Fred Olsen upgrading fleet for drilling upturn

Following a quiet 2009, drilling contractor Fred Olsen Energy says enquiries are picking up for its fleet of semisubmersibles and drillships.

Offshore staff

OSLO, Norway -- Following a quiet 2009, drilling contractor Fred Olsen Energy says enquiries are picking up for its fleet of semisubmersibles and drillships.

The ultra deepwater drillship Belford Dolphin is under contract to Anadarko Petroleum through April 2013. In November, the vessel completed its five-year class renewal survey.

Blackford Dolphin has completed a one-well program for Reliance Industries off Oman, and currently is off India’s east coast undergoing repairs.

Borgny Dolphin is on contract with Petrobras through September 2013. The semi started a five-year class renewal survey/upgrade last April which revealed that the level of steel structural replacement work required had been underestimated. The estimated cost of this work and the survey has been revised upwards from $145 million to $160 million. In March, the rig is due to undergo an inclination test and inspection program.

In November, the Byford Dolphin sailed into Westcon in Olen, Norway, for its five-year class renewal survey and upgrade work. The survey has been completed, and the rig is undergoing final acceptance tests before starting a three-year, $355-million drilling contract later this month in the UK North Sea with BP Exploration Operating Co.

Borgsten Dolphin, currently in Invergordon, northern Scotland, for its class renewal survey (due to be completed next month) has a letter of intent from Hurricane Exploration for two wells west of Shetland in May, due to take 75 days in total to drill. The rig should be available for new contracts in July. Also in Invergordon, and available for new assignments, is the company’s accommodation semi Borgholm Dolphin.

Fred Olsen has three rigs in service offshore Norway. The Bideford Dolphin is under contract to Statoil through January 2011, the Bredford Dolphin has a one-well contract with RWE Dea Norge, and the Borgland Dolphin has a four-year assignment, managed by Rig Management Norway, on behalf of a consortium of eight oil companies.

02/17/2010

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