Managed Pressure Drilling

ABS MPD®️ and ABS MPD-Ready®️ Notations for Managed Pressure Drilling

Offshore operations continue to expand into more complex and challenging down hole conditions previously considered ‘undrillable.’ Drilling in subsea formations that require precise pressure balancing to maintain well bore integrity leads to a need for integrating safe and reliable Managed Pressure Drilling technologies that make well construction possible. 

MPD techniques have proven cost-effective, reliable and safe for many operators when drilling difficult onshore wells, as well as when drilling from mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) with a surface blowout preventer (BOP). MPD has become the new norm as operators have begun to view it as an enabling method in drilling increasingly complex and previously “un-drillable” deepwater wells using MODUs with subsea BOPs.


  • ABS MPD®️and ABS MPD-Ready®️Classification – For ABS-classed MODUs with or without ABS drilling system class (CDS) notations
  • Certification – For ABS-classed MODUs as well as non-ABS classed MODUs
  • Gain the MPD distinction that demonstrates readiness to drill in the difficult pressure regimes of deepwater reservoirs
  • Provide clients and regulators with an increased level of confidence in the installed MPD technology’s compliance with recognized safety standards and its integration with existing systems


Classification with ABS MPD®️ and ABS MPD-Ready®️Notations

ABS offers classification services to support the MPD system with design review and surveys during construction, installation, commissioning and maintenance.

Two class notations (ABS MPD®️and ABS MPD-Ready®️), whether for permanently or temporarily installed MPD systems, are available for ABS-classed drilling units that are in compliance with the ABS MPD Guide.

Where classification of an installed MPD system is requested by the client, the MPD system may be classed and distinguished in the ABS Record by the notation ABS MPD®️. The ABS MPD®️notation provides a comprehensive approach to assessing the design and associated integration into the drilling unit.

The notation ABS MPD-Ready®️is available where MPD operations are anticipated, however, operationally essential MPD equipment is not physically present. “ABS MPD-Ready” means that the asset is pre-fitted with provisions (e.g., general piping and tie-in points pre-installed) to deploy an MPD system.

These notations are also available for drilling units that may or may not be classed with ABS CDS notations.


Upon request by the client, ABS also offers certification of MPD systems, subsystems and equipment. Certification includes design review and survey to confirm that an MPD system and associated subsystem and equipment are in compliance with the ABS MPD Guide or other recognized industry standards. The certification services are available for assets classed with ABS, as well as for non-ABS classed units.

As the leading global provider of offshore classification services, ABS is deeply involved in evaluating the use of MPD technology in shallow water and floating rig applications through design verification and validation against established standards. ABS has worked closely with the industry to develop the ABS Guide for the Classification and Certification of Managed Pressure Drilling Systems (ABS MPD Guide) that specifies the classification and certification requirements for MPD systems, subsystems and equipment. 

The ABS MPD Guide was developed with extensive input from many industry stakeholders, including operators, drilling contractors, original equipment manufacturers and regulatory agencies. It also incorporated lessons learned from implementing MPD systems on multiple rigs, helping to reduce the chance of incidents, enhance overall system reliability and promote safer drilling globally.


Case Study: MPD System Classification

Questions about ABS MPD®️
or ABS MPD-Ready®️ 
services? Contact our Offshore advisors for assistance with your MPD projects.


Additional Media


Webinar: Drilling the 'Undrillable'
HPHT Equipment
Managed Pressure Drilling

U.S. Trademark Reg. No. 5,997,649 and 5,997,650  (Feb. 25, 2020)