2011DC MicrositesMarch/April

Drilling and Completion News

Noble to construct three more ultra-deepwater drillships in S Korea

Noble Corp has announced two letters of intent from Shell, one for the Noble Jim Day semi and one for a newbuild drillship, as well as signed contracts to build three ultra-deepwater drillships with Hyundai Heavy Industries.The letter of intent for the Noble Jim Day is for operations in the US Gulf of Mexico, and the commitment went into effect in mid-February 2011. For the newbuild drillship, the letter of intent is for a five and a half-year contract expected to commence in the second half of 2013. The drillship will be capable of drilling in up to 10,000 ft of water.The three new ultra-deepwater drillships ordered from the South Korean shipyard are of the Hyundai Gusto P10000 hull design. Deliveries are scheduled for Q2 2013, Q4 2013 and the second half of 2014.

“We believe the fundamentals of the global ultra-deepwater market will continue to be strong in the decades ahead,” said David Williams, Noble chairman, president and CEO.

ENSCO 7500 moving to Brazil for Petrobras

Ensco will mobilize the ENSCO 7500 semi to Brazil under a 950-day drilling contract with Petrobras. Operations are expected to begin in Q3 2011 following shipyard upgrades in Singapore. Petrobras could extend the term for another 950 days.

Ensco also recently finalized a construction contract with Keppel FELS for the construction of two ultra-premium harsh-environment jackups. The first rig is scheduled for delivery in Q2 2013 and the second in Q4 2013. The contract includes options for two additional jackups of the same design, which is an enhanced version of the KFELS Super A design capable of operating in water depths up to 400 ft. The rigs will carry high-pressure, high-temperature equipment, 2.5 million-lb quad derrick and fully automated offline pipe-handling systems.

Atwood orders jackup, ultra-deepwater drillship

An Atwood Oceanics subsidiary has executed an agreement to build a third Pacific Class 400 jackup with PPL Shipyard in Singapore, for delivery in June 2013. Additionally, the drilling contractor has executed another agreement with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering in South Korea for the construction of an ultra-deepwater drillship to be named the Atwood Advantage. Delivery is expected by September 2013. The vessel will be DP-3 and capable of operating in water depths up 12,000 ft and drilling to a depth of 40,000 ft. It will be equipped with a seven-ram BOP, three 100-ton knuckle boom cranes and a 165-ton active heave “tree-running” knuckle boom crane.

Petrobras approves 7-rig contract for pre-salt

Petrobras’ board of directors has approved the bidding process for the construction in Brazil of the first seven of a total 28 offshore drilling rigs intended to meet the needs of its long-term drilling program, with priority given to pre-salt wells. The company expects the new rigs to become operational by 2015.By constructing the rigs in Brazil, the company expects to create 32,000 direct and indirect jobs in eight years. In the operations phase, 10,000 new positions are expected for 10 years.The charter contract will be signed with Sete Brazil, which will take on the construction contract with Estaleiro Atlantico Sul (EAS) shipyard. Petrobras holds a 10% stake in Sete Brazil, which allows companies experienced with rig operations to be partners and co-owners of the rigs.

Another bid that was in progress for the hiring of up to two rigs was canceled by the board. A third bidding process, to charter lots of up to four drilling rigs, was under review.


Crosco's Cardwell 1 rig.
Crosco’s Cardwell 1 rig.

CROSCO rig drilling for Ascent Slovenia

CROSCO is providing its 900-hp Cardwell 1 rig for Ascent Slovenia’s evaluation well Pg-11 in Slovenia’s Petisovci-Lovaszi project area. The contract for drilling and integrated well services includes cementing, coring and casing running equipment. The contract also includes three optional wells.

Pride takes delivery of Mendocino drillship

Pride International accepted delivery of the Deep Ocean Mendocino drillship during a ceremony at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea in January. The rig is expected to mobilize to the US Gulf of Mexico and begin a five-year contract with a Petrobras subsidiary during Q2 2011.The Mendocino is one of five new drillships in Pride’s deepwater drillship expansion program with Samsung. The first two, the Deep Ocean Ascension and the Deep Ocean Clarion, were delivered in 2010. The fourth, the Deep Ocean Molokai, is scheduled to complete construction in December this year.

A fifth drillship has been ordered for delivery in mid-2013. Each of these drillships is designed to operate in up to 12,000 ft of water.

Chevron contracts Transocean newbuild jackups for Thailand

Transocean has been awarded five-year contracts for two newbuild Super B-class jackups to drill offshore Thailand for Chevron. Operations are expected to commence in Q1 2013 and Q3 2013.

The jackups, being built by Keppel FELS in Singapore, will be capable of operating in water depths up to 350 ft and drilling to 35,000 ft deep.

Maersk orders two harsh-environment jackups

Maersk Drilling has signed a contract with Keppel FELS for the construction of two harsh-environment, high-capacity jackups. The first rig is scheduled for delivery by the end of 2013 and the second approximately seven months later. The design of the rigs is an enhanced version of the Gusto MSC CJ-70-150MD design suited for operations in water depths up to 150 meters (492 ft).

“The decision to invest in additional offshore drilling rigs is based on our strong view on the fundamentals of the offshore drilling industry and our ambition to further strengthen our position in the markets we have chosen to be in,” AP Moller-Maersk Group CEO Nils Andersen said.

Drilling rig contracted for Range Resources’ first exploration well in Georgia

Range Resources and its Georgian partners – Strait Oil and Gas and Red Emperor Resources – have secured a rig for its upcoming Georgian drilling program. Edeco Petroleum Services will provide the rig, and operations were expected to begin in March 2011 and spud the following month. A drilling project manager, First Drill, was hired to assist in identifying the rig. “This is a significant and exciting milestone for the company as it paves the way for the Range’s first exploration well in Georgia,” said Peter Landau, Range’s executive director.

Aker orders two new ultra-deepwater drillships

An Aker Drilling subsidiary has confirmed the contract for the construction of two ultra-deepwater drillships with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering in South Korea. The two vessels are to be delivered in October 2013 and December 2013. The contract also includes two options for another two drillships.According to Aker, the new drillships will feature a double derrick for parallel operations in up to 12,000 ft of water; drilling depth will be to a maximum of 40,000 ft.

“This investment will be our next step in the development of Aker Drilling as a leading contractor in the ultra-deepwater and harsh-environment markets,” commented Geir Sjøberg, Aker Drilling CEO.

Diamond exercises option for 2nd drillship

A Diamond Offshore Drilling subsidiary has exercised an option to build a second ultra-deepwater drillship with Hyundai Heavy Industries, with deliveries scheduled for Q4 2013.The two drillships under construction are to be named Ocean BlackHawk and Ocean BlackHornet and are designed to operate in water depths up to 12,000 ft. They will have a seven-ram blowout preventer, dual-activity capability, five mud pumps and a maximum hookload capacity of 1,250 tons.

“Including our acquisitions of the Ocean Courage and Ocean Valor in 2009, we have now purchased, ordered or upgraded seven units with capabilities in 10,000 ft of water over the last four years,” said Diamond Offshore president and CEO Larry Dickerson.


Seadrill has signed a three-year contract with Chevron Thailand E&P for the T-12 tender rig, with a two-year option period. The contract is expected to commence in Q2 this year. T-12 will be the fifth such unit operating for Chevron.

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