2010DC MicrositesSeptember/October

D&C News

Noble to build 2nd Globetrotter drillship

A Noble Corp subsidiary has signed contracts to construct a new dynamically positioned ultra-deepwater Globetrotter-class drillship with South Korea’s STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co and Dutch-based Huisman Equipment. The hull for the Noble Globetrotter II will be built in Dalian, China; the unit will then be delivered to the Netherlands for installation and commissioning of the topside equipment. Operations are expected to commence on this unit in the second half of 2013. Its delivered cost, excluding capitalized interest, is estimated at $550 million. Both of the Globetrotter units are contracted to work for Shell under 10-year terms. Dayrates during the first five years are $410,000/day, with a 15% performance bonus potential. Dayrates during the second five years will be based on a market index. The new drillship will use Huisman’s multipurpose tower design, capable of conducting drilling and pipe assembly operations at the same time. It will be capable of drilling to a vertical depth of 40,000 ft and operate in water depths up to 10,000 ft.


Seadrill’s West Orion semisubmersible recently began operations offshore Brazil for Petrobras under a six-year contract. The rig reached Brazil from Singapore in early July and had been preparing for the start-up of operations since.

Seadrill lands rig contracts, extensions

Seadrill recently announced several new rig contracts and contract extensions for work in China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Venezuela. Husky Oil China awarded the West Hercules semi a six-month extension, valued at approximately US$90 million. This extension will keep the ultra-deepwater unit offshore China until May 2012.

Premier Oil in Indonesia has signed up the newbuild jackup West Callisto for a program in the Natuna Sea, with a firm duration of 230 days and an option for 180 more days. Also in Indonesia, PT PAN has contracted the newbuild jackup West Leda for 90 days.

Seadrill’s majority-owned subsidiary, Scorpion Offshore, has received a binding agreement for the Offshore Vigilant in Venezuela with Cardon IV S.A. The work is for two wells firm, plus two optional wells. Further, the Offshore Resolute has been contracted for 55 to 70 days to work offshore Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the ultra-deepwater semi West Orion commenced drilling operations in July for Petrobras offshore Brazil under a six-year contract. The rig was delivered from Jurong Shipyard in Singapore on 20 April this year and arrived offshore Brazil in early July. It had been preparing for start-up of operations since.

2 wells strike gas for Chevron offshore Western Australia

Chevron’s Acme-1 exploration well has encountered approximately 896 ft (273 m) of net gas pay in the Carnavon Basin offshore Western Australia. The well, drilled in 2,880 ft (878 m) of water to a depth of 15,469 ft (4,715 m), is located in the WA-205-P permit area approximately 93 miles (150 km) from Onslow.

Close by, the Brederode-1 exploration well in the WA-364-P permit area encountered approximately 49 ft (15 m) of net gas pay just a few days earlier. The well was drilled in 4,550 ft (1,387 m) of water to a depth of 9,022 ft (2,750 m).

Diamond’s Ocean Shield jackup to become ENSCO 109

An Ensco subsidiary has purchased Diamond Offshore’s Ocean Shield jackup, a KFELS Super B Class design delivered in 2008. The rig will be renamed ENSCO 109. Its design includes 2 million-lb hoisting capacity, a 15,000-psi high-pressure BOP and nearly 5,000 bbls of liquid mud capacity, making it suitable for drilling deep gas wells. The design also permits drilling in water depths up to 350 ft to a total well depth of 35,000 ft.

Reliance, Carrizo in joint venture to drill Marcellus acreage

Reliance Marcellus II, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, is entering a Marcellus Shale joint venture with US-based Carrizo Oil & Gas. Under the proposed transaction, Reliance will acquire a 60% interest in Marcellus acreage in Central and Northeast Pennsylvania, and Carrizo will own a 40% interest. The joint venture will have approximately 104,400 net acres of undeveloped leasehold. This acreage is expected to support the drilling of approximately 1,000 wells over the next 10 years.

Latshaw rig drilling in Granite Wash

Latshaw Drilling’s Rig 17 recently began drilling in the Granite Wash in the Texas Panhandle. It is a National 1320-UE (2,000 hp) diesel-electric/SCR rig rated to 25,000 ft. It has a 500-ton AC top drive and has skidding capabilities for multi-well pad drilling. Rig 18, a 1,500-hp skidding rig, is under construction and will be completed by year end.

Woodside expands Carnavon Basin area with 2 successful wells

Woodside Petroleum’s Larsen Deep-1 and Alaric-1 wells in Western Australia’s Carnavon Basin have intersected gas over several zones within the Triassic target. Larsen Deep-1 is planned to be drilled to a total depth of 5,030 m. It’s located within 9 km of Woodside’s existing Central hub discoveries at Martell-1, Noblige-1 and Larsen-1.

On Alaric-1, initial analysis of drilling fluids suggests the gas could be comparatively liquids-rich. The well, located in Woodside’s Claudius hub, is being deepened to ensure the full gas column was penetrated. Wireline logging will be conducted on both wells to recover gas samples.

H&P to build 16 new FlexRigs for US drilling

Helmerich & Payne (H&P) has entered into agreements to build and operate 16 new FlexRigs. These rigs will be built under multi-year term contracts and will operate in the US. The names of the customers and other terms were not disclosed. This brings to 19 the total number of new rigs the company has announced during fiscal 2010, four of which have been completed and 15 are under construction. H&P expects to deliver these new rigs through the middle of the 2011 calendar year. Since March 2005, the company has committed to build a total of 150 new FlexRigs at a total cost of approximately $2.4 billion.

Marathon’s deepwater Droshky on production

Marathon Oil’s Droshky development in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico has begun production on time and under budget. Droshky is expected to produce approximately 50,000 net bbl/day of oil equivalent at its peak.

Located in approximately 3,000 ft of water in Green Canyon Block 244, about 160 miles southwest of New Orleans, Droshky is a major subsea project consisting of four development wells tied back to the third-party Bullwinkle platform with dual, 18-mile flowlines.

At a final development cost of less than $900 million, the initial stage of development is expected to produce 35 million of the estimated 60 million bbl of oil equivalent net resource. Future expansion of the project and ultimate total recovery will largely depend on well performance.

Dave Roberts, Marathon executive vice president, upstream, said Droshky proves that the company can take a deepwater field from initial discovery to production in a little more than three years.

Geothermal drilling kicks off in The Hague


The LOC 400 will drill two geothermal wells in the city centre of The Hague to depths of approximately 2,400 m to 2,700 m.

Huisman Equipment’s LOC 400 land drilling rig, operated by Northern Dutch Drilling Co, recently started its second geothermal drilling project, this time in The Hague. The drilling will ultimately provide 4,000 homes and 20,000 sq ft of office space with hot water for heating purposes and hot tap water.

The LOC 400 will drill two wells in front of a hospital in the city centre of The Hague – one well for production and one for injection purposes. The geothermal heating system works as a closed circuit: Hot water is pumped up from the production well, and the cooled water flows back into the injection well. The two wells will be drilled to depths of approximately 2,400 m and 2,700 m.

The location of the project presents significant constraints to the location size, noise emissions and access. Moreover, the rig must work off of the local power grid. The LOC 400 is fully containerised and breaks down into 26 standard ISO containers, making easier its transport to location. Its electrical design allows the rig to be connected to the power grid, eliminating the need for diesel generator sets. In addition, the LOC 400 is equipped with casing while drilling technology to further reduce the noise and environmental impact.

The LOC 400 recently finalised its fifth project in Denmark. Three more LOC 400 units are under construction at the Huisman facility in the Czech Republic. An offshore version of the LOC 400 version is also being designed.

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