News Details

Pacific Drilling and Athens Group to Reduce Control System NPT on the Newest Additions to Pacific Drilling's Ultra-Deepwater Fleet


Houston, Texas. Pacific Drilling and Athens Group announced a three year partnership to reduce non-productive time (NPT) from the design phase through to operations for all software-dependent control systems for Pacific Drilling’s best-in-class drillships. The partnership is focused on quality, risk mitigation and problem remediation, and change management processes for the Pacific Bora, Pacific Scirocco, Pacific Mistral and Pacific Santa Ana drillships, scheduled for delivery in 2010 and 2011.

Chris Beckett, CEO of Pacific Drilling announced “We believe that quality equipment and business processes will provide significant benefit to our customers by improving the overall performance of our rigs and consistency of service delivery. Our strategy is to partner with the leading providers with proven results to help us reduce the costs associated with non-productive time and to safeguard our workers and the environment. When it comes to providing software expertise and proven technology assurance services in the highly-specialized area of rig control systems, Athens Group is by far the most experienced vendor, and like us, very customer-oriented.”

About Pacific Drilling
Pacific Drilling is a fast growing company that is dedicated to becoming the preferred ultra-deepwater drilling contractor.  We are a customer-oriented team of experienced industry experts that operate with the utmost integrity, combining the strength of a large, well capitalized enterprise with the agility and flexibility of a small solution provider.
As part of a global, multi-billion dollar group of companies which collectively operate over 400 vessels in a range of specialized marine and offshore segments, Pacific Drilling can call on extensive experience in logistics and infrastructure-related enterprises in the leading petroleum provinces, enabling us to deliver best-in-class services and drilling solutions to clients all over the world.

Our fleet of six of the newest ultra-deepwater drillships is expected to be in operation by end of 2011. Four rigs will be operated by Pacific Drilling and two rigs by a 50% owned joint venture. All the vessels are state-of-the-art drilling units, based on a well-proven design and are able to operate in water depths of up to 12,000 feet. The quality of our rigs is assured through our turnkey contracts with Samsung Heavy Industries, which has more experience in constructing the newest generation of drillships than any other yard.  Additional information is available at

About Athens Group
The annual cost of NPT on a high-specification offshore rig is U.S. $100- $150M+ and 20 - 30% of NPT is Drilling Control System related.* As independent software consultants, Athens Group helps drilling contractors and operators reduce NPT, improve safety and increase operational efficiency by helping to prevent software-related equipment failures. Our Drilling Technology AssuranceSM (DTA) Services were developed specifically for highly-integrated rig and Drilling Control Systems to mitigate risk and remediate problems in all phases of the rig lifecycle. Athens Group has more expertise in this specialized area than any other vendor. Our Proven Practices Methodology; software, hardware, and network topology experience; and vendor drilling equipment experience speed identification of risks and resolution of issues. The cost ratio of our services to NPT savings typically exceeds 1:100. Our customers, industry-leading companies such as BP, ExxonMobil, Noble Drilling, Stena, Conoco Phillips, Hess, Hydril, Pride, Maersk, Shell and Transocean are all referenceable and over 70% have engaged us on multiple rigs.

*The State of NPT on High-Specification Offshore Rigs: First Annual Benchmarking Report is available here:

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