ConocoPhilips, Doyon Set to Take “The Beast” for a Test-Drive
Tishya Dwivedi posted on February 10, 2020 |
Rig 26 is an engineering marvel and will be a game changer in the oil drilling industry.

ConocoPhillips and Doyon Drilling Inc. are all set to take ”the Beast,” which is what they call Doyon’s Rig 26 into its testing level. It took 3.5 years to complete its construction and once tested, Rig 26 should be ready to drill by April 2020.

Rig 26’s drilling capacity will be up to 37,000 feet (11,278 metres) compared to the current North Slope rigs’ capacity of 22,000 feet (6,705 metres). ConocoPhillips said that this rig, from a 14-acre (5.7 hectare) drilling pad, will be able to develop 154 square miles of reservoir which is up to three times more the area where the existing rigs can reach at present. Rig-26 is considered to be immensely powerful and will be able to reach oil levels that have not been touched before.


According to ConocoPhillips Rig 26 project director Paul McGrath, Rig 26 has four mud pumps of 2,200 horsepower each and weighs about 9.5 million pounds (4.31 million kilograms).

Rig 26 has been designed to burn a mix of processed field gas and diesel, to which McGrath added that the field gas has “Got the potential to displace about 50% of the diesel required to operate the rig, which will be a big savings for us in terms of emissions as well as cost throughout the program.”

ConocoPhillips’ commitment to pull out oil from the Fiord West area in its Alpine oil field and reach under the complex Colville River delta paved the way to its agreement with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources in 2015 to build this rig.

Doyon spokeswoman Sunny Guerin informed that Rig 26 was built in Nisku, Alberta, a suburb of Edmonton, and it took about 270 tractor-trailer loads to move the rig to the North Slope compared to about 140 truckloads required for traditional rigs.

Doyon presume around 65 employees to work on Rig 26 once it is deployed and additional support staff would be required for other operations such as work camps, truck drivers and other needs, McGrath added.

At present, the rig is around 90% assembled in Doyon’s facilities in Deadhorse where it will be put to final testing. Once commissioned and tested, Rig-26 will be taken in pieces 82 miles (132 kms) and reassembled at the drill site, confirmed ConocoPhillips spokeswoman Patty Sullivan. 

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