SEADRILL has taken delivery of its seventh consecutive deepwater drilling unit in just 10 months. West Aquarius is a product of the DSME shipyard in South Korea.
The semi-submersible’s first drilling assignment is in Indonesia. Start-up of operations is expected mid-month, working for ExxonMobil on a three-year worldwide contract.
West Aquarius is a sixth-generation, high-specification deepwater semi. It has a high load-carrying capacity and an efficient drilling floor lay-out with improved safety and working environment measures. This rig can run parallel drilling operations and is designed with a dynamic positioning system and a water-depth capacity up to 3,000m (10,000ft).
Another new Seadrill semi, the West Phoenix, has started operations for Total Norge on the Victoria field in the Norwegian Sea. West Phoenix was delivered from Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea in March, 2008, arrived in Norway in August, 2008, and has since been undergoing commissioning work and preparation for operational start-up.
This rig has a three-year contract with Total Norge for operations in the North Atlantic region.
West Phoenix is also sixth-generation and is equipped for dual working. It has been constructed for winter operations in northern and other harsh-environment areas.
Also fresh off the production line, this time for Maersk, is the super-jack-up, Maersk Resolve. Built at Keppel FELS, it is the third of four high-efficiency jack-ups rigs for Maersk Drilling.
This class of high-efficiency rigs has a maximum operating depth of 107m (350ft) and is suitable for drilling deep, high-temperature/high-pressure wells to 9,000m (30,000ft) depth. The rigs are also highly automated for safe operations.
The first of sisters, Maersk Resilient was delivered in February, 2008, and is now in the Middle East on contract to Dubai Petroleum Establishment.
The second unit, Maersk Resolute, was delivered in August, 2008, and has been contracted to Dong Energy for operations in the Danish sector of the North Sea over three years.
Meanwhile, the fourth and final member of this batch is on track for delivery in Q2 this year.
Keppel FELS also recently delivered the Maersk Developer, the first of three semi-submersibles, to Maersk Drilling. It has gone to work for StatoilHydro for operations in the US Gulf of Mexico.