 100 year storm [3].
valves are placed into the process line to avoid over pressure Through statistical analysis, conditions for 3 different storm
of the oil. In case the oil pressure does supersede the set cases: 1 year, 10 year and 100 year, were performed and are
pressure the valve will discharge into the secure gutter area. presented in Figure 3.
Additionally, vapor depressurizing is used to drop the pressure The wind calculations pertaining to this jack up rig were
to 50 percent of the design pressure to bring the system to a calculated in the bow, beam and quartering seas directions. A
safe operating condition. Emergency shutdown stations are design wind speed of 14.5 knots (7.5 m/s) was used since it
placed in critical locations around the rig such as the was the highest average wind speed encountered at this site.
helicopter deck, process deck and control station. This should Under this design wind, the wind load is 203.5 kips (905.2
allow for the crew to halt operations when the process area is kN), 232.6 kips (1034.7 kN), and 291 kips (1294 kN) for bow,
experiencing severe over pressure and other methods such as beam, and quartering directions, respectively.
the pressure relief valves and depressurizing do not suffice. The current forces applied to the structure were calculated
Additional safety guidelines are followed in the event of using Ref. [3]. The current profile was determined using (3)
an actual oil spill. Curbing at deck level is implemented to from the surface to a depth of 16.4 ft (5 m), which is
prevent any oil spill. Protective walls along the gutter are in
place to prevent the oil from draining into the environment.
Recessed drip pans are installed to collect any oil spilled in the
deck area.


The total pressure acting on the legs, during drilling, is a
combination of static and dynamic pressure. The static
pressure is a function of height and increases linearly with the
depth from the mean water level (MWL). The static pressure Figure 1. Occurrence of Given Wind Speed
Figure 2. Occurrence of Wind Direction

Figure 3: Wind Speed, Wave Height, and Peak Period for Storms
considered the boundary layer. From the boundary layer to the
seabed (4) was used to calculate the current profile because well. If the ice approaches 10 nautical miles (18.5 km)
the wind does not affect the current below the boundary layer. drilling will be stopped and the rig will enter survivor mode.
In these equations, Vt denotes the tidal velocity, Vs the storm Further, the rig is designed for minimal ice collisions, in
tide velocity, Vw the wind driven current, and w the wind the event the detection system falters. The ice loading
velocity. calculations were performed as stated in Ref [3]. To determine
the load, the design pressure due to the ice was calculated
(3) using (6).
(4) The K1 and K2 coefficients were determined based on the
The wind driven current velocity was determined using a class of ice encountered. Dice corresponds to the displacement
frictional coefficient which is derived from the Coriolis weight of the ice chunks. The ice class that the rig is designed
parameter. The Coriolis parameter is dependent on the latitude to encounter is B0, which can be very large when assissted by
of the drill site. The average current force was calculated, and an ice breaker. This corresponds to a value of K1 0.165 and a
was found to be approximately 2.04 kips (9 kN). value of K2 0.38. The angle of the structure in the ice belt,
Regarding environmental loads, the rig needed to be able which is 90° for this rig, was used to determine the K3
to withstand the worst case scenario of loading which led to coefficient (7). The flare angle, of the structure in the ice is 90
the load being applied from three different directions, bow degrees. This angle resulted in a K3 value equal to 0.6.
seas, beam seas and obliquely. The current load was
calculated for one leg of the jack up. These loads were (7)
calculated as 2.1 kips (9.2 kN) for bow and beam seas, and 1.4 When (6) was computed, the ice loads were calculated to be
kips (6.2 kN) for oblique seas. 1072 ST (9.54 MN).
