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Oilfield Glossary
Oilfield Glossary
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submersible drilling rig

1. n. [Drilling]
A particular type of floating vessel, usually used as a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU), that is supported primarily on large pontoon-like structures submerged below the seasurface. The operating decks are elevated 100 or more feet [30 m] above the pontoons on large steel columns. Once on the desired location, this type of structure is slowly flooded until it rests on the seafloor. After the well is completed, the water is pumped out of the buoyancy tanks, the vessel refloated and towed to the next location. Submersibles, as they are known informally, operate in relatively shallow water, since they must actually rest on the seafloor.