Shell, Frontier to build deepwater/arctic drillship

Shell EP Offshore Ventures Ltd. and Frontier Drillships Ltd. has signed a joint venture to build a new drillship concept for deepwater and arctic environments.

Offshore staff

LONDON -- Shell EP Offshore Ventures Ltd. and Frontier Drillships Ltd. has signed a joint venture to build a new drillship concept for deepwater and arctic environments.

Called "Bully" rig, it will be able to drill with surface BOPs in 12,000 ft (3,657 m) water depths and will feature an ice class hull. The first vessel is expected to work in the Gulf of Mexico by early 2010 and to be operated by Frontier.

"Shell has a significant requirement for drillships in the short to medium term to enable us to undertake our deepwater and potential arctic drilling programs," says Matthias Bichsel, Shell E&P executive vice president, development and technology. "This concept will lead to our drillship requirements being met at lower cost and with improved environmental performance. This, coupled with the ability to rapidly deploy the 'Bully' rig to Shell deepwater projects between areas like the Gulf of Mexico, Nigeria, Brazil, the Far East, and northwest Europe, brings tremendous advantages for managing our drilling prospects and their sequencing."

'Bully' Rig Technical Specifications
Efficient transit speed: 12 knots
Length: 188 m (617 ft)
Water depth capability 12,000 ft (3,657 m)
Drilling depth: 40,000 ft (12,192 m)
Emission performance: Exceeds US EPA Tier II air emissions standards

10/15/2007

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