The jack up was designed with an air gap sufficient to III. JACK UP DESIGN
prevent waves from hitting the deck, however proper
consideration was needed for the waves hitting the legs. To The arrangement of the equipment and material on the
calculate this load Morrison’s equation, was used, shown in deck of the rig is very important to the stability of the facility
(5). FI and FD correspond to the inertial and drag forces, and is shown in Figure 4. The center of gravity needed to be as
respectively, while CS and CD are inertial and drag close to the center as possible to avoid having a rotating
coefficients. This equation was specified in the MODU rules moment on the deck. The deck itself, from a starboard view,
[3]. has a trapezoidal profile to minimize the amount of drag on
the hull during transit. The top of the deck is 232.9 ft (71 m)
from bow to stern 177 ft (54 m) from starboard to port. The rig
(5) is required to accommodate 120 people and researching
For the Chukchi Sea, the design period was given as 5.5 s existing crew quarters. The quarters are 4 stories tall, with
at a water depth of 131 ft (40 m). Using this information we dimensions of 84 ft (25.6 m) by 42 ft (12.8 m) and 52 ft (15.9
can solve (5). The structure was found to be drag dominant, m) in height with a total weight of approximately 200,000 lbs
with a drag force of 2.25 kips (10 kN), a inertial force of 0.65 (890 kN) [11]. The helipad is attached to the crew quarters to
kips (2.9 kN), for a total wave force of 2.90 kips (12.9 kN). allow quick access in the event of an emergency and is
This jack up rig is outfitted with an ice radar system which octagonal in shape with a diameter of 72 ft (22 m). An
tracks ice flow near the rig and has two ice breakers assisting aluminum deck was chosen, to alleviate some weight, with the
in minimizing ice collisions. The ice breakers operate at a capacity to hold a S92 helicopter [12]. The center of the
perimeter of 20 nautical miles (37 km) to break any pack ice topside contains a pit where the casing and piping used for
that penetrates that initial boundary. In the case of ice drilling are stored which cuts into the hull of the topside
breaching a boundary of 15 nautical miles (28 km) the crew approximately 10 ft (3m) to negate the wind forces on the
will continue normal operations while preparing to secure the materials. In order to reach the entire span of the topside, four
load in the analysis of the center of gravity [13]. The
aluminum helipad was chosen for its lightweight properties,
weighing approximately 48 kips (214 kN) [12]. The cantilever
and drilling derrick were combined into a total weight of 360
kips (1600kN). The legs are made of ASTM A53 Grade B
steel and weigh approximately 905 kips (4026 kN) total. The
materials needed for drilling have an approximate weight of
14000 kips (62000 kN) giving the entire rig an estimated
weight of approximately 19500 kips (86000 kN).
With the different weights being arranged around the deck,
a moment was created about the longitudinal axis. The
moments were taken using the distance from the datum, which
is the center of the deck for every axis. Ballast tanks were
Figure 4: General Arrangement of Structures on Deck used to offset this moment during transit. The hull contains
twelve ballast tanks in total and flooding two of these tanks
cranes are required. The cranes chosen are capable of lifting diminished the moment about the longitudinal axis by
300 tons and are mounted on pedestals on the deck. They are bringing the longitudinal and transverse center of gravity to
13.1 ft by 13.1 ft (4 m by 4 m) [13]. the center. This eliminates the overturning moment during
The drilling derrick is located on the cantilever which can transit and caused the vertical center of gravity to be 11.8 ft
be retracted during transit to keep water from flowing into the (3.6 m) due to the legs being completely retracted.
pit containing the pipes and casing. The cantilever is 100 ft One of the design requirements for the jack up is that it
(30.5 m) in length and can reach a distance of 70 ft (21.3 m) should be self-propelled at a speed of 11 knots (5.66 m/s). In
away from the deck. The entire structure will be supported by order to find the required power to propel the ship, the
triangular legs that are 361 ft (110 m) in length. The legs were resistance of the hull was calculated. There are several types
designed with an inverted K truss to add strength and stability. of resistance, including frictional, wave-making, form, and
The square holes in the hull allow the spud cans to be retracted appendage resistance. Without model tests or programs to
into the hull during transit to reduce drag. The spud cans are calculate the resistance, all forms of the resistance save for the
octagonal in shape, 26.2 ft (8 m) from point to point. frictional resistances are extremely difficult to calculate. To
In order for the rig to be stable during transit and for simplify the calculation of resistance, it was assumed that the
preloading purposes, ballast tanks were required. The rig is frictional resistance is equal to or greater than all other forms;
designed to have twelve ballast tanks, two of which are filled that is, the total resistance was calculated as simply twice the
during transit; they are labeled in Figure 5. In order to stabilize frictional resistance. The frictional resistance was calculated
the rig during transit the two ballast tanks are filled to 4.8 ft using (8), where S is the surface area and V is the ship's
(2.1 m). The center compartments in Figure 5 are used for velocity [14].
mud and portable water storage.
