DRILLING crews on rigs can train and practise in a risk-free environment thanks to a simulator developed by a Bournemouth company.

Drilling Systems says its technology will revolutionise the way crews are trained for jack-up rigs, raising standards across the world.

Its simulator system can be transported to remote locations, where the training and assessments can take place on site for the first time.

The company, based at Bournemouth Airport’s Aviation Park West, has developed software for the operations of a jack-up, or self-elevating, rig, for use in conjunction with its existing On-the-Rig (OTR) simulator system.

Clive Battisby, chief operating officer at Drilling Systems, said: “Simulation in industries such as aviation and oil and gas has become an essential tool as the technology is extremely immersive and highly effective.

“When conducted at the workplace, this type of training becomes even more powerful as operators are able to practise the precise drilling work they will be doing tomorrow – today.

“Any issues can be ironed out beforehand so that operators are performing at optimum effectiveness, safety and productivity. As well as raising drilling standards, this is helping to optimise drilling operations for many of our customers.

“The Jack-up software has been in development for the past 12 months and we are confident clients will be impressed with what they see.”

The company says the technology will reduce travel time and training costs significantly. The software replicates real life conditions and systems, covering procedures such as well control, drilling and crane lifting.

Operators can also practice high-risk and emergency scenarios which are rarely seen in real life, such as freeing a stuck pipe or landing a blowout preventer. Drilling Systems says this type of training is significantly improving competency and in turn contributing to higher safety levels.

OTR is already being used in the field helping to prepare crews for rig reactivations and assure competency levels.