|Russell McCulley • Houston|
Noble Corp. has approved a plan to separate its drilling fleet into two business units, effectively creating a new company comprising its standard specification jackups and floaters. The new entity will own and operate a fleet of five drillships; three semisubmersibles; 34 jackups; two submersibles; and one FPSO, theNoble Seillean. The spinoff company will also operate the Hibernia platform in Canada.
Noble Corp. will continue to own and operate its high-specification assets, including ultra-deepwater drillships, semisubs, and high-spec and harsh environment jackups.
Noble said the new company could file for an initial public offering later this year or early 2014. The spinoff is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
"The purpose of the separation is for Noble to move forward with our development as a robust high specification and deepwater drilling company through continued execution of newbuilds and fleet enhancements," said David Williams, who will remain chairman, president and CEO of Noble. "By separating these two businesses, we believe each company will be able to better leverage the overall value of its fleet by focusing on the drivers of its particular business."
|Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore successfully mated the topsides and hull of the semisubCOSLProspector in late September. COSL Drilling will take delivery of the rig, the fourth deepwater semi built by the Chinese fabrication yard, in 3Q 2014. The semi is operable in water depths up to 1,500 m (4,921 ft) and will be customized for harsh North Sea conditions. (Photo courtesy CIMC)|
Keppel adds to Mexico order book
Keppel Offshore & Marine subsidiary Keppel AmFELS has a $240-million contract with Perforadora Central to build a KFELS B Class jackup. Scheduled for delivery in 4Q 2015, the rig will operate offshore Mexico in water depths up to 400 ft (122 m). The new contract brings to 13 the number of KFELS B Class jackups ordered for the Mexican market since 2010, Keppel said.
The company also announced the official opening of the 620,000-sq m (6.67 million-sq ft) Baku Shipyard in in Azerbaijan, a joint venture of SOCAR, Azerbaijan Investment Co., and Keppel O&M, which will be responsible for management and operation of the yard.
Inocean to design CAT I for Statoil
Oslo-based Inocean won a contract with Statoil for the concept and option for front-end engineering design for the Statoil CAT I drillship. Statoil is developing the drillship for anticipated work in extreme arctic conditions. Inocean's winning concept is based on the firm's INO-80 drillship design. CEO Jon Erik Bergen called it "the most important contract for Inocean ever."
|The platform supply vessel Blue Protector left the Ulstein Verft yard bound for the spot market in the North Sea, where the vessel will be managed by Atlantic Offshore. Blue Protector is the final newbuild in a series of six PSVs of the PX121 design, which features the X-BOW hull. The PSV is 83.4 m (274 ft) long by 18 m (59 ft) wide with a load capacity of 4,100 metric tons. The PX121 vessels are adapted for light ice conditions "to be prepared for work further north," Ulstein said.|
Transocean orders new ultra-deepwater drillship
A five-year, $1.1-billion contract with Chevron will back the construction of a new Transocean ultra-deepwater drillship. Designed to operate in water depths to 12,000 ft (3,658 m), the vessel will have a pair of 15,000-psi BOPs, and will accommodate an upgrade to a 20,000-psi BOP when the technology is available. Construction is set to begin in 4Q 2014 at DSME in South Korea, with delivery expected in 2Q 2016. Transocean has six additional ultra-deepwater drillships under construction at the DSME facility.
Maersk grows ultra-harsh jackup fleet
Maersk Drilling has submitted an order with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) for theXL Enhanced 4 ultra-harsh environment jackup rig. The $650-million order is backed by a five-year contract with BP for P&A work at the Vallhall field offshore Norway. The rig is scheduled for delivery in mid-2016; Maersk Drilling's contract includes options for two additional units with delivery in 2016-2017. The first three rigs in the XL Enhanced series are under construction at KeppelFELS in Singapore.