The distribution of the weight on the deck is very (8)
important in relation to the stability and moments on the Using these calculations, the resistance of the hull is found
facility. The weight of one crane and pedestal is to be approximately 50.4 kips (224 kN). Multiplying by the
approximately 493 kips (2200 kN) and was treated as a static velocity yields a power requirement of 1700 hp (1.3 MW).
This kind of power can be achieved using retractable thrusters,
which retract into the hull when not in use (when the legs are
deployed). Thrusters of this type were found that can achieve
600 hp (447 kW) [15]. Four thrusters are installed on each
corner of the ship. Coupled with the weight of a power plant,
this setup weighs approximately 3.3 million pounds (1.5
million kg).
Considering the high bearing capacity of the soil in the
North Chukchi Sea, spud cans were chosen as the foundation
support for the jack up rig as opposed to a mat footing which
is generally used for unstable soils [16]. A design is shown in
Figure 6 where the initial diameter was set at 26.2 ft (8 m).
The projecting tapered point on the bottom helps to reduce the
risk of slipping in the case of shallow penetration, which is
typical in soils with high bearing capacities [16].
When the legs are retracted during transit the spud cans are

Figure 5. Ballast Tank Schematic

where cu is the undrained shear strength, Sc is the shape factor,
dc is a depth factor, and p'o is the effective pressure at the
penetration depth.
The un-drained shear strength varies over a range; and the
average of this range was used in the calculations. The bearing
capacity factor was found using (12). Here,  is the latitude of
the drilling location.

Figure 6. Spud Can Profile Drawing The shape factor was calculated using (13), where the
bearing capacity factor is given in the SNAME code to be 5.14
able to fit into the hull to reduce drag. To calculate the and the foundation length is equal to the diameter of the spud
bearing area, the spud can was treated as a flat octagonal plate can due to its octagonal shape.
as shown in the plan view of Figure 6 to simplify the
calculations. This bearing area was used in calculating the
vertical reaction force the soil provides to the structure. The (13)
lateral area, shown in the profile view of Figure 6, was used in To calculate the depth factor, the depth to diameter ratio
the horizontal reaction force provided by the soil. The spud had to be evaluated; since it was less than 1, (14) was used.
cans are made of plates of ASTM A53 grade B steel with a .5
in (13 mm) thickness.
The SNAME T&R 5.5A required a check on backflow (14)
over the spud can when fully penetrated to determine if it The effective pressure at depth was calculated using (15).
should be factored into the preloading requirements. The A is the projected area of the spud can.
criteria of (9) was used to determine if this rig experienced (15)
any backflow [1]. If (9) is satisfied there is no backflow, The vertical and horizontal reaction forces could then be
which was the case with this jack up rig. In (9), Dsoil is the calculated using (16) and (17), respectively. To calculate the
penetration depth, Ncu is a bearing capacity factor, and ' is the horizontal reaction force, the lateral projected area of the spud
effective soil weight. can was needed. This area was determined by looking at a side
view of the spud can and calculating the area.
(9) (16)
SNAME also required a design to be checked against any
squeezing of the clay (10) [1]. If this equation is satisfied there (17)
is no clay squeezing which was the case for this jack up. All of these equations were specified by Ref. [1]. The
diameter of the spud can was designed to be 26.2 ft (8 m).
(10) Using this diameter and a penetration depth of 9 ft (2.75 m),
the vertical reaction from the soil was calculated as 7065 kips
where B is the diameter of the spud can and Tsoil is the depth of
the clay layer. (31.4 MN) and the horizontal reaction force was 19 calculated
In the northern Chukchi Sea, the soil was classified as as 18600 kips (82.7 MN). These values create factors of safety
clayey silt according to the geotechnical report provided by in the horizontal and vertical directions of 240 and 1.45,
ConocoPhillips [10]. Clay tends to be very plastic regardless respectively.
of water content meaning it can be deformed without To calculate the preloading requirement for installation the
maximum loading possible was calculated and magnified to
breaking, cracking, or changing in volume. Clay possesses
very high strength properties while silt tends to have little or include safety factors. This maximum loading was compared
no plasticity giving it very little strength [17]. The first 15 ft with the vertical leg reaction which has been reduced by 10%
(4.5 m) of soil in the northern Chukchi Sea is very soft clayey due to the built in safety factors. To calculate the preloading
silt while the soil down to 75 ft (22.9 m) tends to be stiff to amount, (18) was used [1].
