CATEGORIZED | 2011, Departments, July/August

Drilling & Completion News

Posted on 14 July 2011

Rowan to build ultra-deepwater drillships with second BOPs

Rowan Companies and Hyundai Heavy Industries have entered into turnkey contracts for the construction of two ultra-deepwater drillships with a cost of approximately $605 million each. The drillships are expected to be delivered in late 2013 and mid-2014. The agreement includes an option for an additional drillship of the same specification, exercisable in Q3 2011, for delivery in Q4 2014.

The drillships are of the GustoMSC P10,000 design and are capable of drilling wells to depths of 40,000 ft in waters of up to 12,000 ft. The DP-3 compliant, dynamically positioned drillships will be equipped with retractable thrusters, dual-activity capability, five mud pumps, dual mud systems and a maximum hook-load capacity of 1,250 tons. Each will also be equipped with a seven-ram BOP incorporating full acoustic backup control and storage and handling facilities for a second BOP.

The drillships feature hull integration with below-deck riser storage, four million-lb riser tensioning, main load path active-heave drawworks with crown-mounted compensation, three 100-ton knuckle boom cranes, an active-heave 165-ton crane for simultaneous deployment of subsea equipment, a variable deck load capacity of 20,000 tons and accommodations for 210 personnel.

Rowan says it intends to equip these rigs with 2,000 ft of additional riser so they will be fully outfitted upon delivery to conduct operations in waters up to 12,000-ft deep. In addition, each drillship will be equipped with a second BOP for minimizing well and between-well nonproductive time.

Matt Ralls, Rowan president and CEO and 2011 IADC chairman, commented, “We are excited to take this first step into the ultra-deepwater sector. This investment will expand the breadth of Rowan’s drilling services and enable us to address significant market and customer opportunities in the deepwater arena.”

Petrobras hires Ocean Rig Corcovado, Mykonos

Petrobras has awarded contracts to Ocean Rig for two drillships, each for 1,095 days. The contract for the Ocean Rig Mykonos will commence after its delivery from Samsung Heavy Industries in September 2011, while the contract for the Ocean Rig Corcovado will commence in direct continuation of its current contract with Cairn Energy offshore Greenland.

Diamond wins Anadarko deals, to build 3rd drillship

Diamond Offshore Drilling is building a third ultra-deepwater drillship with Hyundai Heavy Industries to be delivered in Q2 2014. The unit will be dynamically positioned, have a seven-ram blowout preventer, dual-activity capability, five mud pumps and a maximum hookload capacity of 1,250 tons. It will be designed for operations in up to 12,000 ft of water.

The company has also entered into two contracts for its two previously announced newbuild drillships, the Ocean BlackHawk and Ocean BlackHornet, with Anadarko Petroleum. The rigs are each contracted for five years commencing in late 2013 and early 2014, respectively. Both are under construction at Hyundai’s shipyard in South Korea.

Gulf Drilling orders 2 newbuild jackups from Keppel

Gulf Drilling International has entered into contracts with Keppel FELS to build two KFELS B Class Bigfoot jackups, scheduled for delivery in Q3 2013 and Q3 2014. The rigs will serve as the cornerstone of Gulf Drilling’s expansion plan in Qatar, said chairman Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi.

Hyundai delivers Deepsea Metro I drillship

Deep Sea Metro took delivery of the Deepsea Metro I sixth-generation drillship from Hyundai Heavy Industries on 22 June. Odfjell Drilling has secured a contract with BG Group for the newbuild drillship on behalf of Deep Sea Metro for a firm duration of one year, plus three six-month options, for a drilling campaign in Tanzania. Before that contract commences, however, the rig will be assigned to Woodside Energy for one well in South Korea. The rig is the first of two ultra-deepwater drillships ordered by Deep Sea Metro; the second vessel is scheduled for delivery from Hyundai at the end of November this year. The Deepsea Metro II has a contract with Petrobras.

