Offshore: Will each rig be equipped with a unique motion composition system?
Buchan: Yes, each Tiger drillship has a crown mounted compensator (CMC) that can act in either passive or active mode. The CMC is from Drilling Technological Innovations (DTI) in Houston. In January 2012, DTI was awarded a contract to supply fully integrated drilling motion compensation systems for the company's Tiger 1 and Tiger 2 drillships, with an option for a second pair.
The motion compensation package for the Tiger series includes DTI's slim-design single wireline tensioners with true 200,000-pound capacity at mid-stroke, advanced riser recoil system, full tension system control and crown-mounted compensator.
Offshore: How will the new drillships compete against older rigs when they enter the market? How does the company plan to stay competitive, especially in a down cycle that the industry is currently experiencing?
Buchan: The Tiger drillships have been built for a very good cost, under $300 million, but the equipment on board is all state-of-the-art. With the build cost we can offset this and give our clients a one-of-a-kind sixth-generation drillship with offline capabilities, reliability, excellent safety systems, comfortable accommodations and office space, all for around the same operating cost that a third- or fourth-generation midwater mobile offshore drilling unit would cost. Our drillships can do more tasks more efficiently than the older drillships, so we believe the delivery of the Tiger opens a new type of contract strategy for oil companies.
Offshore: What is your assessment of the contracting market for drillships in Asia?
We believe that Opus' entry into the market will encourage longer term contracts. Companies in the region can easily handle a long-term contract with a new vessel such as the Tiger that has the flexibility to operate from 300 to 5,000 ft (91 to 1,524 m) and that can be mobilized much faster than a semisubmersible.
Offshore: What are the company's long-term goals? It has been said that Opus will not enter the North Sea market and will focus solely on the midwater segment. Are there plans to enter other markets and geographical areas?
Buchan: Opus' long-term goals are to own and operate 8-12 MODUs in the midwater segment. We do have plans to own semisubmersibles, and they will be targeted toward North Sea, West Africa, Southeast Asia, and Australia.
Offshore: How did the company save on build cost?
Buchan: We saved by building the drillships in China, where they charge for the cost to build, and don't charge by the market's current value. With that being said, the equipment installed is sourced from every major international supplier, such as Cameron, DTI, ABB Group, Hyundai, PH Hydraulics & Engineering, and Ingersoll Rand.
We are not adverse to spending money on operational items to keep our rigs safe, but we do mandate that money is well spent and that procedures are done correctly the first time. Opus Offshore is very particular about maintenance, details, and ensuring a visually appealing final product. Overall, they look good and they will operate well in a safe and efficient manner. Our aim is to reduce the clients' well delivery costs.
- Length Overall (LOA): 170 m (559 ft)
- Breadth: 32 m (105 ft)
- Draft: 10.5 m (34 ft)
- Moon Pool dimensions: 19.6 m x 11.8 m (64 ft X 39 ft)
- Bulk Mud: 8 x 42 m3 (11,800 ft3)
- Potable Water: 1,270 m3 (7,988 bbls)
- Sack Material: 10,000 sacks
- Base Oil: 470 m3 (2,960 bbls)
- Diesel Fuel (MDO) 2,550m3 (16,039 bbls)
- Variable Load: ~18,000 metric tons (19,841 short tons)
- Liquid Mud: 4,145 bbl active & 7,900 bbl reserve