very stiff clays. (18)
With these denser soil properties spud cans were used for While preloading, 7200 kips (32000 kN) must be loaded
a foundation as opposed to using a mat which is generally on each leg to ensure proper stability in the soil. When the rig
used in softer soils. Using these soil properties the bearing is installed it will lower two legs, diagonal of each other, and
capacity of the soil was calculated using (11) [1]. This fill ballast tanks until this preloading amount is reached. While
equation is specific to the non-squeezing and no backflow the tanks are filling the legs will begin to penetrate the soil
cases discussed earlier.
until the preload is met, and they should be reaching their
maximum penetration of 9 ft (2 m).
An overturning moment is created at the spud can due to
the environmental loads which is then counteracted by a
restoring moment due to the soil. ABS requires a minimum
factor of safety of 1.1 for these moments. They overturning
moment was calculated using Visual Analysis and was found
to be approximately 91.8 k-ft (125.6 kN-m). The restoring
moment was calculated using (19) [16]. This restoring
moment was calculated to be 116.1 k-ft (158.8 kN-m) creating
a factor of safety of 1.26 which satisfies ABS rules.
where Ms is the restoring moment, Mso is the restoring moment
assuming a rigid structure, n is the number of legs, P is the Figure 7. StabCAD Model
axial load in the legs, and e is displacement.
The vessel must meet the MODU stability requirements as ratio. The stability curves for the normal conditions are shown
stated by ABS. This entails an intact stability in 100 knot in Figure 8.
(51.5 m/s) winds, and damaged stability in 50 knot (25.8 m/s) This is the lowest wind speed allowed for design, and the
winds. The final waterline should not submerge any watertight moment area ratio of 6.52 far surpasses the criteria required of
opening, and the righting moment must equal twice the 1.4 specified by the MODU rules. Note that in this figure, the
heeling moment at a certain angle according to [3]. Following allowable KG is stated to be 36.1 ft (11 m); this is not the true
the specification on the jack up’s topside arrangements; the KG. The true allowable KG is retrieved from StabCAD by
model for StabCAD was completed as shown in Figure 7. For forcing the area ratio to equal 1.4. For the normal conditions,
StabCAD analysis, the vessel appendages were configured for the allowable KG is 290 ft (89.1m). Even in the severe storm
a freely floating condition, the period of deployment between condition shown in Figure 9, the area ratio is 3.18, and the
transit and jacking up. In accordance with the ABS MODU allowable KG is found to be 290 ft (88 m). For both wind
rules, the vessel must be stable during every stage of speeds, the range of stability is 8.25° which is greater than the
deployment; since the center of gravity is highest with the legs 7° requirement according to ABS MODU rules.
up, this configuration is good for design. Note that the crane For the damaged stability, MODU requires that the vessel
and leg trusses are modeled here as cylinders. StabCAD maintain a range of stability of 7 degrees when the hull is
allows for such an approximation by means of a shape penetrated to a horizontal depth of 5 ft (1.4 m) [3]. The wind
coefficient, specified by the user, which converts the condition for damaged stability is 50.2 knots (25.8 m/s) [3].
properties of the cylinder to that of the desired truss shape The worst case is a puncture at the bulkhead boundary,
[19]. For this analysis, the shape coefficient is left at a default flooding two compartments. When comparing this drawing
value of 0.5, as suggested by the StabCAD manual for with the general arrangement of bulkheads, Figure 5, it shows
approximating trusses. that two of the ballast tanks would be damaged.
According to the MODU rules, the area under the wind With the damaged tanks, the vessel has a static angle about
righting moment curve must be 40% larger than the area of the the inclination axis of 0.58 degrees, found in Figure 10.
wind heeling moment (have an area ratio of 1.4), over a range However, the range of stability is 7.23 degrees, which is
of inclination from rest to the down flooding angle of the satisfactory and the allowable KG is well above the calculated
vessel [3]. Also, the angle between where the moments are KG of 33 ft (10 m).
