New vessels, rigs & upgrades

Aug. 1, 1998
Veritas' new Viking seismic acquisition vessel. Transocean's Discoverer Enterprise due for delivery in November. [10,589 bytes] Saga Petroleum has recently postponed drilling its first well on the Gjallar Ridge in the Norwegian Sea due to a one-year delivery delay of the Bideford Dolphin semisubmersible currently under conversion at the Harland & Wolff yard in Belfast. The rig is presently undergoing commissioning and completion testing at the Harland & Wolff yard in Belfast.
Marshall DeLuca
Veritas' new Viking seismic acquisition vessel.

Bideford Dolphin delays Saga well

Saga Petroleum has recently postponed drilling its first well on the Gjallar Ridge in the Norwegian Sea due to a one-year delivery delay of the Bideford Dolphin semisubmersible currently under conversion at the Harland & Wolff yard in Belfast. The rig is presently undergoing commissioning and completion testing at the Harland & Wolff yard in Belfast.

According to Fred Olsen Energy, owner of the rig, the Bideford Dolphin has been converted with a high degree of new and sophisticated equipment, such as the Aker Maritime RamRig drilling package, which also comprises a significant degree of automation and maximum adjustment for modern requirements for health, environment, and safety. The delay and fixing of a final date for commissioning completion has been attributed to these technical solutions.

Fred Olsen does contend, however, that even taking into account the extensive test programs which the rig is now undergoing, the rig will be completed earlier than suggested by Saga. The delay has caused the postponement of Saga's drilling of the Tranche 21 well on the UK shelf west of the Hebrides until 2000. Saga wishes to evaluate and build on the experience gained from drilling on the Gjaller Ridge which cannot begin until completion of the Bideford Dolphin.

ENSCO receives contract for 7500

Burlington Resources has awarded ENSCO a definitive contract for a dynamically positioned deepwater semisubmersible rig of the ENSCO 7500 design. The 7500 design is a deepwater semisubmersible capable of operating in up to 7,500 ft of water. The rig can be adapted for either DP or mooring. The rig can accommodate up to 8,500 short tons of variable deck load. The Burlington rig will be outfitted for 5,000 ft water depths with the ability for 7,500 ft at Burlington's option and will operate in the Gulf of Mexico. Construction is expected to be completed in two years. The initial contract for the rig is three years at approximately $181 to $187 million, depending upon equipment options selected by Burlington.

Flagship seismic vessel launched

Veritas DGC has launched its new flagship seismic acquisition vessel, the SRV Veritas Viking, in Bergen, Norway. The Viking is the newest multi-element vessel in the company's fleet. The Viking will be initially equipped to deploy with dual sources and eight, 24-bit RDA streamers, but was designed to deploy in excess of 12.

The vessel can also handle and tow 12,000-meter streamers in order to meet the latest requirements for extra-long recording offsets. The Viking is also equipped with the latest Syntrak data acquisition systems, Spectra integrated navigation, advanced onboard data processing systems, and full quality assurance capabilities.

The Viking is currently undergoing sea trials prior to beginning data production in the North Sea. The vessel was built by Mjellam & Karlssen in Bergen, Germany and was reportedly delivered on time and on budget.

Two bows?

Aker Maritime has developed a new drilling and production ship concept which features a bow at both ends which allows for the ship to turn the bows into the waves without the use of a turret. This design allows for the risers and mooring systems to be attached directly to the hull. The design also features the drilling deck on the same level as the rest of the deck allowing for increased efficiency, a higher level of safety, and better working environment.

The lack of turret also allows the ship to install several drilling systems which can work in parallel or together, reducing lag time between operations. The design has been given the DPS (drilling production storage) designation and has confirmed good characteristics in model tank tests. Aker has stated that a great deal of interest in the ship has already been received. Aker has also developed a pure drillship concept for the international market based on the design offering the same qualities as the DPS.

Ingalls receives Enterprise contract

Ingalls Shipbuilding has been awarded the much sought-after contract for the outfitting of Transocean's new Discoverer Enterprise drillship. The contract is estimated at $3.6 million and calls for the final outfitting and loading and integration of the final major components aboard the ship, including the substructure and derrick.

The Enterprise is currently in the final stages of construction and undergoing hull sea trials at Astilleros Espanoles - Astano, in El Ferrol, Spain. The drillship will be equipped to drill in up to 10,000 ft of water and will be contracted to Amoco. Amoco signed a contract with Ingalls in March to oversee the testing and trials program for the drillship. It is expected to begin operation in mid-November.

Two new 2D seismic vessels

TGS Nopec has two new 2D seismic vessels set for delivery in the coming months. The M/V Northern Access, set for September, measures 74.3 meters by 10.8 meters, while the M/V Atlantic Access, due out in late September or October, is larger at 80.3 meters by 16.3 meters. Both vessels feature Spectra integrated navigation systems including Sprint software for onboard navigation processing and QC, including production of final P1/90 position data. They are also equipped with ProMax seismic processing systems with possible upgrade to full 2D processing, bolt air guns, a maximum of 4 sub arrays and at 5,000 cu in. in size. The streamers are Hydroscience 24-bit SeaMUX digital Slim streamers and can accommodate a maximum streamer length of 8,000 meters (640 x 12.5 meter groups). Both vessels record field data to 3590 cartridges.

Vessel briefs

  • Marathon has contracted for a new Sedco Express deepwater semi that will begin work in the Gulf of Mexico in the third quarter of 2000.
  • Friede & Goldman International has signed a contract to outfit the Bingo 9000-2 fifth generation, dynamically positioned, deepwater semisubmersible for Ocean Rig. The Bingo 9000-2 will arrive at Friede & Goldman in December and will be completed by the fourth quarter 1999. The contract is estimated at $135,000.
  • Global Marine and Harland & Wolff have agreed to extend the Option Agreement for delivery of a third Glomar 456 class dynamically positioned deepwater drillship until August 15.
  • Atwood Oceanics announced that the Atwood Eagle semisubmersible recently incurred some damage during drilling off Egypt. The rig will complete its current drilling program, but will enter a shipyard for repairs prior to beginning its next program off Italy.

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