The drilling of oil and gas wells in a marine environment requires a specific vessel. The Schellstede Ultimate Drilling Barge is a naval vessel that can accommodate drilling operations in water depths from 8' to 60'. The water depths from 8' to 20' consider inland sheltered waters. Water depths from 21' to 60' consider offshore waters in surf zone conditions. The industry provides vessels to accommodate these water depths however two different vessels are required.

The Schellstede Ultimate Drilling Barge considers one vessel to accommodate the service area from 8' through 60' water depths. The vessel is also novel in that the construction materials are of a composite design which lowers the vessel weight and eliminates corrosion. The support columns provide an ample area to accommodate drilling and ship services support equipment. The invention provides a design that employs stabilizing tanks that can be stored for shallow water drilling and extended to provide ample stability for towing and offshore operations. The stabilizing tanks are stored in such a fashion to allow the vessel to operate in inland, rivers, bays and sounds.

In offshore towing or operation, the tanks will be extended. Powered spuds are provided in each tank to assist in the sea keeping operations including an anchor array. The Schellstede Ultimate Drilling Barge allows for great flexibility in operations. The vessel is very efficient in that the cost of the tanks and powered spuds are small considering the overall rig cost.

The Schellstede Ultimate Drilling Barge provides a new approach to an age-old problem. The vessel can be employed in various environmental conditions, i.e., temperate to ice conditions. The vessel allows sea keeping in different bottom conditions, i.e., hard sand bottom to very soft conditions. The vessel is designed to accommodate the most rigid environmental codes. The SUDB has "zero" discharge and provides a new guidepost considering shallow water drilling vessels.

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