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Scorpion Offshore marks entry to deepwater floater market with order to construct new semi

 A compact fifth-generation rig design, the DSS 38 has an enhanced deck load capacity and a user-friendly layout.

Scorpion Offshore has signed a contract with Keppel FELS to construct a deepwater semisubmersible at Keppel’s shipyard in Singapore. Construction is expected to span 42 months, with delivery in Q4 2011 at an anticipated cost of approximately $700 million, including owner furnished equipment, commissioning, project management and financing costs.

This rig will be based on Keppel’s proprietary DSS 38 design, a dynamically positioned, four-column semisubmersible capable of drilling wells to 8,500 m in water depths up to 2,400 m. The rig was ordered pursuant to a letter of commitment (LOC) from Petrobras for operations beginning prior to June 2012. The LOC has a duration of six years with potential revenue of approximately US $1.1 billion plus operating cost inflation adjustments throughout the contract term.

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Transocean, Petrobras announce 10-year rig deal

Transocean announced in late June that its subsidiaries have reached an agreement with subsidiaries of Petrobras and Mitsui to acquire a newbuild ultra-deepwater drillship under a capital lease contract. In conjunction with the capital lease contract, subsidiaries of Petrobras and Transocean have entered into a 10-year drilling contract covering worldwide operations, with an option by Petrobras to extend the term of the drilling contract by up to an additional 10 years.

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Chairman elected for IADC Well Servicing Committee

IADC Well Servicing CommitteeJoe Eustace, president of Pioneer Production Services, was elected chairman of the new IADC Well Servicing Committee at the group’s meeting in Houston on 19 June. The mission of the IADC Well Servicing Committee is to advance the interests of IADC’s well-servicing members in HSE, well control, training, regulation/legislation and other areas where IADC’s expertise proves advantageous. The IADC Well Servicing Committee will pursue initiatives both independently and in collaboration with other key industry organizations.

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Advanced Rig Technology Committee work groups meet, elect officers

IADC ART CommitteeSubcommittees of the IADC Advanced Rig Technology Committee met during the first two weeks of July, took a hard look at the issues surrounding rig automation, now and in the future, and chose leadership to chart the committee’s direction.

The Software Interface Subcommittee, meeting on 1 July, sought answers to pursue a “lofty goal” of barrier-free, standard electrical interfaces among all systems on drilling/production facilities, preferably with browser based-diagnostic tools. However, this level of harmony may prove unreachable.

Therefore, the group began with a more practical effort – to survey the needs of contractors and operators.

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Personnel, equipment supply challenge industry in time of growth

Claus ChurClaus Chur 

There’s no doubt that the drilling industry is growing. And although growth is good, it also comes with myriad challenges, said KCA DEUTAG director of technical services Claus Chur in his keynote address on the closing day of the IADC World Drilling 2008 Conference in Berlin.

Mr Chur, who served as the 2006 IADC chairman, referred to the keynote presentation given the day before by Professor Dr Kurt Reinicke of the Clausthal University of Technology Institute of Petroleum Engineering. Dr Reinicke had pointed out that demand for energy will continue to increase worldwide, and the majority of that demand must be supplied by oil and natural gas in the near future.

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Petroleum Development Oman makes RSS work in low-cost environment

Although hydrocarbon basins in Oman are located in the desert, where rig rates and spread costs are typically low, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has been able to make use of rotary steerable systems (RSS) in niche applications, said Moataz Riyami, well engineering delivery team leader for the thermal cluster at PDO, during a presentation at the IADC World Drilling 2008 Conference.

Rotary steerables can drill both straight and curved sections while rotating, unlike drilling motors, which have to be slid when drilling a curve. The elimination of sliding can solve many problems:

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North Sea Chapter announces annual safety award winners

NDC Safety AwardsBack row from left are: Peter de Bruijne, Sam Croft, Steve Coghill, all of Noble Drilling; news presenter Jackie Bird; Donald MacFarlane of NOV Brandt; and Roger Hodgson of KCA DEUTAG. Front row from left are Gert-Jan Windhorst of Noble; Gavin Sutherland and Jim Cameron of KCA DEUTAG; Russell Robertson of Transocean; Clement Ejebu of Stena Drilling; and Ivor McBean of Diamond Offshore. 

IADC North Sea Chapter (NSC) chairman Steve Rae of Seawell announced winners of the 2008 IADC NSC Safety Awards at the group’s annual dinner in Aberdeen on 16 May. Nearly 400 IADC members and guests attended.

Performance awards were presented for jackups, semisubmersibles and platforms based on safety statistics for 2007. Noble Drilling won in the jackup category, with Rowan Drilling as runner-up. Noble also won in the platform category, with KCA DEUTAG as runner-up. The semisubmersibles award went to Stena Drilling, with Diamond Offshore as the runner-up.

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IADC Career Connection holds Returning Military Campaign job fair

Fort Hood ICCTen drilling contractor companies participated in IADC’s second Returning Military Campaign job fair at Fort Hood, Texas, in May. 

IADC Career Connection (ICC) held its second Returning Military Campaign (RMC) Job Fair at Fort Hood, Texas, on 14 May. It was held in conjunction with the Army Career Alumni Program (ACAP) Semi-Annual Job Fair, which attracted 170 companies from across the US. Ten IADC member companies participated: Bandera Drilling, Chesapeake, ENSCO, Grey Wolf Drilling, Helmerich & Payne, Nabors International, Parker Drilling, Patterson UTI, Pride International and Transocean.

Recruiters met with more than 2,000 military – including artillery soldiers, infantrymen, medics, mechanics, electricians, aviators and even retiring officers – and their families.

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Gulf of Mexico's booming deepwater region illustrated in new MMS report

The newest deepwater report released by the US Minerals Management Service (MMS) shows that about 72% of the US Gulf of Mexico’s oil production is coming from wells drilled in 1,000 ft (305 m) or deeper, proving that operators continue to push this energy frontier.

In 2007, 54% of all GOM leases were located in water depths greater than 1,000 ft. In the two 2007 lease sales, Western Gulf Lease Sale 204 and Central Gulf Lease Sale 205, almost 70% of the tracts receiving bids were in water depths of 1,312 ft (400 m) or greater.

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ENSCO orders new ultra-deepwater semi from Keppel FELS

ENSCO International has finalized the construction contract with Singapore’s Keppel FELS Shipyard for an ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rig to be named ENSCO 8505. The total project cost currently is estimated at $537 million. Delivery is expected in the first half of 2012.

ENSCO 8505 is the company’s sixth ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rig in the ENSCO 8500 Series and will be part of the company’s seven-rig deepwater fleet that includes the ENSCO 7500 which has been in service since 2000. Four of the ENSCO 8500 Seriesrigs are contracted to customers for term work commencing upon delivery.

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