What are Jack Up Drilling Rigs?

A jack up rig is a type of oil rig platform. Another term used for jack up support system is jack up platform. They are very common and popular occurrence when it comes to drilling oil from its oceanic reservoir.

The jack up drilling rigs are designed in such a way that there are three poles that enable the oil rig base to either get hoisted up or stay afloat in the water. This is the main USP of a jack up platform. The oil rig is set up in the form of a barge (a marine vessel that is designed to stay afloat in the water without getting affected by any conditions).

jackup drill ship

Some jack-up drilling rigs are designed to have four platforms but majorly, just three platforms are more adequate to carry out the oil drilling process expertly. The platforms are used so as to find the best possible location in the water for the purpose of oil drilling. So in simple terms it can be said that, the hoisting of the barge above the platform is done until the appropriate location in the water is found. Then the barge is lowered into the water and these platforms act as anchors to keep the barge steady.

In order to move the jack up platform into the required water, it is either towed or in case, the platform is capable – self-propelled into the water. It has to be noted that such a jack up system is feasible only in water levels up to or less than 120 metres.

The Advent of Jack up Drilling Rigs

The main reason why such jack-up drilling rigs came into existence was because the oil drilling procedure was often interrupted as a result of wind and water conditions. With the support of jack up platforms, it was ensured that a firm base was provided to the oil rig so that the procedure of oil drilling could carry on without any interruptions.

It needs to be noted that the first jack up rig was launched in the year 1954. Such jack-up platforms are examples of what is known as the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit or MODU as it is very popularly called. The material used to create the jack up platform is made of steel so that there is no threat of erosion when the rigs are placed in the water. When these jack-up drilling rigs are seen from afar, they look like towers that supply electricity.

Types of Jack up Drilling Rigs

These platforms can be of two types:


This type of platform is advantageous because it offers a lot of stability to the jack-up system. Open-Truss platforms are designed in a pattern that is criss-crossed which ensures the stability aspect of the oil rig mentioned in the previous point.

Columnar Platforms:

Unlike the previous variety of jack up platform, the columnar platforms are constructed in a columnar or rectangular form. This reduces the effective weight-bracing facility of these platforms making them a problem in case strong wind conditions affect the water in which the oil rig stands.

A jack-up system is highly unique facility. This rarity along with the supreme utility is what has enabled the jack up drilling rigs to be a part of the oil drilling operation for over six decades. It is also this uniqueness that will enable the jack up rig to be a major part of the oil drilling industry in the future, for years and years to come.


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  1. i have a problem with changing the covering of accommodation in jackup rig. can you help me for material which is good for covering?and 2Nd q is how to prepare for attaching covering.

  2. I’m working as chief engineer in main fleet (dry fleet). How can i get job in jack up barge, kindly give a brief guidelines.

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