Oilfield Glossary
Oilfield Glossary
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dynamic positioning

1. n. [Drilling]
The stationing of a vessel, especially a drillship or semisubmersible drilling rig, at a specific location in the sea by the use of computer-controlled propulsion units called thrusters. Though drilling vessels have varying sea and weather state design conditions, most remain relatively stable even under high wind, wave and current loading conditions. Inability to maintain stationkeeping, whether due to excessive natural forces or failure of one or more electromechanical systems, leads to a "drive off" condition that requires emergency procedures to disconnect the riser from the subsea BOP stack, or worse, drop the riser from the vessel altogether.