The Laguna Star, QGOG Constellation’s new ultra-deepwater drillship, arrived, Nov. 7, in Brazil. Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard, located in South Korea, built the Laguna Star as well as the Amaralina Star drillship, which is currently in operation by QGOG.
The unit will be operated by its subsidiary, Queiroz Galvão Óleo e Gás (QGOG), in water depths of up to 10,000 feet and well depths of up to 40,000 feet. It is equipped to operate in ultra-deepwater including the Brazilian pre-salt area.
The Laguna Star is the second drillship to be operated by QGOG, after Amaralina Star, which arrived in Brazil in August, 2012. The unit contributes to expanding and diversifying QGOG’s portfolio in ultra-deepwater drilling.
“The arrival of Laguna Star is another key milestone for the QGOG Constellation’s ultra-deepwater operations and, together with Amaralina Star, reinforces our operational track record,” said QGOG Constellation CEO Leduvy Gouvea.
These two drillships are chartered to Petrobras under six-year contracts, with options to renew for six additional years. Drilling services will be provided by QGOG.
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The unit was built to operate in ultra-deepwaters to water depths of up to 10,000 feet and to drill wells depths of up to 40,000 feet. It will be able to operate in the Brazilian pre-salt area.
The Amaralina Star incorporates the highest technological standards and will contribute to expanding and diversifying QGOG’s expertise in ultra-deepwater drilling. QGOG differentiates itself through deploying cutting-edge technology and a specialized and well-trained workforce.
“Operating the Amaralina Star, a state of the art ultra-deepwater rig, is a key milestone for the Company, as it will be the first drillship we will operate, expanding our know-how in the area of offshore operations”, said QGOG President Leduvy Gouvea.
The Amaralina Star was built by the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard, located in South Korea. The shipyard is also currently building the Laguna Star drillship, which belongs to QGOG Constellation and will be operated by QGOG.
The two units have been chartered to Petrobras under a six-year contract, with options to renew for six additional years. Drilling services will be provided by QGOG.
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Chevron Corporation announced that the Pacific Santa Ana, a deepwater drillship built to Chevron’s specifications, has arrived in the Gulf of Mexico to work for Chevron under a five-year contract. Pacific Santa Ana is the first drillship designed with the capacity to perform dual gradient drilling (DGD).
“Pacific Santa Ana will enable us to demonstrate dual gradient drilling, which has the potential to change the way deepwater wells are drilled,” said George Kirkland, vice chairman, Chevron Corporation. “This new process builds on our record of technology leadership in deepwater.”
The drillship, build by South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industroes, is an upgraded Dual Activity Samsung 12000 design dynamically-positioned drillship capable of operating in moderate environments and water depths up to 3,657 m (12,000 ft) using 18¾” BOP and 21” OD FT-DGD drilling riser and equipped for single and/or Dual Gradient Drilling (DGD)
“The addition of Pacific Santa Ana as Chevron’s fifth drillship in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico demonstrates our long-term commitment to developing America’s energy resources,” said Gary Luquette, president of Chevron North America Exploration and Production Company. “We are bullish on the Gulf, where robust energy exploration and development is vital to our nation’s economy and energy security.”
Unlike conventional deepwater drilling, which uses a single drilling fluid weight in the borehole, dual gradient drilling employs two weights of drilling fluid – one above the seabed, another below. This allows drillers to more closely match the pressures presented by nature and effectively eliminates water depth as a consideration in well design. DGD also allows drillers to more quickly detect and appropriately react to downhole pressure changes, which can enhance the safety and efficiency of deepwater drilling operations.
Pacific Santa Ana is equipped with a DGD riser, a mud lift pump handling system, six mud pumps – three for drilling fluid and three for seawater – extensive fluid management system enhancements and more than 72,000 feet of DGD-related cables. After additional equipment is installed and tested, Pacific Santa Ana will be used for exploratory and development drilling in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
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