Diamond Offshore has announced that the semisubmersible Ocean Baroness is going to be upgraded to fifth-generation capabilities. The planned upgrade will be a greatly enhanced version of the Company's highly successful "Victory"-class upgrades The work will be completed at the Keppel FELS shipyard in Singapore. Upgrades include stability enhancements, self-contained chain/wire mooring for operation in water depths to 6,000 feet with 6,200 tons of operating variable deck load, 15,000 psi blowout preventers and riser with a multiplex control system. Other modifications to be made are a high capacity deck crane, enlarged cellar deck area and a 25' x 90' moon pool for enhanced subsea completion and development capabilities. Water depths in excess of 6,000 feet are readily achievable using preset taut-leg mooring systems. The Ocean Baroness is expected to leave the Gulf of Mexico for Singapore within 30 days. The estimated cost of the upgrade is approximately $180 million and is anticipated to take 18 months to complete.

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