Rig Owners Weigh in with Damage Reports

Rig owners and exploration companies are still mobilizing forces to access damage to rigs and other offshore installations that were positioned in Rita's path. These latest reports provide a more accurate picture of the damage caused by Hurricane Rita.

Noble Drilling semi-submersible rig Max Smith did not hit the Chevron TLP Typhoon as we originally reported. According to Noble spokespersons, onboard GPS and location data systems clearly show the rig passing approximately 2.5 miles to the south and west of the fixed location of the Typhoon TLP after its mooring lines broke.

Ensco owns and operates 17 jackups and one semi-submersible rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Marathon Letourneau independent leg jackup ENSCO 90 held its station at Ship Shoal Block 204, but is reportedly listing. Ensco also reported that drill floors on Ensco rigs 68 and 69 had shifted in the storm.

Todco president Jan Rask, reports that all 60 Todco rigs are accounted for following a visual field inspection. Several Todco mat supported jackups at West Cameron Block 38 took a direct hit but appear to be undamaged.

Nabors had five Jackup rigs in Sabine Pass directly in Rita's path with at least two sustaining damage. The Dolphin 111 had windows in the pilothouse and quarters blown out. The mast on Jackup rig 54 was blown over. The Nabors inland drill barge, Rig 300, was submerged but remained on station and sustained water damage to the electrical, power, mud pump and other systems. The rig will be moved to a shipyard as soon as possible for repairs and the Company hopes to have it back in service within a few weeks.

Transocean Inc. reported that its moored semisubmersible rig Transocean Marianas was forced off its drilling location during Hurricane Rita and is grounded in shallow water at Eugene Island block 133 approximately 140 miles northwest of its pre-storm location. An initial assessment of the rig indicates significant damage to the unit's mooring system. Also, the company reported that the moored semi submersible rig Deepwater Nautilus, which sustained damage to its mooring system during Hurricane Katrina and was undergoing repairs, was set adrift following the failure of a tow line utilized by a vessel engaged in towing the rig to a location away from the projected path of the storm. A partial crew on board the Deepwater Nautilus utilized the rig's thruster-assist capabilities to navigate the unit to a location approximately 40 miles south of Grand Isle, Louisiana, where the rig remains grounded. All crew members were safely evacuated.

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