Blue Ocean to get 2 new rigs for offshore

Updated: 2014-10-16 11:45

By May Zhou in Houston(China Daily USA)

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 Blue Ocean to get 2 new rigs for offshore

Model of Blue Ocean Drilling CJ50 jackup rig under construction by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding.  Provided to China Daily

Blue Ocean Drilling Limited (BOD), a drilling company dedicated to operating a fleet of premium offshore rigs, has recently entered into contract with Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) in China for the construction of two new platforms, BOD chair and CEO Sun Yuanhui announced on Wednesday in Houston.

The jackup rigs will be based on proven designs with further enhancements to improve operating efficiency and meet the growing operational demands of the international marketplace.

According to Sun, both rigs will be identical and outfitted with proven equipment from industry-leading manufacturers. "With an enhanced power package, the rigs will be able to deliver increased power of approximately 600 kW over a majority of today's new-build fleet designs to meet the growing operational demands of the industry's well programs," Sun said.

The rigs will come with expanded accommodations for 150 people, up from the standard design of 120, and are designed to comply with the regulatory requirements in the UK area of the North Sea, as well as for operations taking place around the world.

The rigs are scheduled for delivery in the first quarter and third quarter of 2017 respectively from the SWS shipyard in Shanghai.

Earlier this year during the Offshore Technology Conference in May, BOD executed a contract with SWS for two premium jackup units, which are scheduled for delivery in the second and fourth quarters of 2016 respectively.

BOD, registered in the Cayman Islands and operating from Houston, is a newly established subsidiary of Shandong Offshore Equipment Company, Ltd (SDOE) based in Qingdao.

"We are aggressively building a high-end fleet, and combined with our seasoned international management team, BOD is poised to enter the offshore drilling market around the world," said Sun.

According to Sun, currently there are 469 jackup rigs in service worldwide. However, the average age of the jackups is 21 years and new drilling rigs are needed to replace old ones. Despite the current downturn in the jackup market, Sun said he's optimistic things will pick up in 2016 when BOD's new builds arrive.

"Our strategy is to take advantage of the market downturn to create maximum value," said Sun.

Once the rigs are delivered, BOD will focus on the North Sea, Middle East and Mexico markets to either rent the rigs out or operate the drilling itself, said Sun. BOD has opened an office in the United Arab Emirates and plans to open another in Mexico soon.

Sun said BOD picked SWS for its well-known quality and offshore equipment capability. "They designed and built the famous deep-water rig Hai Yang Shi You 981 and have a lot of international clients," Sun said.

Chen Gang, deputy chief technical officer of SWS who spoke to China Daily from Shanghai, said that SWS was happy to get this order because this is a different model which helps to expand their scope of production.

"SWS started to branch out into the offshore field a few years ago, and in the past five years, our orders for offshore equipment have increased from 5 percent to about 35 percent of our total orders. This is a healthy ratio and we would like to maintain that. However, the market is unpredictable and the new model will help us to maintain a diversified product structure to try to keep that ratio," said Chen.