DALLAS -- Ensco International expects the ENSCO 8500, the first of its seven new ultra deepwater semisubmersible drilling rigs, to begin operations in June. This two-month delay from the earlier estimated April start-up is due to a recent decision to install different deck cranes on the rig. The company elected to replace the equipment because of mechanical and reliability issues with the original deck cranes.
ENSCO 8500 is contracted to Anadarko and ENI for work in the Gulf of Mexico. The replacement of ENSCO 8500 cranes is not expected to impact delivery of the other 8500 Series rigs, the company says.