equal and the down flooding (the range of stability) must be The rig was designed to have triangular-shaped legs due to
above 7 degrees. The down flooding angle is the angle to cost effectiveness. The truss form of the legs are a reverse K
which weather tight integrity is preserved. The inclination is arrangement, which helps stability and reduces the amount of
taken about the axis most susceptible to down flooding; in this material. Figure 11 is a 2-dimensional model of the rig with
case, diagonally across the hull, or 40.6 degrees from inline. the cantilever retracted. There are plates attached at the bottom
For the intact condition, the vessel must meet the above to simulate the spud cans. The main deck consists of steel
criteria of moment areas in both calm and storm conditions. plate sections which include the ballast tanks and bulkheads as
For normal operations, the vessel is designed for 70 knot noted in the general arrangement. The total height of the legs
(36m/s) winds, while the design for severe storms is 100 knots is 361 ft (110m); the excess length helps provide reserve
(51.5 m/s) [3]. The program is run with a KG of 32.8 ft (10 strength for the lowersections which are subjected to various
m). The longitudinal and transverse center of gravity is environmental loads.
assumed to be in the center of the hull and a draft of 9.19 ft The wind loads are 788.21 lb/ft (36.4 N/m) distributed
(2.8 m) is used. linearly along the top side legs and start dissipating at 10 ft
StabCAD computes the righting and heeling moments, (3.05 m) above the main deck to 0 at the deck line. The
and automatically generates a down flooding angle and area
Figure 8: Moments of Inclination in 70 knot (36 m/s) Winds Figure 10. Moments of Inclination in Damaged Condition

cumulative topside weight is 510.5 kip/ft (2270.8 kN/m) and maximized at 92.6 kip·ft (125.60 kN·m).
placed 86.12 ft (26.25 m) from the bow. This configuration In order to ensure the stability of our structure the rack and
represents the cantilever retracted; for the operational case pinion system had to be able to withstand the above mentioned
where the cantilever is extended the deck load is 87.63 ft moment and the soil had to withstand the forces created at the
(26.71m) from the bow. The operational water depth is 131 ft spud cans.
(40m) with a calculated 49.2 ft (15 m) air gap placing the The primary goal of structural analysis was to prove that
bottom of the deck at 180.45 ft (55 m). Each test used 616.86 the structure as a whole can withstand the applied loads
lb/ft (9 kN/m) wave and current loads at the mean water level without failure. A 3-dimensional model was constructed and
and linearly decreasing to 0 at 16.4 ft (5 m) below the mean the loads applied. The topside structures in the model were
water level. modeled as plates to help get a more accurate computation of
With the rack and pinion system used to jack up the legs the wind loading. The increased surface area subjected to the
and support the deck, the strength and stability of the wind loads will have a greater impact on the resulting moment
connecting joints was a very important design consideration. experienced by the connecting supports between the legs and
With the two cantilever scenarios, the maximum moments main deck and the rack and pinion system. In order to simulate
were 7.04×105 kip·ft (9.54×105 kN·m); the operational the weight of the topsides a uniformly distributed load of
cantilever slightly changed the location of the center of gravity 0.0215 ST/ft2 (2.06 MPa) was placed on the deck plates. This
but had minimal effects on the joint reactions and member value was calculated by dividing the total estimated topside
forces. weight (7496 ST) by the operational area of the deck.
The total deck and topside produces a maximum vertical The results of the 3-dimensional loadings are applied to
force of 18.14 kips (80.70 kN) on each leg; this required the the bow (x-direction) are shown in Figure 12. The deck
rack and pinion supports to be able to withstand these forces experienced minimal deflections demonstrating the current
as well. The moments experienced on the spud cans were

Figure 9. Moments of Inclination in 100 knot (51.1 m/s) Winds Figure 11. 2D Model Depicting Retracted Cantilever
bulkhead configuration was adequate for the environmental
The members angled out just above where the deck is
located are basic models of the rack and pinion system used to
support and jack up the hull. As expected, the maximum
stresses are experienced within the internal truss members.
The max stress for an internal member is 8.75 ksi (60.3 MPa).
Maximum shearing and moments were both found within the
members of the simplified rack and pinion system. A max
shearing force of 6.23 kips (27.7 kN) and moment of 18.95
kip·ft (25.7 kN·m) were both located at the base of the rack
and pinion member. Most of this force is attributed to wind
loading; the actual members will be shielded from the
elements therefore only needing to withstand the deck loads
and topside wind loading.
