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Rowan orders two ultra-deepwater drillships

Posted on 07 June 2011

Rowan’s two newbuild drillships will be equipped with a second BOP for minimizing well and between-well nonproductive time.

Rowan’s two newbuild drillships will be equipped with a second BOP for minimizing well and between-well nonproductive time.

Rowan Companies is getting into the ultra-deepwater rig market with the order of two newbuild ultra-deepwater drillships to be constructed by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, South Korea. Deliveries from the turnkey contracts are expected in late 2013 and mid-2014.

“Our long-stated strategy has been to focus on and diversify our offshore drilling business, and 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,” Matt Ralls, Rowan president and CEO, said.

The agreement with Hyundai includes an option for an additional drillship of the same specification, exercisable in Q3 2011, for delivery in the last quarter of 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 hookload 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.

The construction cost of $605 million is based on a 12,000-ft capable rig equipped with 10,000 ft of riser in order to enable comparison with previous newbuild drillship announcements by other companies. Rowan said it intends to equip the rigs with 2,000 ft of additional riser so they will be fully outfitted upon delivery to conduct operations in waters of up to 12,000 ft. In addition, each drillship will be equipped with a second BOP for minimizing well and between-well nonproductive time. Further, the company will incur operational training and personnel ramp-up costs in readying the drillships to commence well operations. The cost of these added equipment, plus training and ramp-up costs, is estimated to be approximately $50 million per drillship.

Mr Ralls added, “These drillships will enable us to offer our customers unmatched capabilities at a competitive construction cost. With the innovative design and redundancies built into them, they should deliver significant efficiencies in well construction and field development for our customers. In addition, they will meet current country-required specifications and anticipated regulatory requirements.

“We believe these drillships, when delivered, will be the most capable in the global floating rig fleet and, given our proven operating reputation throughout the world, should find strong acceptance among oil and gas operators.”

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