Transocean moves deepwater rigs from Gulf of Mexico

Paula Dittrick
OGJ Senior Staff Writer

HOUSTON, Sept. 16 -- Transocean Ltd.’s Discoverer Americas drillship is scheduled to depart the Gulf of Mexico for Egypt next week, and its Marianas semisubmersible already left the gulf for Nigeria, a Transocean spokesman told OGJ.

The Discover Americas, which can drill in 12,000 ft of water, remains under contract with Statoil. The day rate for the work is Egypt is $486,000, and the contract made provisions for the mobilization.

In an updated fleet report issued Sept. 14, Transocean said it and Statoil agreed on a special standby rate and reduced mobilization rate lower than the regular contract day rate while Statoil is prevented from operating in the gulf and until the rig arrives in Egypt.

“For every day on special standby rate or reduced mobilization rate, the contract term is extended by an equal number of days. The existing operating rate and term remain unaffected once the rig returns in the US Gulf of Mexico,” a footnote in the updated fleet report said.

The Marianas, which can drill in 7,000 ft of water, worked the gulf for Eni at a day rate of $565,000. The semi continues working for Eni in Nigeria, but Transocean has not reported its day rate for the work there.

Transocean Chief Executive Officer Steven L. Newman was among presenters scheduled for the Barclays Capital Energy-Power Conference on Sept. 15-16. In his presentation posted on the Transocean web site, Newman said the gulf drilling moratorium was expected to have “limited near-term financial impact.”

Following the Apr. 20 explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon semi, the US government issued a deepwater drilling moratorium in the gulf that was overruled by a federal judge, and a revised moratorium has since been implemented (OGJ Online, Sept. 14, 2010).

The Deepwater Horizon drilled the Macondo well for BP PLC and its partners. Eleven people died after a well blowout, and the semi sank 2 days later contributing to a massive oil spill.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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