Rising customer demand has prompted London-based Ensco Plc to order its second ultra-deepwater drillship in the past three months.
Ensco said Tuesday it would exercise one of two options for the construction of an ultra-deepwater drillship based on the Samsung GF 12000 hull design.
The vessel, ENSCO DS-9, will be the seventh Samsung DP3 drillship in the Ensco fleet. The drillship will be built at Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. Shipyard in South Korea. Delivery is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2014.
Ensco on April 5 ordered ENSCO DS-8, the first drillship based on the GF12000 hull design. Construction cost of the latest drillship ordered is expected to be comparable to the estimated cost of approximately $645 million for the ENSCO DS-8.
The new drillship will measure 755 feet in length and 125 feet in width, and offer a payload in excess of 22,000 metric tons and a 1,250-ton hoisting system. It will initially be outfitted for drilling in up to 10,000 feet of water, but will have advanced capabilities to meet the demands of ultra-deepwater drilling in up to 12,000 feet of water and drilling to a total vertical depth of 40,000 feet.
The drillship will also be outfitted with:
"Customer demand has continued to rise and has become even more broad-based due to new discoveries in emerging basins," said Ensco Chairman, President and CEO Dan Rabun in a statement.
"The near term supply of deepwater rigs is limited and we believe supply-demand dynamics will continue to support favorable day rates, which have risen sharply in the past year," Rabun commented.
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