Discoverer Clear Leader Marks Keel-Laying Milestone

The construction team for the Transocean ultra-deepwater drillship Discoverer Clear Leader today celebrated the keel-laying, an event that marks the beginning of the final assembly of the rig's many sections into a single hull inside a dry dock.

The Discoverer Clear Leader is the first of the company's four enhanced Enterprise-class drillships to be built for Transocean at the DSME (Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co., Ltd.) shipyard.

Attending the keel-laying ceremony were Steven Newman, Transocean Inc. Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and Mr. W.S. Ryu, Executive Vice President and Chief Division Officer for the offshore division at DSME. Also on hand was Ken Adcock, Transocean's Sr. Project Manager for constructing the company's four enhanced Enterprise-class drillships at DSME.

"The keel-laying is an exciting point in the construction process, and we are looking forward to the project remaining on time, within budget and within our safety targets," said Newman. "Everything is coming together as the project team builds the most advanced ultra-deepwater drilling rig of its kind."

Adcock added that with more than 160 days and 600,000-plus man-hours worked to date on the project, the TRIR (Total Recordable Incident Rate) is 0.25.

"Of course, our objective is zero incidents," Adcock said. "So we continue to challenge everyone to keep safety in the forefront of all that we do on the project, which is scheduled to run approximately 400 more days. This is quite an undertaking, but we know that our safety and other project goals are achievable by using our processes." Supported by 20 Transocean members at the shipyard and additional personnel in Houston Engineering and Park 10 Houston operations, the Discoverer Clear Leader is being constructed to operate in water depths up to 12,000 feet and drill wells up to 40,000 feet deep.

The construction schedule calls for the shipyard to deliver the rig late in the third quarter of 2008 followed by sea trials and mobilization to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in early 2009.

The three other Transocean drillships to be constructed at the DSME yard are the Discoverer Americas, which will work for Hydro, Discoverer Inspiration, which has a contract with Chevron, both in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and an unnamed unit contracted with BP to work in Angola.

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