New vessels, rigs & upgrades

Statoil is on the hunt for new drilling rigs. The existing fleet of the company's contracted mobile rigs will have an average age of 22 years when most of the present contracts with options are due to expire in the 2005. Therefore, Statoil is seeking two to three new rigs capable of operating in water depths up to 500 meters to replace some of rigs currently available to it. Statoil currently has 16 rigs available for use, and regards the Transocean Wildcat, Byford Dolphin, and Deepsea

Oct 1st, 1998

Marshall DeLuca
Houston

Statoil seeking new drilling units

Statoil is on the hunt for new drilling rigs. The existing fleet of the company's contracted mobile rigs will have an average age of 22 years when most of the present contracts with options are due to expire in the 2005. Therefore, Statoil is seeking two to three new rigs capable of operating in water depths up to 500 meters to replace some of rigs currently available to it. Statoil currently has 16 rigs available for use, and regards the Transocean Wildcat, Byford Dolphin, and Deepsea Trym, ready for replacement. All three rigs were built in the 1970s.

Drilling Vice President Mads Grinød said, "We want a more modern fleet for safety, working environment, and operative reasons." The company is looking for five-year contracts with a smaller number of rig operators than at present, and hopes that others will aid in carrying the financial burden of new rigs. Grinød added, "Our goal of a more modern fleet could mean that we and our license partners must accept paying more to secure the improved safety and a better working environment offered by newbuildings."

Statoil has, however, recently finalized a five-year contract for the newbuild Stena Don semisubmersible to be built and owned by Stena Drilling. Construction will take place at the Kværner Warnow yard in Germany at a cost of $330 million. Delivery is set for spring 2001.

PGS christens FPSO in record time

Following completion of the construction and onshore commissioning phase, Petroleum Geo-Services has christened the Ramform Banff FPSO in Newcastle, England. The vessel has since set sail for Conoco's Banff Field in the North Sea to begin mooring and connection to subsea wellheads in order to start production in accordance with development plans.

The Ramform Banff was constructed in a record timeframe of only 19 months at the Hyundai Mipo Shipyard in Korea and Aker McNulty Shipyard in Newcastle. The vessel is the first FPSO built using PGS' proprietary "Ramform" design and has a production capacity of 95,000 b/d of oil. In addition to producing the Banff Field, the vessel will also tie in to Ranger Oil's Kyle Field, and the company is considering several addition tie-in opportunities.

PGS President and COO Bjarte Bruheim said, "The new Ramform FPSO vessel, with its record construction period and re-usability feature, has not only reduced this cycle time but also demonstrated that it can significantly reduce the cost of producing each barrel of oil."

R&B Falcon, Shell execute RBS-6 contract

R&B Falcon and Shell Deepwater Develop ment have now executed a firm five-year drilling contract for the provision of a new generation RBS-6 ultra deepwater moored semisubmersible. The new semi will have a variable deckload of 6,000 metric tons and will be equipped to operate in up to 8,000 ft water depths. The five-year drilling contract is anticipated to provide returns of $345 million, compared with expected construction costs of $255 million, exclusive of capitalized interest and other non-hardware costs. Delivery is set for November 1999 under a contract with Hyundai Heavy Industries which was announced in November of last year. The rig will initially work in the Gulf of Mexico, but is suitable for worldwide service.

First bare-deck hull delivered

The first bare-deck hull for Ocean Rig's Bingo 9000 deepwater semisubmersible has arrived at the Friede Goldman (FGO) shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The hull was delivered on schedule to the yard from the Dalian New Shipyard in China where pre-fabrication was completed. FGO will complete the outfitting of the vessel for delivery in August 1999.

First of three MPSVs in final stage

Semco is in the final outfitting stage on the first of a three vessel package to build a new class MPSV (multi-purpose service vessel) for Sedco Forex. The first vessel was originally being built as one of the largest Sub Chapter L lift boats ever built, but with ABS classification under MODU rules became an MPSV. The vessel was called Power 250, and was being built for Power Offshore Services, but about halfway through construction, Sedco purchased the vessel and contracted for two more of the same design. The vessel was redesigned to meet Sedco's operating requirement and was renamed the Prisa.

The Prisa will be self-propelled, self-elevating, and self-containted. It will be able to perform several well servicing functions such as drilling, multiple coiled tubing applications, wireline, and well maintenance. The vessel measures 156.6 ft in length, 103 ft in width, with three 160 ft legs. The operating depth is rated at 110 ft of water. The Prisa will have a 75-ft cantliever that skids out from the bow allowing a 25 ft by 14 ft drill pattern. The vessels are designed for workover, well intervention, and slimhole drilling to 10,000 ft. The vessels are slated for operation in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Galaxy II jackup delivered

Santa Fe International has taken delivery of the Galaxy II jackup from Keppel FELS of Singapore. The Galaxy II is a Keppel FELS Mod VI design Universe Class, heavy duty harsh environment jackup to be used in a five year association with the Sable Offshore Energy project. The jackup was delivered on-time in 21 months and costs remained within 2% of budget.

Sedco Forex names drilling rigs

Sedco Forex has announced the naming of it's two of its upcoming Sedco Express units:

  • Sedco Energy - for Texaco operation in the Gulf of Mexico, delivery fourth quarter 1999
  • Cajun Express - for Marathon operation in the Gulf of Mexico, delivery first quarter 2000.

Copyright 1998 Oil & Gas Journal. All Rights Reserved.

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