2011DC MicrositesNovember/December

Drilling & Completion News

DSME to deliver Atwood Achiever ultra-deepwater drillship by mid-2014

Atwood Oceanics subsidiary Alpha Eagle Co has signed a turnkey contract with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) to construct the Atwood Achiever ultra-deepwater drillship. The rig is expected to be delivered from DSME’s South Korean shipyard by 30 June 2014.

The Atwood Achiever will be identical to the previously ordered Atwood Advantage and will be DP-3 dynamically positioned, feature dual derricks and be able to drill in water depths up to 12,000 ft and wells to 40,000 ft. Also included are a seven-ram BOP, three 100-ton knuckle boom cranes and a 165-ton active heave “tree-running” knuckle boom crane.

Separately, the Atwood Condor ultra-deepwater semi, under construction at the Jurong shipyard in Singapore, won a 21-month contract from Hess Corp for work in the Gulf of Mexico. Delivery of the newbuild is expected in June 2012.

The multipurpose tower on the Noble Globetrotter I, contracted to Shell for 10 years, uses two revolving carousels to allow 35,000 ft of tubulars to be racked.

Noble inaugurates Globetrotter I deepwater drillship

Noble Corp inaugurated the Noble Globetrotter I ultra-deepwater drillship at Huisman’s new production hall in Schiedam, the Netherlands, on 1 October. The drillship, which was designed around Huisman’s multipurpose tower (MPT), will be delivered later this year, then mobilized to the US Gulf of Mexico under a 10-year contract with Shell.

The MPT is a compact box-type drilling tower replacing the conventional derrick. It uses two revolving carousels, each with two pipe rackers, to allow the racking of 35,000 ft of tubulars to support both a drilling side and a construction side, where tubulars can be prepared. This system of hoisting/handling leaves the drill floor open, providing better visibility for the driller and better movement for the crews, according to Noble and Huisman.

“It’s a much cleaner layout,” said David Williams, Noble chairman, president and CEO.

Further, the engine room is placed forward, underneath the accommodations, freeing up space in the aft. Riser is stored below deck, and it’s a flat deck essentially from the accommodations to the stern of the ship.

The MPT also allows the Globetrotter I to be a smaller-sized vessel (620-ft length) than many other ultra-deepwater drillships, although it can still drill in up to 10,000 ft of water and wells up to 40,000 ft deep.

The hull was built in Dalian, China, by Korea-based STX Offshore & Shipbuilding. The rig then sailed to Huisman’s facility in the Netherlands, where the company installed the drilling equipment.

A second Globetrotter-class rig is under construction with STX and Huisman; the rig also has a 10-year contract in place with Shell, and delivery is slated for 2013.

Discovery boosts E&P potential offshore Mozambique

Exploration and appraisal offshore Mozambique have substantially increased Offshore Areas 1’s potential in the deepwater Rovuma Basin, Anadarko Petroleum said. A recent exploration well drilled at the Camarao prospect encountered approximately 240 net ft of natural gas pay and confirmed static pressure connectivity with the previously announced Windjammer and Lagosta discoveries. The Camarao well also discovered approximately 140 net ft of natural gas pay in shallower Miocene and Oligocene sand packages not encountered in previous wells. Anadarko estimates that the Windjammer, Barquentine, Lagosta and Camarao complex holds at least 10 trillion cu ft of recoverable natural gas reserves.

Precision secures contracts for 8 newbuilds for US, Canada

Precision Drilling Corp has signed contracts for eight newbuilds – four Super Singles for the Canadian market and four Super Triple 1200 rigs for the US. This pushes to 38 Precision’s 2011 newbuild rig program; 18 of them are expected to be delivered this year and the remaining 20 in 2012. All have long-term contracts.

Maersk Convincer to drill offshore Malaysia

Maersk Drilling will provide the Maersk Convincer jackup to Petronas Carigalifor work offshore Malaysia. The firm contract duration for the 375-ft, high-pressure, high-temperature unit is one year, and there are two one-year options.

Operations are expected to begin in Q4 2011 following a two-year survey to be carried out after completion of the rig’s current contract in Vietnam.

Additionally, Maersk has signed a contract with LOTOS E&P Norway for the Maersk Guardian harsh-environment jackup. It will be put to work on the 7/8-7 well offshore Norway, with an estimated duration of 55 days to begin in Q3 2012.

“The new operators we have seen establish themselves in Norway over the past years confirm our positive outlook for this market,” said Claus Hemmingsen, Maersk CEO and member of the AP Moller – Maersk Group Executive Board.

KCA DEUTAG secured a contract from TAQA Bratani that includes platform drilling and maintenance services to the Tern platform in the North Sea. Contract duration is three years.

KCA DEUTAG wins North Sea, Polish shale contracts

TAQA Bratani recently awarded a three-year contract to KCA DEUTAG to supply platform drilling and maintenance services to four North Sea drilling platforms – Eider, Tern, North Cormorant and Cormorant Alpha.

Separately, KCA DEUTAG also secured a contract with Marathon Petroleum Poland to drill four shale-gas wells in Poland, with an option for seven more wells. Operations began in October using the company’s 1,500-hp EURO-rig T-207.

“The potential of unconventional oil and gas reserves in Europe is truly significant. … We are excited by this early contract award and anticipate further new rig investments to address the shale-gas market,” KCA DEUTAG CEO Holger Temmen said.

Seadrill semis to go to North America, Ghana upon delivery

Seadrill recently agreed on contracts for two newbuild semis under construction at the Jurong shipyard in Singapore.

The client for the five-year West Capricorn deal wasn’t disclosed, but operations will take place in North America. Delivery of the Friede & Goldman ExD Millennium design rig is scheduled for late December 2011.

The West Leo will conduct deepwater operations for Tullow Oil offshore Ghana for one year, to begin in mid-April next year. This unit is the second of the Moss Maritime CS50 Mk II design that Seadrill is putting into operations.

Anadarko, Apache, Noble Energy to share contract for ENSCO 8505 semi

Ensco has entered a shared drilling contract for the ENSCO 8505 ultra-deepwater semi with Anadarko Petroleum, Apache Deepwater and Noble Energy. The initial contract term is two years or two rotations per operator, whichever is longer, for the US Gulf of Mexico. The rig is expected to be delivered from the Keppel FELSyard in Q1 2012.

Ensco also has ordered a new harsh-environment jackup with Keppel FELS, to be delivered in Q3 2014. The rig will be an enhanced version of the KFELS Super A design, the same as the two jackups ordered earlier this year. All three will be capable of operating in water depths up to 400 ft.

H&P boosts FlexRig construction pace to meet increasing demand

As of late October, Helmerich & Payne had announced commitments during this fiscal year to build a total of 58 new FlexRigs, all with multi-year contracts. These newbuilds represent a 28% increase in the number of FlexRigs in H&P’s fleet. In response to increased market demand, the company recently ramped up its construction pace from three FlexRigs a month to four per month.

Petrobras strikes oil, gas in Sergipe-Alagoas basin

Petrobras confirmed the presence of oil and gas accumulations in the ultra-deepwaters of the Sergipe-Alagoas basin after completing a lined well formation test in the Barra well. This is the first exploratory project in ultra-deepwaters on the Sergipe state side of the basin. The Barra well is located in water depths of 2,341 meters (7,680 ft), 58 km off the Sergipe coastline. Permeability and porosity conditions were found to be excellent in the reservoirs at depths of 5,050 meters and 5,400 meters.

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