By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Aug. 9 -- Rowan Cos. Inc. said it will expand its Tarzan-class rig construction program with the addition of three jack ups, bringing to four the number that will ultimately be built. The Houston-based drilling company last year reported the development of the Tarzan rigs, which will target deeper drilling on the Gulf of Mexico's Outer Continental Shelf (OGJ, Oct. 8, 2001, p. 42).
The first of the rigs—the Scooter Yeargain—is now under construction and is expected to be ready for service by midyear 2004. The three additional Tarzan-class rigs are expected to be delivered by yearend 2006, Rowan said. In aggregate, the rigs will cost $300 million to complete.
"The Tarzan-class jack up will provide more-efficient drilling beyond 15,000 ft, operating in up to 250 ft of water," Rowan said. Less than 10% of the more than 50,000 wells drilled to date within this depth of water have reached a drilling depth greater than 15,000 ft, Rowan noted.
The company said it hopes to capture a "niche" market for those operating companies taking advantage of the recent implementation of deep gas royalty incentives by the US Minerals Management Service to drill for deep oil and gas in the gulf's shallower waters.