London-headquartered Ensco plc (NYSE: ESV) has ordered a new advanced-capability, ultra-deepwater drillship. It will be built at Samsung Heavy Industries, Co. Ltd.'s shipyard in Geoje, South Korea. The vessel, ENSCO DS-8, will be the sixth Samsung DP3 drillship in the Ensco fleet, extending the benefits of Ensco's fleet standardization strategy. It is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2014.
The contract also includes options for two additional drillships of the same design. Including commissioning, systems integration testing, project management and spares, the construction cost is expected to be approximately $645 million. Like the five Samsung ultra-deepwater drillships ordered by Ensco since 2007, the new unit will have advanced capabilities to meet the demands of ultra-deepwater drilling in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and a total vertical drilling depth of 40,000 feet.
New features on ENSCO DS-8 include retractable thrusters, enhanced safety and environmental features, improved dynamic positioning capabilities and advanced drilling and completion functionality including below-main-deck riser storage, triple fluid systems, offline conditioning capability and enhanced client and third-party facilities.
The new drillship is based on the proprietary Samsung GF12000 hull design measuring 755 feet in length and 125 feet in width. It will offer a payload in excess of 22,000 metric tons and a 1,250-ton hoisting system.
The rig's design and capabilities include numerous features that increase operating efficiency. Primary to these capabilities are enhanced and redundant offline tubular stand building features and a 165-ton active heave compensating construction crane, allowing for the deployment of subsea production equipment without interference with ongoing drilling operations. The rig, which will be initially outfitted for drilling in water depths of up to 10,000 feet, will be equipped with dynamic positioning in compliance with DPS-3 certification; six-5.5 megawatt thrusters for enhanced station-keeping; expanded drilling fluids capacity; a 15,000-psi subsea well control system with six rams, upgradable to seven rams and/or a second BOP stack; burner boom for well testing; and living quarters for up to 200 personnel.
"This addition to our fleet is in keeping with our strategy of standardization, which streamlines construction, operations, inventory management, training, regulatory compliance, repairs and maintenance," said Ensco Chairman, President and CEO Dan Rabun,. "We are very pleased to continue our successful newbuild drillship program with Samsung."
Ensco's three active DP3 drillships are currently contracted into 2016 in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and West Africa. A fourth, ENSCO DS-6, is undergoing pre-commissioning modifications in preparation for its first well assignment under a five-year contract with BP. ENSCO DS-7 is scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2013.
April 9, 2011