Cal Dive to Add Drilling Capability to Q4000

Cal Dive International plans to enhance the capabilities of the Q4000 to include drilling. The upgrade, which only involves the addition of a modular-based drilling system, will take place when long lead items, such as the Blow Out Preventer (BOP), become available early next year. The total capital to be spent on the upgrade will be around $30 million.

The selected drilling system is based on hybrid slimbore technology which as the best application to the exploration and appraisal of deepwater reservoirs. However, the system will also allow the Q4000 to drill completeable wells out to 6,000 fsw.

Owen Kratz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "This is an important strategic move for Cal Dive because not only does it improve the quantity and mix of high dayrate work available to the Q4000, it also allows us to use the vessel as another tool to secure working interest positions, and even operator status, on select deepwater projects. Prior to the vessel being ready to enter the drilling market we will be active in further building a portfolio of suitable prospects."