A Jack Up is a type of offshore drilling rigs. It is made up of a hull, legs, and a lifting system and a jack up rig can be towed to the offshore site, and then lower its legs into the seabed to lift up the hull, providing a stable work deck which is strong enough to cope with the required environmental loads.
Another advantage of Jack Up rigs is that they can operate in high wind speeds and with significant wave heights, as well as in water depths reaching 500 feet. Since the Jack Up will be ultimately supported by the seabed, they are usually preloaded upon arrival at the intended site to simulate the kind of leg loads that they will be exposed to. This ensures that once the rig is fully jacked up and in operation, the seabed will be able to provide a strong foundation for the rig.
The offshore industry has made significant use of Jack Up rigs for over 60 years now. They are especially useful for exploration drilling since they are relatively easy to set up, and also provide ample production, accommodation, and maintenance areas. Over the years, Jack Ups have been pushed to their limits in terms of what they can do. This includes their deck load carrying limits both when afloat and when elevated, their environmental and drilling limits, and the soil, or foundation, limits. By pushing these limits, drilling companies have been able to explore deeper waters, drill deep reservoirs in harsh conditions, and even drill in areas with unstable soils and foundations. Continue reading