US-based offshore contract drilling services provider Diamond Offshore Drilling has launched its Sim-Stack service to continuously assess blowout preventer (BOP) status.

The company noted that the Sim-Stack service marks the offshore drilling industry’s first cybernetic BOP service.

BOP is a mechanical device that creates a pressure-tight seal at the top of the wellbore to restrict flow from the well.

In the event of an issue, the Sim-Stack service will assist in formulating a proper course of action.

When component failures are detected, the cybernetic BOP service offers critical feedback bereft of human bias to help in decision making related to subsea stacks.

Thereafter, Sim-Stack provides a third-party Statement of Fact to the operator, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and other regulatory bodies.

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Diamond Offshore president and CEO Marc Edwards said: “The majority of non-productive time for an offshore drilling rig relates to subsea equipment certification, repair and maintenance.

“The majority of non-productive time for an offshore drilling rig relates to subsea equipment certification, repair and maintenance.”

“We have been driving innovation and thought leadership into the industry so as to reduce costs. Our Sim-Stack service is our latest advancement to reduce BOP downtime, resulting in operational efficiency gains for our clients.”

According to the company, Sim-Stack Acting resembles a BOP system on a drilling vessel, replicating the BOP hydraulically and electrically to assess its overall health and regulatory compliance.

Additionally, Sim-Stack offers training opportunities for offshore personnel to learn and further develop subsea BOP expertise in a safe and dynamic environment.

Edwards added: “We are also building a robust set of tools to train and further develop our technical talent to efficiently execute our operational responsibilities, and Sim-Stack is a premier tool to drive this talent development to the next level.”

Diamond Offshore collaborated with BOP Risk Mitigation Services to develop and implement the new service across all eight BOP systems on its four drillships working in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company is planning to expand the service to additional rigs in the coming months.