Monitor Systems Engineering specialise in the design and manufacture of safety, critical, operational instrumentation and monitoring systems for Drillships.

Drillships, like jack-up rigs, semi-submersible rigs and drilling platforms share a similar type of equipment and instrumentation for day to day operations. Monitor Systems have extensive experience working on all of these offshore oil and gas vessels, from detailed equipment survey to the design, manufacture and installation of instrumentation and monitoring systems.

History and General: A drillship is a merchant vessel designed for use in exploratory offshore drilling of new oil and gas wells or for scientific drilling purposes. In most recent years drillships are used in deepwater and ultra-deepwater applications, equipped with the latest and most advanced dynamic positioning systems.

The drillship can be used as a platform to carry out well maintenance or completion work such as casing and tubing installation, subsea tree installations and well capping. Drillships are often built to the design specification to meet the requirements set by the oil production company and/or investors.

In 2013 the worldwide fleet of drillships tops 80 ships, more than double its size in 2009. Drillships are not only growing in size but also in capability with new technology assisting operations from academic research to ice-breaker class drilling vessels. U.S.

Drillships are just one way to perform various types of drilling. This function can also be performed by semi-submersibles, jackups, barges or drilling platform rigs.

Unique Features: Drillships have the functional ability of semi-submersible drilling rigs and also have a few unique features that separate them. First being the ship-shaped design. A drillship has greater mobility and can move quickly under its own propulsion from drill site to drill site in contrast to semi-submersibles and jackup barges and platforms. Drillships have the ability to save time sailing between oilfields worldwide. A drillship takes about 20 days to move from the Gulf of Mexico to the Offshore Angola. Whereas, a semi-submersible drilling unit must be towed and takes about 70 days, more than three times as long.

Drillship construction cost is much higher than that of a semi-submersible. But although mobility comes at a high price, the drillship owners can charge higher day rates and get the benefit of lower idle times between assignments.