Rowan adds new jackup to its fleet

Rowan Companies Inc. took delivery of its newest jackup, the Bob Palmer, on Aug. 18 2003.

Rowan Companies Inc. took delivery of its newest jackup, theBob Palmer, on Aug. 18 2003.

The design for theBob Palmer is an enhanced version of Rowan's Super Gorilla-class jackup design and is called the Super Gorilla XL. The new rig is one of the largest jackups in the world.

The jackup is outfitted with 713 ft of leg, 139 ft more than theGorilla V, Gorilla VI, and Gorilla VII jackups, and has 30% larger spud cans, which enable the Bob Palmer to operate to 500-ft water depth in the Gulf of Mexico. The new jackup will also be able to work in Rowan's other niche areas off Eastern Canada and in the North Sea, where hostile environment conditions restrict the jackup's depth capability to 400 ft.

Rowan held a christening ceremony in Sabine Pass, Texas, on Aug. 16, where Danny McNease, Rowan's president and CEO, commented on the energy situation in America, calling the natural gas shortage "a crisis."

McNease told participants that Rowan has strongly stated the need for increasing domestic natural gas production for more than two decades and has built premium class rigs to carry out deep gas drilling in the GoM. The newest addition to the fleet is another step toward meeting that need, he said.

Bob Palmer, newly retired from his position of president and CEO of Rowan, said theBob Palmer is "the most expensive jackup rig ever built." That is a trend that began with the first new jackup built by Rowan in the 1970s, Palmer said, noting that cost in the case of Rowan's newbuilds equates to value.

TheBob Palmer's initial assignment will be to drill a 25,000-ft well in the GoM. Drilling is scheduled to begin in the next 30 days.


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