D&C News

Diamond Offshore announces new drilling contracts

Diamond Offshore Drilling has been awarded four drilling contracts from Petrobras. The commitments for the four semisubmersibles could generate a combined maximum total revenue of about $2.3 billion and represent 22 years of contract drilling backlog.

The Ocean Worker received a six-year commitment. It is currently working in Tobago on a six-month contract and is expected to begin work in Brazil in the third quarter of 2008.

Three other contract extensions were:

• The Ocean Yatzy received a five-year commitment for work expected to continue until the fourth quarter of 2014.
• The Ocean Winner received a five-year commitment for work expected to continue until the first quarter of 2015.
• The Ocean Alliance received a six-year commitment for work expected to continue until the third quarter of 2015.

Additionally, Diamond Offshore has received a two-well contract with an estimated duration of six months from Callon Petroleum for the Ocean Victory. It also entered a letter of intent for a one-year commitment for the Ocean America. Both rigs will operate in the US Gulf of Mexico.

New JDC jackup near completion

Japan Drilling Company’s new rig, the Hakuryu-10, is nearing completion at Singapore’s PPL Shipyard. It is JDC’s first newbuild rig in more than 20 years and the first rig JDC has built outside Japan. The Baker Pacific Class 375 design cantilever jackup will be capable of operating in water depths up to 375 ft (extendable to 400 ft) and of drilling up to 30,000 ft. The Hakuryu-10 was ordered in May 2005 and is expected to be delivered by mid-2008.

Transocean ultra-deep drillship awarded 3-year Anadarko contract

Transocean’s ultra-deepwater drillship Discoverer Spirit has been awarded a three-year contract by Anadarko Petroleum for drilling operations in the US Gulf of Mexico.The three-year contract is expected to commence in December 2010, following completion of the rig’s existing contract commitments in the US Gulf of Mexico. The rig is capable of operating in water depths of up to 10,000 ft.

Additionally, a subsidiary of Transocean has exercised its option to purchase a 50% interest in a joint venture company with Pacific Drilling. The joint venture company will own two ultra-deepwater Samsung-design drillships that are currently under construction in South Korea.

The first joint venture drillship, Deepwater Pacific 1, has a commitment for a four-year drilling contract, which may be converted to a five-year contract. It is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2009.

Deepwater Pacific 1 will be equipped to work in water depths of up to 12,000 ft and outfitted to construct wells up to 35,000 ft deep. Deepwater Pacific 2 will be equipped to work in water depths of up to 10,000 ft, upgradable to 12,000 ft, and outfitted to construct wells up to 35,000 ft deep.

Scorpion Offshore orders new jackup

Scorpion Offshore subsidiary Scorpion Rigs has agreed to exercise the first of its four options with Lamprell Energy to construct a LeTourneau Super 116E ultra-premium class jackup. The turnkey price of the rig, to be named the Offshore Mischief, is $175.9 million excluding drillpipe and handling tools. The rig is scheduled for delivery at the end of 2009. Scorpion still holds options to construct up to three additional LeTourneau Super 116E rigs at Lamprell.

Hollywood film to bring Noble rig to life, sci-fi style

The Noble Clyde Boudreaux will serve as the basis for the distant planet of Pandora in James Cameron’s sci-fi movie “Avatar.” The design team visited the rig in June 2007 to get the look and feel of its inner workings.

The movie will use a blend of live-action photography and new virtual photorealistic production techniques. However, the most believable movie sets (computer-generated or real) are based on elements of real environments. The film design team believed they would find all these elements on the Clyde Boudreaux. Movie production designer Rick Carter and supervising art director Kevin Ishioka received a guided tour of the rig led by Noble’s Therald Martin and rig manager Frank Febro.

Of particular interest to the designers were the mechanical systems, crew quarters, ballast control and power plant operations, all of which were measured and documented. Likewise, the team focused on the rig’s ultra-modern drilling and mooring systems as possible settings in the movie. In total, several hundred photos and detailed written descriptions of the Boudreaux will be translated into both real and virtual sets at a studio in New Zealand.

3 Parker rigs awarded new contracts

Parker Drilling Company announced the award of new contracts for three land rigs to subsidiaries operating in Mexico and Kazakhstan.

In Mexico, Parker has signed a two-year contract with an option for an additional year with GPA Energy S.A. de C.V., using Rig 122 for work in northern Mexico.

In Kazakhstan, Parker was awarded a two-rig, one-year contract with options by Maersk Oil Kazakhstan for land drilling services using Rig 247, which is completing refurbishments, and Rig 269, the first of Parker’s new high-efficiency 2,000-hp land rigs. The rigs will begin mobilizing to location during the first quarter of 2008. Parker is also constructing a second rig of this class in the US, with an anticipated completion date during the second quarter of 2008.

Parker’s new high-efficiency rigs incorporate many advanced features. They include: a hydraulic cylinder system to raise the mast and substructure without the use of engines and drawworks; “plug and play” adaptability; a reduced number of transport loads; enhanced safety features, including swing-up structures requiring fewer crew members for rig-up; an automated drilling system withAC technology and variable frequency drive; a 1-million-lb hookload mast and a 2,800-hp drawworks; sufficient rig floor clear height for managed pressure operations; a new mud system design for efficient mud processing; and flexible equipment additions for specific well programs.

Apache well tests 23.8 million cu ft in Egypt’s Western Desert

Apache Corp reported that its Jade-4 well in Egypt’s Western Desert test-flowed 23.8 million cu ft/day of natural gas and 2,107 bbl/day of condensate from the Jurassic Alam El Bueib-3G (AEB) formation. The Jade-4 is adjacent to the Jade-1x discovery, which logged 217 ft of AEB pay and 66 ft in the Jurassic Upper Safa formation in March 2007. The discovery was completed as a gas producer from the Upper Safa after a test of 25.6 million cu ft/day of gas. The Jade-4 was drilled to test the potential of the AEB, one of the most prolific reservoirs in the greater Khalda Concession. The latest well logged 234 ft of net pay in the AEB.

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