DUBAI, UAE --Transportation of the hull of a new sixth generation drilling rig, the Aker Spitsbergen, is under way from Dubai Drydocks to the Aker Kværner Stord yard in Norway, which is building the deck.
This is one of two hulls under construction for Aker Drilling, the other being theAker Barents. Statoil has contracted the Aker Spitsbergen for three to 10 years' service in the Halten/Nordland region off mid-Norway. The other rig will work for Aker Exploration under a three-year contract, also on the Norwegian shelf.
Aker Drilling claims these two Aker H-6e rigs, based on its proven Aker H-3 and H-4.2 designs, will be the largest and most advanced semis of their kind. They will be able to drill wells to a subsurface depth of more than 10,000 m (32,808 ft) and to operate in water depths to 3,000 m (9,842 ft). They also will be able to operate year-round in cold climates and Arctic regions.
Among other benefits are the double RamRig, designed to increase drilling efficiency and operability by enabling parallel operations. The hull is designed to ensure efficient operation even during severe weather. The rigs will also have a high load and storage capacity, allowing them to operate for longer periods without supplies from the shore.