An artists rendition of the Ensco DS-8

ABS says it has been selected by Ensco as the class society for a new advanced-capability, ultra deepwater drillship to be built at the Samsung Heavy Industries, Co. Ltd (SHI) Shipyard in Geoje, South Korea.

Known as the ENSCO DS-8, the vessel will be the sixth Samsung DP3 drillship in the fleet, with drilling capabilities in water depths to 12,000 feet and a total vertical drilling depth of 40,000 feet.

“Samsung is the market leader in drillship newbuilds and utilizes advanced shipbuilding technology. We’re proud that ABS will be the first class society to deliver this new drillship design,” says In Yong Jeong, ABS District Principle Surveyor. “This contract demonstrates that ABS has the experience and expertise to class deepwater drillships that sometimes come with inevitable technical challenges.”

One of the highlights of the new ENSCO DS-8 is it’s retractable thrusters.  By retracting the forward thrusters, it increases the efficiency of the vessel while in transit while also reducing the overall maintenance burden, thus reducing down time.  The vessel will also have 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.

“An ongoing trend of new deepwater oil and gas discoveries around the globe is creating a high demand for equipment capable of tapping those resources,” says Ensco Chairman, President and CEO Dan Rabun.  “Our track record of leading and deepwater performance increasingly makes us the driller of choice for operators working in complex offshore fields. Our high-grading strategy will ensure that we continue to be equipped to respond to rising demand.”

The drillship also is set to receive the environmentally friendly notations from ABS, including ENVIRO+ denoting that the vessel adheres to enhanced environmental standards and the dynamic positioning notation +DPS-3. Construction cost, including commissioning, systems integration testing, project management and spares is expected to be approximately $645 million.

The vessel is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2014.

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