Petrobras board OKs bidding process for 21 new rigs

The Petrobras Board of Directors has given the go-ahead for the bidding process to award contracts for up to 21 offshore drilling rigs to be built in Brazil. Two contracts will be awarded for each rig: a leasing contract with the successful bidder, and a rig operation service contract. Companies invited can submit a proposal for one or more batches of one or more rigs, up to a total of 21 units. Certification of domestic content will be a requirement, with minimum figures specified by the National Petroleum Agency. The bidding process is part of Petrobras’ strategy to contract up to 28 new rigs to be built in Brazil for exploration in ultra-deep waters, including the pre-salt fields. Petrobras awarded the first batch of seven rigs in February this year to Estaleiro Atlantico Sul.

Seadrill wins contracts, to build semi-tender

The Offshore Resolute will drill for Santos in Bangladesh for at least 130 days.v

The Offshore Resolute will drill for Santos in Bangladesh for at least 130 days.v

Seadrill has been awarded contracts for two jackups and a semisubmersible and has entered an agreement to build a new semi self-erecting tender rig.

First, a subsidiary of Santos awarded Seadrill a contract for the Offshore Resolute jackup for operations in Bangladesh. The assignment will have a minimum duration of 130 days for three firm wells plus two optional wells. Commencement of the contract is scheduled to begin in Q3 2011 in direct continuation of the rig’s existing contract.

Seadrill also has won a contract from PTTEP in Thailand for the West Leda jackup for a firm period of nine months and an option of six months. Commencement is scheduled for Q2 2011 in direct continuation of the rig’s existing contract.

North Atlantic Drilling, in which Seadrill has a 75% ownership, received a letter of award for the West Alpha semi for operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. It covers a two-well commitment in the Balder field to start in Q3 2012 in direct continuation of the rig’s current contract.

Separately, Seadrill has ordered from Keppel FELS a new semi-tender for delivery in Q2 2013. The rig will be based on a similar design and specification as the West Jaya, which was delivered from Keppel FELS in March this year. Both rigs will be suited for harsh environment and deepwater operations upon their completion.

Noble announces Santiago discovery in GOM

Noble Energy announced in early June a discovery at the Santiago exploration prospect in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The well, located in 6,500 ft of water on Mississippi Canyon Block 519, was drilled to a total depth of approximately 18,920 ft. Open-hole logging identified approximately 60 ft of oil pay in a high-quality Miocene reservoir.

This is the third discovery in Noble Energy’s Galapagos project, in addition to prior successes at Santa Cruz and Isabela. All three wells are expected to be online in early 2012.

Using the Ensco 8501 semi, Noble Energy will now proceed with completion operations at Santiago. Those operations are expected to last approximately two months, after which the company plans to return to drilling the Deep Blue prospect (Green Canyon 723). After that, the company plans to spud an appraisal well at the Gunflint discovery (Mississippi Canyon 948).

BHP Billiton 1st to bring newly drilled well online since Gulf moratorium

In early June, BHP Billiton Petroleum became the first company in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico to bring a newly drilled well into production since the moratorium was enacted in May 2010. The well was brought into production on 30 May 2011 on the BHP Billiton-operated Shenzi field. The SB-201 well was drilled to a total MD of 25,126 ft and was producing at approximately 17,000 bbl/day. This is the 11th producing well within the Shenzi field.

“We are pleased to be able to demonstrate that deepwater drilling and production can resume in a safe and reliable manner. Our organization has worked very hard over the past several months with regulators to have the ability to resume drilling operations and add new production to our deepwater Gulf of Mexico portfolio,” said BHP Billiton chief executive J Michael Yeager.

Keppel to build jackups for Standard, Vision Drilling

Keppel FELS has secured orders for five newbuild KFELS B Class jackups – four from Standard Drilling and one from Vision Drilling. The rigs for Standard Drilling will be delivered between the second half of 2013 and the first half of 2014; that company now has a combined fleet of seven rigs, all being built at Keppel FELS.

Keppel FELS will deliver the rig for Vision Drilling, a subsidiary of Dynamic Offshore Drilling, in Q1 2013. The rig will be able to operate in water depths of 350 ft with a drilling depth of 30,000 ft. Dynamic Offshore Drilling has the option to build an additional rig, to be exercised before Q3 2011.

Naresh Kumar, chairman of Dynamic Offshore Drilling, said, “With over 60% of the current jackup fleet over 25 years old, it is an impetus for us as experienced drilling contractors to invest in premium high-quality jackups with the world’s leading shipyard.”

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