New vessels, rigs & upgrades

The Bingo 9000-1 (center) at the Friede Goldman Offshore Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. R&B Falcon's former Peregrine VI [22,223 bytes] SCORE continues six-month descent [34,716 bytes] R&B Falcon is doing its best to rally from a recent $85 million hit caused by the cancellation of two of its drillships. Texaco recently cancelled a three to five year contract with the company for the drillship Peregrine VIII, which was to be converted from a bulk carrier.

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Marshall DeLuca
Houston
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The Bingo 9000-1 (center) at the Friede Goldman Offshore Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.


R&B Falcon: the deepwater rally

R&B Falcon is doing its best to rally from a recent $85 million hit caused by the cancellation of two of its drillships. Texaco recently cancelled a three to five year contract with the company for the drillship Peregrine VIII, which was to be converted from a bulk carrier.

The drillship was contracted by Texaco in 1997 for work off Angola and Nigeria. Delivery was pushed back from the second quarter of 1999 to the end of 1999, while under construction at the Lisnave yard in Portugal, eventually resulting in cancellation. R&B is working on making amends with Texaco by offering a replacement for the Peregrine VIII in the form of the newbuild drillship Deepwater IV, which has been ordered speculatively from Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea.

Samsung has already delivered the Deepwater Pathfinder and is expected to deliver the second drillship, the Deepwater Frontier, in January - ahead of schedule. The Deepwater IV will be similar in design to these drillships. Cost is budgeted at $290 million and delivery set for the third quarter of 2000. The new drillship will be outfitted with the drilling equipment from the Peregrine VIII.

However, while negotiations for the new drillship are underway, Texaco has contracted the semi MG Hulme Jr. to drill three deepwater wells off West Africa in mid-1999. The rig will be under a nine-month contract at a dayrate of $165,000. The rig is now drilling the first of a three-well deepwater contract for Statoil off Nigeria.

R&B also cancelled the Peregrine VI drillship, also under construction at the Lisnave yard. The rig was under contract to Mobil and Phillips, which will expire by its own terms on January 1. R&B is in negotiations with the two companies to provide an alternative, but no agreement has been reached as of yet.

For the time being, the third Peregrine, Peregrine VII, still has a future. Construction is still underway at the Cammel Laird yard in the UK, but delivery has been pushed back from third quarter 1998 to March 1999 and costs have risen from $120 million to $197 million. The rig will be under a three to five year contract with Amoco off Angola upon completion.

On the revenue side, R&B was also able to extend the contracts for two of its semis. The Henry Goodrich and Paul B. Lloyd, Jr. were granted one-year contract extensions by BP for work in the North Sea. The dayrate will fluctuate between $150,000 and $161,000.

The company also recently bought a one-third share of Norway's Navis ASA. Navis has contracted to build the Navis Explorer 1 DP drillship, rated at 10,000 ft, and its sister vessel, the Navis Explorer 2. Both rigs are under construction at the Samsung South Korea yard. Under the terms of the agreement, R&B will contribute $50 million in equipment to Navis and will manage both drillships. The Navis Explorer 1 will be delivered in late 1999 at a cost of $300 million.

Ocean Rig changes up marketing

Ocean Rig and Sedco Forex have agreed to the immediate termination of the marketing agreement for the Bingo 9000-1 and 9000-2 deepwater semisubmersibles in "good spirit and in the best interest of both companies." Under the agreement, the rigs were marketed by Sedco to secure long-term contracts for the ultra-deepwater. However, according to Ocean Rig, several conflicts of interests arose between the two companies over the last few months and Ocean Rig has become increasingly involved in the marketing process. The conflicts of interest were attributed mostly to the depressed rig market. Ocean Rig also stressed that it was also working on shorter-term contracts in markets other than ultra-deepwater.

Since then, Ocean Rig has signed marketing and management agreements with Formaritima, a joint venture company between Maritima and Pride International for the marketing and operation of the two rigs offshore Brazil. Under the agreement Formaritima will immediately start marketing the rigs in Brazil for minimum contracts of 12 months and maximum contracts of 18 months. The rigs will generate about $110 million in revenues during the first 12 months of the contracts, which are anticipated to begin in November 1999 and February 2000. Ocean Rig will continue to market the rigs on a worldwide basis.

On another note, the second bare-deck hull, the Bingo 9000-2, has been delivered to Ocean Rig from Dalian New Shipyard. The hull measures 14,100 tons and will form the basis for a variable deckload capacity for the rig of about 7,000 tons. The hull is being shipped to the Friede Goldman Offshore Shipyard in Pascagoula, where the 9000-1 is currently under construction, via the Mighty Servant 1. The rig is set to arrive this month and will be delivered in about one year's time.

TDI and ABB interested in Belleli

TDI-Halter and new partner ABB are in the pursuit of a possible arrangement with Belleli shipyard of Italy. However, whether the arrangement will be for the sale of the yard or a lease, has not been finalized as of this writing. John Hastings, spokesman for TDI-Halter, said that Belleli was anxious for outside involvement. While both ABB and TDI-Halter were interested, they decided it was wise to join up for the arrangement. Belleli is the yard that has performed the construction for all of Shell's Gulf of Mexico TLP platforms including Auger, Mars, and Ursa.

Bideford Dolphin, delayed again

Originally contracted in 1996 and set for delivery in mid-97, the Bideford Dolphin semisubmersible has been consistently delayed for more than a year. The latest reports indicate that the semi will not see action until the first quarter of 1999. This has caused quite a headache for Saga, who contracted the rig from Fred Olsen Energy. The company's drilling program has suffered major delays and the company is currently in the market for an alternative rig to make up for the lost time. Saga is holding Fred Olsen responsible for delays and cost overruns.

Copyright 1998 Oil & Gas Journal. All Rights Reserved.

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