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USA: Nautronix Supplies NASeBOP for Rowan’s Two Ultra-Deepwater Drillships

Nautronix have secured an order from a major BOP supplier to supply their NASeBOP (Emergency BOP Acoustic Control System) to be installed on Rowan’s two new ultra-deepwater drillships.

Nautronix’ NASeBOP Control System provides a method of backup control of critical BOP functions in the event of failure of primary communication and control. At the heart of the system is Nautronix’ ADS² (Acoustic Digital Spread Spectrum) signalling technology. The system achieves a highly reliable communications link from a surface vessel to a subsea isolation device, such as a full BOP, or a simple isolation device such as which would be used during surface BOP drilling.

The NASeBOP subsea system consists of two Subsea Control Units (SCU) connected to remote transducers. Each SCU is capable of controlling and monitoring up to eight functions. This includes control of an Emergency Disconnect Sequence (EDS). A 10 meter cable allows remote transducers to be positioned away from the SCUs, thus reducing the risk of shading or multi path effects caused by adjacent structures or subsea objects. Two SCUs provide system redundancy as each can be used independently for control and monitoring.

Mark Patterson, CEO of Nautronix comments: “We have invested more than £1M in Research and Development over the past year with a significant amount in the area of our NASCOM product family supporting acoustic switches for BOPs. We are very pleased to have been awarded these contracts only a few weeks after the NASDrill RS925 orders for these drillships. It is a great testament to the technology, products and the investment Nautronix has made and I am delighted that such a well known and respected company such as Rowan Companies, Inc. have chosen Nautronix ADS² acoustics for their new deepwater drilling rigs. Nautronix continues to build upon our strong track record in the Acoustic BOP control system market.”

The Nautronix system offered is the only system in the world that is fully compliant with API 16D and 17E standards and all test ports are testable to full operating depth (4000msw/5800psi)

The two NASeBOP systems will be delivered in 2013.

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Strong Demand for UDW Drillships Spurs Seadrill to Order One More from SHI (South Korea)

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Seadrill continues to see strong demand for modern ultra-deepwater (UDW) drilling rigs driven by high oil prices and large deep-water discoveries and increased development drilling. Specific interest, mainly from operators in West Africa and the Americas, demonstrate a trend towards higher day rates and longer term contracts.

With yard costs at very attractive levels and Seadrill’s proven track record with respect to successful new build construction the Company today announced the order of a sixth drillship from Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) with delivery in the second quarter of 2014. The expected total project cost is less than USD600 million, in line with the 5 units under construction and with delivery in 2013 and 2014. The yard contract was originally between a party related to Seadrill’s major shareholder Hemen Holding and Samsung, as part of a larger shipyard deal, but Seadrill has been given the right to take over the contract at original terms.

Seadrill’s current new build program now includes 17 units: 6 ultra deep-water drillships, 1 harsh environment semi submersible, 5 tender rigs and 5 jack ups, all to be delivered in the period from Q4 2012 to Q1 2015. In addition, Seadrill has received a fixed price option for a further ultra deep-water drillship. The six drillships under construction are of the same design and will have a hook load capability of 1,250 tons and a water depth capacity of up to 12,000 feet targeting operations in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and West and East Africa. Also, these units will be outfitted with seven ram configuration of the Blow out Preventer (BOP) stack and with storing and handling capacity for a second BOP.

CEO of Seadrill Alf Thorkildsen says:

“With the available capacity in 2013 and 2014 Seadrill is uniquely positioned among its peers to take advantage of strong demand for drilling services with high dayrates and longer charter contracts. We will continue to aggressively build Seadrill’s earnings and further expansion of the building program is expected in the months to come. Together, these developments provide for continued value creation and an increased dividend capacity.”

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South Korea’s Samsung Wins USD 1.1 bln Order for Two Drillships

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Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), one of South Korea’s “Big Three” shipbuilding companies says it has received an order for the construction of two drillships.

The order’s estimated value is approximately USD 1.1 billion and it comes from a “large-scale” American corporation. According to the contract details posted on the Korea Exchange (KRX), SHI will make the deliveries no later than August 31, 2014.

This has been a fruitful month for Samsung Heavy Industries. On February 13, the company announced it had received the order from INPEX for the construction of an offshore central processing facility (CPF) for the Ichthys LNG project in Australia.

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USA: Busy December Ahead of Pacific Drilling’s Drillships

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Pacific Drilling S.A. today provided an update on the status of its ultra-deepwater drillships.  The Pacific Bora commenced its three year contract with a wholly owned Chevron subsidiary on August 26, 2011, and continues to operate in the Agbami Field in Nigeria. The rig has reached performance levels in line with industry expectations.

In addition, following previously announced repairs and upgrades, the Pacific Scirocco is mobilizing from quayside in Port Ngqura, South Africa, to Nigeria, where it is expected to commence a one year contract with Total E&P Nigeria Limited in December 2011.

The Pacific Santa Ana will complete upgrades prior to expected delivery in December 2011, before mobilizing to the US Gulf of Mexico for a five year contract with Chevron as the world’s first dual gradient drilling rig.

The Pacific Mistral arrived in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, on November 21, 2011. The rig will now undergo regulatory approvals and acceptance testing with its client, Petrobras, prior to beginning operations, which are expected to start in December 2011.

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Dolphin Drilling to Provide Two Drillships for Anadarko’s Mozambique Operations

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Dolphin Drilling Ltd., said on Friday it has entered into contracts with Anadarko Petroleum for the provision of the drillship Belford Dolphin and its newbuild drillship under construction by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

The contracts are each for four years and are expected to be in support of Anadarko’s future long term drilling programmes offshore Mozambique.

The Belford Dolphin contract will commence January 1st 2012 in direct continuation of its existing contract with Anadarko which had previously been scheduled to continue to April 2013. The value for the Belford Dolphin contract is approximately $701 million.

The four year term of the newbuild drillship contact cewill begin on commencement of operations offshore Mozambique expected in the fourth quarter 2013 following delivery by HHI and mobilization to Mozambique. The newbuild drillship contract value is approximately $727 million including a mobilization fee of $15 million. In connection with the newbuild contract it will be invested in a second BOP, estimated to USD 35 million.

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