The results of the 3-dimensional loadings were also
applied in the beam direction (y-direction), as shown in
Figure 13. As with the previous case, most of the stresses were Figure 13. Member Forces of Beam Loading Results
found in the internal members of the truss and the forces
located in the rack and pinion system. The maximum stress a factor of safety of 34.97. Also, the available flexural strength
and axial stresses were found to be 21.47 ksi (148 MPa) and of this steel is 81.4 kip·ft (110.36 kN·m) found in AISC Table
0.26 ksi (1.8 MPa), respectively. Both of these were located 3-15. The steel is able to withstand the maximum moment of
on the upper part of the leg and resulted solely from wind 49.12 kip·ft with a factor of safety of 1.66. All of the structural
loading. The upper limits of the shearing forces and moments members withstand the applied environmental loading with
were 10.68 kips (47.5 kN) and 49.12 kip·ft (66.6 kN·m), adequate factors of safety with respect to the failure modes of
respectively. These two forces were experienced on the the ASTM A53 Grade B steel pipe used for the structure [18].
support members of the rack and pinion system once again. IV. COST ANALYSIS
Due to all of the extreme forces were experienced on the
starboard wind loading model, proper consideration was The cost of the rig was determined using modern day ship
needed to determine if the steel used in construction is capable yard estimates. It was found to be around $900 million with
of handling such stresses. All of the steel members are circular the funds allocated as shown in Figure 24. The contingency
8 XS pipe with an outer diameter of 9 in (.023 m) and a 1.02 cost of the rig is about 10% of the total cost bringing the total
in (.026 m) thickness of ASTM A53 Grade B steel for the cold cost up to $1 billion. From this figure one can see that the
weather conditions. The minimum yield stress for this steel is topside equipment and hull steel take up the bulk of the cost
Fy=35 ksi. The maximum stress and axial stress are both with a total of $643 million. This cost is higher than the
within the yield stress limit giving a factor of safety of 1.63. average for today’s jack up rigs which cost around 650 to 800
With a design K-value of .65 and effective length of 25.78 ft million dollars due to its required different steel and sheer
(7.86 m), the available strength in axial compression (c Pn ) size.
is 373.47 kips [18]. The shearing force of 10.68 kips is well
below the allowable 373.47 kips, giving V. FINAL DESIGN SUMMARY
The jack up drilling rig designed in this report was for
operation in the northern Chukchi Sea in a water depth of 120
ft (40m). The jack up works in the warm water season when
ice is at a minimum; however, to deal with ice, the jack up has
radar detection systems and an escort of ice-breakers. The
design calls for four triangular truss legs that are 20 ft (6 m)
wide and sit atop spud cans that are octagonal in shape with a
diameter of 26.2 ft (8 m). The top of the deck is 232.9 ft (71
m) from bow to stern and 177 ft (54 m) from starboard to port.
The hull houses 4 cranes, accommodations for 120 people,
helideck, and piping for two different drilling locations.
Additionally, the ship is self-propelled, up to a speed of 11 kts
(5.66 m/s). The total weight of the jack up is 19 million
pounds, or (8.6 million kg). The jack up has been designed to
comply with the MODU, ABS and SNAME rules in their
Figure 12. Member Forces of Bow Loading Results
entirety as well as accommodate the extreme climate issues
that arise with drilling in the Arctic Ocean.
The forces on the ship were calculated for wind, current, The authors thank Dr. Robert E. Randall, Dr. Charles
wave, and ice conditions. The wind force was based off 100 Aubeny, and Dr. Terry Kohutek from Texas A&M University
year storm conditions and quartering seas are taken as the for their guidance. Thanks to Mr. Peter Noble and Mr. Randall
worst case scenario. For a 100 year storm with wind speed of Shafer of ConocoPhillips for access to geotechnical data and
24.6 ft/s (2.5 m/s), the wind force was 291 kips (1294 kN).The guidance on the drilling design process. The authors also
calculated value for a current load on a single leg is 2.1 kips thank Alberto Monrad, of Global Maritime, and J. Andrew
(9.2 kN). The wave force was 1.47 kips (6.45 kN), from Breuer, Pao-Lin Tan, and Han Yu of the American Bureau of
Morrison’s Equation. For ice, the MODU rules list equations Shipping.
that yield an ice force of 217.8 metric tons (240 short tons) for
each leg; the pressure is calculated to be 16 psi (1104 MPa) REFERENCES
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