West Taurus Ultra-Deepwater Rig Set to Drill for Petrobras in November

West Taurus Ultra-Deepwater Rig
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West Taurus, the second of a series of four ultra-deepwater semisubmersible drilling rigs built by Sembcorp Marine's subsidiary Jurong Shipyard for Norway's leading energy group Seadrill Limited, is gearing up for drilling works offshore Brazil following its turnkey construction completion.

Officially named by Goril Diesen, wife of Stein Diesen from Seadrill Limited on September 6, 2008, West Taurus is the second unit of the yard's series of 10 high-performance 6th generation ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rigs on order since 2005, following the successful delivery of the first unit West Sirius in March 2008. The third and fourth rig units are currently under construction in the yard with deliveries scheduled in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

The successful construction of West Taurus marks another landmark achievement for Jurong Shipyard being the first semi-submersible rig to be built using the yard's proprietary "Transverse Skidding" methodology in combination with the "Load-out and Mating-in-Dock" technique. These breakthrough techniques increase and optimize the shipyard's capacity to meet the urgent demands of a very robust market, enabling it to deliver more than 2 semisubmersible rigs in a year while meeting high standards of quality, safety and reliability.

Built to Friede & Goldman's Ex-D Millennium Class design, West Taurus is a highly sophisticated 6th generation semisubmersible rig engineered for deep drilling capabilities of up to 37,500 feet in dynamic positioning mode in ultra-deepwaters of up to 10,000 feet. Designed with an operational displacement of 43,400 metric tons at 17 meters draft and 46,750 metric tons at 20 meters draft, it has 18,000 square feet of usable deck space, and is able to carry a variable deck load of up to 8,000 tons.

Shortly after its naming, West Taurus will undergo installation and commissioning of thrusters at anchorage followed by sea trial to prepare for drilling once it reaches field location offshore Brazil.

Scheduled for delivery in November 2008, West Taurus will be deployed for development drilling operations under a six-year charter with Petrobras. In addition, Petrobras has awarded similar charter contracts to three other semi-submersible rigs under construction in Jurong Shipyard, including Seadrill’s third rig unit. The first rig unit West Sirius, which is now operating in the Gulf of Mexico, had its contract extended by Devon Energy from four to six years.

Alf C. Thorkildsen, CEO and President of Seadrill Limited, said, "We are delighted with the on-time completion of West Taurus and more importantly she is ready to drill on location. This again proves Jurong Shipyard's ability to deliver above our expectations following the successful handover of West Sirius in March earlier this year.

"We commend the Jurong Shipyard team for their professionalism, dedication and commitment in achieving this remarkable milestone. West Taurus will be an invaluable addition to our existing rig fleet and we are confident the yard will continue to deliver excellent results on the other two rigs we have entrusted them."

Wong Weng Sun, Managing Director of Jurong Shipyard, said, "West Taurus marks another key milestone for Jurong Shipyard and is a hallmark of our innovative turnkey rig building capabilities and proven track record in fast-track semisubmersible construction. The success of West Taurus mirrors the successful delivery of West Sirius in 2008 and signals the strong synergy and close partnership between Jurong Shipyard, Seadrill, and our project partners, vendors and contractors."

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