Chevron drilling deals include new drillship

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Mar. 1 -- Chevron Corp. has awarded Transocean Inc., Houston, three multiyear deepwater drilling contracts totaling $1.7 billion, one of which will require construction of a drillship to be dedicated to Chevron use for 5 years.

The contract for the newbuild, which according to Chevron will include "the most advanced drilling capabilities in the offshore drilling industry," will begin in second- quarter 2009.

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Yard Co. Ltd., Okpo, South Korea, will build the $650 million, dynamically positioned, double-hull drillship, to be named Discoverer Clear Leader. It will contain two drilling systems in a single derrick—allowing for parallel drilling operations—and will have a larger, stronger, more efficient top drive than conventional rigs have so wells can be drilled to 40,000 ft TD in water as deep as 12,000 ft, Chevron said.

The drillship, which will be an enhanced version of Transocean's three Enterprise-class drillships, also will have a variable deckload of more than 20,000 tons and an expanded high-pressure mud-pump system, expanded completions capabilities, and other features needed for deep drilling (photo, schematics, Dec. 18, 2000, p. 32).

Construction will take 30 months. Chevron will take delivery in the Gulf of Mexico.

Contract extensions
Chevron exercised a final 1-year option on Transocean's Discoverer Deep Seas deepwater drillship, which is expected to commence in January 2008, and awarded a 2-year contract extension, expected to start in January 2009.

Chevron also extended its contract for Transocean's Cajun Express semisubmersible. The 2.5-year extension is expected to begin in July 2007, following the rig's current contract assignment with Chevron in the Gulf of Mexico.

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