Ensco orders its eighth Samsung DP3 ultra-deepwater drillship

Posted on 10 June 2013

Ensco has ordered an additional advanced-capability DP3 ultra-deepwater drillship based on the Samsung GF12000 hull design. The vessel, ENSCO DS-10, will be the eighth Samsung DP3 drillship in the Ensco fleet. It will be built at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea, with delivery scheduled for Q3 2015. The agreement includes an option for an additional drillship of the same design.

Measuring 755 ft in length and 125 ft in width, ENSCO DS-10 will offer a 1,250-ton hoisting system with enhanced offline capability. Like ENSCO DS-8 and ENSCO DS-9, the new unit will have advanced capabilities to meet the demands of ultra-deepwater drilling in water depths up to 12,000 ft and a total vertical drilling depth of 40,000 ft. It will be initially outfitted to work in water depths up to 10,000 ft. Including commissioning, systems integration testing, project management and tubulars, the construction cost is expected to be approximately $625 million.

ENSCO DS-8 and ENSCO DS-9, also based on the GF12000 hull design, are scheduled for delivery in 2014. Ensco is currently the only drilling contractor offering the advanced features of the GF12000 hull design. Features of the drillship include: retractable thrusters; enhanced safety and environmental features; improved dynamic positioning capabilities; and advanced drilling and completion functionality, including below-main-deck riser storage, triple fluid systems and offline conditioning capability. The drillship also incorporates enhanced client and third-party facilities with living quarters for up to 200 personnel.

A 165-ton active heave compensating construction crane allows for deployment of subsea production equipment without interference with ongoing drilling operations. ENSCO DS-10 includes a 15,000-psi subsea well control system with seven rams and can accommodate a second BOP stack.

“We continue to see very strong demand for rigs in existing deepwater markets, along with growing demand from emerging exploration areas. Operators are also showing high interest in this iteration of the Samsung DP3 drillship, due to its advanced design and capabilities that improve drilling productivity and fuel efficiency – two key factors that affect the operator’s project costs,” said Ensco chairman, president and CEO Dan Rabun.

Ensco’s four active DP3 drillships are currently working in the US Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and West Africa. Three are contracted into 2016, and the fourth is contracted into 2018. A fifth drillship, ENSCO DS-7, scheduled for delivery later in 2013, is contracted to Total into 2016.

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