Skip to content

22/08/2022 News



The Tilenga Project’s first Rig (ZPEB Rig 1501) has successfully completed its endurance test and has been officially handed over to TotalEnergies EP Uganda’s contractor ZPEB. The test which was conducted following the conclusion of the rig building marks an important milestone in the project’s activities as it precedes the imminent shipment of the rig to Uganda. The rig has been constructed and tested by the Honghua Factory in Guanghan city, Sichuan Province, China.  

Showcasing innovation   

The ZPEB Rig 1501 is a highly innovative 1,500 Horsepower (HP) walking land rig with full integration, automation, low emission and fully soundproof. The substructure and rig floor integrate all the necessary equipment to allow the rig movement from well to well without equipment disconnection. The Tilenga Project rig has been equipped with new power technology, having only a single power cable and a fiber optic cable between the rig and the electrical house at the backyard up to 150m. The rig is fitted with a mast which is designed in a side-saddle way, with a tubular picked up at an angle of 90° from the row of wells for easy handling and working outside the cellars area. 

About the testing 

Following the completion of the building works, a rig endurance test was conducted to certify the operability of the rig. The test involved the placement of the rig in an operational state for a continuous period of twenty-four (24) hours. During the testing, 100% of the rig equipment is installed and runs simultaneously and continuously for 24 hours including a mud pumping function of up to maximum working pressure (90%) of the system. 

Rig testing also includes rotating the Top Drive to 160 Revolutions Per Minute (rpm), tripping two (2) stands up and down simulating back reaming, practicing connection of tubular including heavy tubular (drill collar), running engines and generators simultaneously to ensure that they are well synchronized and running all the accessories of the rig for twenty-four (24) hours and recording all necessary data every two (hours) to ensure that the parameters of each equipment are correct.  

Official rig handover


Official handover to ZPEB  

“This is an important step forward for TotalEnergies EP Uganda and the Tilenga project as it signifies progress towards the commencement of our drilling activities and subsequent delivery of first oil in Uganda. Thank you to all the teams that have worked tirelessly on building this rig and we look forward to receiving it in Uganda,” said Thierry Vinay, TotalEnergies EP Uganda’s consultant in China.  

Other components of the Rig 

The Tilenga Project rig has a compact backyard with engines, electrical house (VFD), mud & water tanks, mud pumps and engines which remain at the same position whatever the number of wells and distance to the farthest well of the pad are.  

Mind-blowing Facts: 

  • The Rig’s 1,500 Horsepower is equivalent to the Horsepower of 4 Heavy Duty trucks 

  • A 24-hour endurance test is so stringent that if a problem is identified requiring stoppage for more than 30mins, the 24-hour count must be restarted to ensure problem is resolved.