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Innovative solutions for offshore applications

Particularly in offshore applications, automation, combined with hydraulic rig technology, is superior to conventional rig designs. Highly automated pipe handling and racking reduces manual work and the number of staff involved, minimizing LTIs and NPTs. The design approach to shift as much as possible offshore work packages to shore, such as preparation of drill pipes in boxes, further reduces high-wage offshore labor.

Herrenknecht Vertical’s hydraulic offshore rig solutions apply to a wide range of different offshore operations with hook loads between 150 metric tons (165 short tons) and 750 metric tons (825 short tons). The equipment is field-proven with high customer ratings and can be adapted to your specific needs: exploration or production drilling, work-over, plug and abandonment (P&A) or any other specific task along the offshore field lifecycle.

Characteristics and benefits:

  • stable and weight optimized design with lower center of gravity (CoG)
  • moveable with completely filled pipe rack, significantly shortening the rig move times between wells
  • flexibility in terms of deck loads, skidding envelope and weather impact enlarges the overall operational envelope
  • precise control of the drilling process with direct feedback of hole conditions 
  • pushing capability, for example for extended reach wells and life well interventions

Our automated offshore rig packages are focused on installations such as jack-up and platform rigs. Additionally, concepts for specific floating applications have been developed in cooperation with customers and experienced partners.


Drilling and work-over rig packages ranging from 250 metric tons (275 short tons) to 750 metric tons (825 short tons) for cantilever installation form the jack-up rig portfolio. The rig packages integrate highly automated pipe storage systems, either horizontally in pipe boxes or in a combination of a horizontal storage system and a vertical system that can handle up to triples.

Separating drilling and completion components into two different storage areas allows for simultaneous operations. This enhances efficiency and increases overall safety. The pipe racking and handling is highly automated up to a robotic drill floor for handling of BHA components. In combination with integrated make-up/break-out units in the horizontal catwalk, this enables fully automatic drilling processes, controlled from the driller’s cabin at rig floor level or remotely at the accommodation unit or even from shore.


Multiple drilling and workover operations on production platforms require flexible, compact and light rig packages. Whether it comes to platform upgrades (e.g. for drilling additional production wells) or workover or decommissioning operations like P&A on downgraded platforms with insufficient payload for a conventional rig, Herrenknecht Vertical’s hydraulic rig packages enable efficient operation.

Different mast concepts, for example telescopic versions for super singles, doubles or triples, and the transfer of the hook load through the cylinders or rack and pinion hoisting system directly into the substructure, reduce the rig weight and footprint, making it suitable for a wide range of platforms with a large skidding envelope. Especially for operations on downgraded platforms, the mopdule weight of the modular rigs is minimized for rig-up and rig-down with the existing platform cranes and any vessel of opportunity. This ensures high flexibility also in terms of re-locating the rig package to any other platform, maximizing it's operational envelope and utilization rate.


Together with customers and industry partners, we have been working to bring the advantages of hydraulic offshore rig packages to floating vessels as well.

For a subsea P&A package, installed on a well intervention package of a well-known vessel manufacturer, the compact topside drilling package combines all the critical paths of decommissioning in one multi-purpose mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU). The Herrenknecht Vertical package allows for a completely free aft deck area usable for storing and recovering subsea equipment. Separating the non-standardized decommissioning works from the automated P&A and well intervention working area enhances overall safety and process efficiency significantly. Hydraulically integrated heave compensation increases system efficiency and reduces total weight, which in return results in a smaller vessel.

Also on geotechnical drilling vessels, the hydraulic rig package plays off its benefits. Integrating seabed winches into the mast system increases the flexibility by running different operations simultaneously. An optimized arrangement of the automated pipe rack reduces the footprint and improves moon pool accessibility while enhancing the overall safety.

For riser-less well intervention such as wireline activities and top hole drilling without return mud circulation, Herrenknecht Vertical has developed a multi-purpose tower together with a well-known crane manufacturer. The concept integrates drilling components with an offshore bridge crane, allowing crane accessibility to the moon pool through its skidding ability. The system has a high operational flexibility and increased utilization, as it can pick up BOP stacks and can also be upgraded for geotechnical drilling activities.

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