In a $1.3 billion speculative venture, Frigstad Deepwater Ltd placed an order last week with CIMC Raffles for two, 7th generation ultra deepwater Frigstad D90™ rigs.
Rated to operate in water depths up to 12,000 feet and to drill to a total depth of 50,000 feet, the units will be outfitted with a DP3 dynamic positioning system, full dual activity hydraulic drilling package with 2 x 1,400 ST hoisting capacity and 2 x seven ram blow out preventers (BOPs).
The first two drilling units are scheduled for delivery at the end of Q4-2015 and Q2-2016 respectively with the option for an additional two more rigs. The construction, marketing and operation of the rigs will be managed by Frigstad Offshore.
Simen Skaare Eriksen, CEO of Frigstad Offshore, commented: “With these new-build orders, we continue building a solid foundation for further growth and developing the company into a leading operator of ultra deepwater drilling units at the very top end of this highly attractive market segment. These rigs represent yet another significant step forward in terms of equipment specifications, operational efficiency, flexibility and reliability, and we will be well positioned to take advantage of a strengthening ultra deepwater market. After the CIMC Group’s takeover of the Yantai Raffles yard, we have seen considerable improvements to infrastructure and execution skills at the yard, which provides us with confidence in their ability to deliver a successful project.”
The first Frigstad D90 rig ever built was the Scarabeo 9, which conducted its first three drilling campaigns off Cuba last year. All came up dry.
Although no commercially viable hydrocarbons were found, PVDSA reportedly gained enough valuable geologic information to warrant continued drilling operations off Cuban shores, albeit without the use of the Scarabeo 9 which has been reassigned to operations off West Africa with Saipem.
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