Ensco hires Samsung to build deepwater drillship

Ensco PLC announced plans to add another newbuild drillship to its fleet to help fulfill customer demand for deepwater vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa, and elsewhere.

Samsung Heavy Industries will build the ultradeepwater Ensco DS-10 for $625 million in Samsung’s South Korea shipyard. The drillship is slated for delivery in third-quarter 2015.

“We continue to see very strong demand for rigs in existing deepwater markets along with growing demand from emerging exploration areas,” said Dan Rabun, Ensco chief executive officer.

Ensco spent $1.35 billion on newbuilds in 2012 and has dedicated $1.2 billion for newbuilds this year.

Already, Samsung is building the Ensco DS-8 and Ensco DS-9, scheduled for delivery in 2014.

The Ensco DS-10 will measure 755 ft long and 125 ft wide. It will feature a 1,250-ton hoisting system with enhanced offline capability. The DS-10 initially will be outfitted to work in 10,000 ft of water but is being designed to drill in 12,000 ft of water. It will have a total vertical drilling depth of 40,000 ft.

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