China Oilfield Services Limited’s fourth deepwater semisubmersible drilling rig, the COSL Prospector, is being built at CIMC Raffles’ yard in Yantai, China.
This large North Sea capability machine is the latest evidence that China is determined to carve out a powerful position in the global offshore drilling market.
CIMC Raffles said that construction of the new unit started on July 3 when Li Yong, CEO of COSL, and Yu Ya, president of CIMC Raffles, pressed the start button of the CNC plasma machine to begin first steel cutting.
COSL’s three earlier deepwater semisubmersible rigs are working in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea on behalf of Statoil.
The COSL Prospector is designed to meet the stringent requirements of the North Sea, which presents what is still regarded by the oil and gas industry as one of the most hostile maritime environments in the world.
The huge semi-submersible is jointly designed by COSL, Grenland Group, and CIMC Raffles, and is due to be delivered in Q3 2014.
It is classed DP3 vessel and can operate in water depths to 1,500m and drill to 7,600m depth. It is capable of operating under Arctic conditions to minus 20degC.