Ensco announced that a subsidiary of the Company has taken delivery of ENSCO 8501, the second of the Company's seven ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rigs being constructed by Keppel FELS Limited in Singapore. The rig will soon commence an expected 50-day mobilization to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, where it will undergo deepwater sea trials and final outfitting prior to its three and a half year term drilling contract with a subsidiary of Nexen and Noble Energy. Drilling operations are expected to commence in mid-October 2009.
Dan Rabun, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Delivery of our second ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rig in the ENSCO 8500 Series(R) is an important milestone in our deepwater expansion program. We anticipate a smooth startup of operations following final outfitting, sea trials and deep water acceptance testing once ENSCO 8501 arrives in the Gulf of Mexico. Our other five ultra-deepwater semisubmersibles under construction are progressing on schedule."
Combined with the ENSCO 7500 ultra-deepwater semisubmersible drilling rig currently contracted to Chevron in Australia, the fleet of seven ENSCO 8500 Series(R) rigs will make Ensco a leader in ultra-deepwater semisubmersible drilling rigs capable of operating in water depths of 7500' or more.
The proprietary design of the ENSCO 8500 Series(R) was developed with extensive input from customers to address drilling requirements of virtually every deep water field around the world. Rated for work in 8,500' waters, Ensco's new ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rigs may be modified to drill and complete wells in water depths up to 10,000'. The universal design of the ENSCO 8500 Series(R) rigs streamlines operational functionality, training, spare part requirements, repairs and maintenance to control costs and enhance the overall reliability of rig operations.
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