May 05, 2008 13:00 ET
HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - May 5, 2008) - IODP Management International (IODP-MI)
announced today that it has successfully competed for funding to support
feasibility studies and planning of ultra deepwater dual gradient drilling,
utilizing the AGR Drilling
Services riserless mud recovery system. The awarded funds come from the
DeepStar Consortium, a deepwater
industry group that supports deepwater technology development projects and
leverages the industry's financial and technical resources. The winning
project, a collaboration among several U.S.-based IODP partners, AGR Drilling Services and industry, will
investigate modification of existing commercial technology to allow
deep-hole drilling (greater than 2,000 meters) in ultra deepwater.
"This approach represents a major advance," explains IODP-MI Engineering
Manager Greg Myers, who heads the project. "It eliminates mud and cuttings
discharges at the seafloor and provides a cost-saving mud-control technique
in the top hole section of ultra deepwater wells. It also will grant access
to areas of scientific exploration previously beyond our reach."
According to Myers, the next step of the initiative will be to prepare an
at-sea demonstration of the technology in the Gulf of Mexico. The JOIDES Resolution, the
riserless drilling vessel dedicated to IODP research through support from
the U.S. National Science Foundation, is
the most likely platform to be chosen for this engineering initiative.
The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is an international marine
research drilling program dedicated to advancing scientific understanding
of Earth by drilling, sampling and monitoring subseafloor environments.
platforms, the world's preeminent scientists explore IODP principal
themes: the deep biosphere, environmental change, and geodynamics.
Currently, 21 countries support and participate in IODP research
activities. Full program information is available online at www.iodp.org.
Contact:Nancy LightIODP-MICell: 301-275-1203
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DeepStar will support an IODP ultra deepwater
drilling initiative in the Gulf of Mexico