The semisubmersible rig, Frontier Driller was christened with its new name at Signal International's East Bank shipyard on Saturday November 1, in Pascagoula, MS.
Debbi Schnoor ceremoniously broke a bottle of champagne on the rig's structure to highlight the event. The ceremony was attended by representatives from Frontier Drilling and Shell Oil Company. Shell has contracted the rig for exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.
The event concluded a major upgrade of the giant rig. Signal had performed extensive modifications to the drilling unit since it first arrived in Pascagoula in February 2006. The Signal yard had renewed every electrical and mechanical system, performed numerous structural enhancements, renewed the quarters, repainted the rig top to bottom and installed all new mooring and drilling equipment.
Dick Marler, President and CEO of Signal, said, "The Frontier Driller upgrade went smoothly for a project of its size and scope." He noted that, from the beginning, Signal employees understood the challenges involved and responded positively.
Marler also observed that the rig was aptly named since the rig would be working for Shell in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Exploring in deep waters is the current frontier in the quest for offshore oil and gas in the US.
Ron Schnoor, Signal's COO, stated, "We are proud of the effort of our employees on the Frontier Driller project. They continue to work safely and tirelessly in support of our successful projects such as the Frontier Driller."
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