Frigstad exits deepwater drilling rig venture

ultra-deepwater drilling rig Frigstad Shekou
The ultra-deepwater drilling rig Frigstad Shekou, which is under construction at the Yantai CIMC Raffles Shipyard in Shandong, China, will be renamed Bluewhale I. (Courtesy Frigstad Offshore Group)

Offshore staff

LIMASSOL, Cyprus – Frigstad Offshore Group is selling its shares in its subsidiary Frigstad Deepwater Holding Ltd. to a subsidiary of China International Maritime Containers Group (CIMC).

Frigstad Deepwater has two seventh-generation ultra-deepwater drilling rigs of the Frigstad D90 design under construction at the Yantai CIMC Raffles shipyard in Shandong, China.

The Frigstad Shekou and Frigstad Kristiansand, currently scheduled for delivery in respectively 1Q and 3Q 2017, will be renamed Bluewhale I and Bluewhale II. They will be owned by CIMC Bluewhale Rig, with operational management by CIMC subsidiary Bluewhale Offshore.

A Frigstad Offshore team will continue to supervise construction until both rigs are completed.

Harald Frigstad, chairman and founder of the Frigstad Group, said: “The ultra-deepwater market has been extremely challenging for a while and we have agreed with CIMC that it is in the best interests of both parties that our group exit from the investment in Frigstad Deepwater Ltd. at this moment.

“We are doing this on friendly terms and will remain a close partner of CIMC also in the future. Our exit from Frigstad Deepwater Ltd. gives us a good foundation to position the Frigstad Group for the industry recovery which we believe will come.

“As part of this, we are… investing heavily in research and development, and will be launching the next generation of our ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rig design in 2017 to keep up with industry requirements for new technology and higher efficiency.”


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