ENSCO International has placed yet another contract for an Ensco 8500 class ultra-deepwater semi-submersible drilling unit – the seventh in the series. The $560million order has been placed on spec with Keppel FELS in Singapore, with delivery expected during H2 2012.
This latest unit will be part of the company’s eight-rig deepwater fleet that includes the Ensco 7500 deepwater semi that has been in service since 2000.
The first four of the 8500 series rigs to be delivered are contracted to customers for term work starting at delivery; meanwhile, the other three are being actively marketed.
The Ensco 8500 series deepwater semi-submersibles are based on a proprietary Ensco design. Features include a two-million-pound quad derrick; offline pipe-handling capability; automatic station-keeping ability, and 150-person living quarters.
This class will be capable of drilling in waters to 2,590m (8,500ft) and is said to be especially well suited for deepwater development drilling.
Daniel W. Rabun, Ensco chairman, president and CEO, said: “We continue to execute on our strategy to expand our deepwater presence and again look forward to working with Keppel FELS on this important project.
“Our $3.1billion investment in the Ensco 8500 series rigs demonstrates our commitment to playing a meaningful role in the growing deepwater market. With our current seven-rig new-build programme, no other company will have a larger ultra-deepwater semi-submersible rig fleet.”
Petrobras is to the fore in the new-build headlines again, with Sevan Marine reporting a firm contract for a unit being built for Brazil’s leading energy company; and Scorpion placing a contract on the back of a $1.1billion contract.
Sevan’s contract with Petrobras will have a fixed term of six years, with start-up by end-2011. It was previously reported that the start-up would be by year-end 2012. Anticipated revenues over the period are expected to be about $975million, including bonus and mobilisation fee.
At Scorpion, corks doubtless popped as a result of winning a six-year contract with Petrobras for its new-build deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig, DSS-38, currently under construction and due for delivery from Keppel Fels at the end of 2011.
This DSS-38 class is a dynamically-positioned, four-column semi-submersible capable of drilling wells to a depth of 8,500m (27,890ft) in water depths to 2,400m (7,874ft). The total estimated cost of this rig is $700million.