The following case study describes the successful deployment of a rigless conductor installation system on an offshore installation in Dubai, UAE. The system has been shown to reduce rig time and costs by pre-installing conductors prior to the arrival of the drilling rig.


Case Summary

The contract called for the pre-installation of 8 x 24” conductors in water depths of 200 ft, with 200ft of mudline penetration, prior to arrival of the drilling rig.

The conductor installation system was delivered by a combination of Thunder Cranes’ Beam Package, Workbasket and Hammer Services provided by Frank’s International.

Our primary role was to provide a rental crane package consisting of TC90 and TC20 which were used to handle the lifting/positioning of the casing strings, lifting/positioning of the hammer, as well as lifting to/from work vessel and platform. The crane setup provided by Thunder Cranes straddled the platform cap beams thus transferring the loads to the platform in a similar fashion as a drilling rig does.

A work vessel was used to accommodate the crews during the rigless operations on the platform. The lifting operations were carried out with a team of 10 Thunder Cranes personnel working in shifts over a 24 hour operation.


  • Mobilization of Equipment ex-Dubai via supply vessel
  • Rental Crane Rig Up on Platform – 3 Days
  • Installation of Workbasket – 1/2 Day
  • Conductor Installation – 12 hours per conductor


A safe, efficient and effective system for partial and complete rigless conductor driving services had been achieved by combining the equipment, knowledge and experience of both Franks International and Thunder Cranes.

This rigless method saved the client one day of rig time per conductor, and eliminated the need for the drilling rig to perform operations other than drilling since by the time the rig arrived the conductors were pre-installed. By completing this offshore conductor driving operation with the rigless system instead of a costly rig, the client realised impressive cost savings.

Conductor driving operations began in March 2016. The operation was completed without incident or downtime within 4 days, on schedule and saving an estimated 1.5 million USD on drilling rig deployment time.

Additional Uses: Slot Recovery

When installed on the topside of platform a Thunder Crane package is in position to support all the necessary lifting activities required by a slot recovery contractor performing the cutting and recovery services.

The basic crane operation is no different from that of a drilling derrick travelling hook. Derricks are utilized to pull and run tubular in and out of a wellbore and in a similar way cranes are commonly employed to run and pull equipment from wells once safety requirements have been met. A crane that is utilized for this function has the added capability of picking up or laying down the load anywhere within its radius, whereas a derrick has no radial capability.

  • Rigless Conductor Casing Installation
  • Boom height requirement for hammering job
  • Space constraints on platfrom
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