Transocean Marianas takes on water offshore Ghana

By Phaedra Friend Troy

Working offshore Ghana, the Transocean Marianas deepwater semisubmersible drilling rig began to take on water Wednesday, prompting an evacuation of the rig.

“On the Marianas yesterday, this water ingress was detected,” Transocean Spokesman Guy Cantwell told PennEnergy. “Today the rig remains stable. Efforts are under way to de-moor the Marianas and have it towed to sheltered waters to inspect the damage that allowed water to enter some of the rig’s compartments.”

Transocean (NYSE:RIG) staff are monitoring the situation and the removal of the water from the rig, Cantwell continued.

There were no injuries associated with the incident.

“Until the rig can be towed and inspected, a process which could take a week or longer, no estimates can be made of the damage or the necessary repairs, or even the location of the repairs,” Cantwell said.

The cause of the water ingress is under investigation; and at this point, the cost of the repairs and downtime is unknown. 

Able to work in waters up to 7,000 feet deep, the Transocean Marianas is a Sedco 700 design semisubmersible built in 1998.

Delayed Drilling Schedule

According to operator Kosmos Energy (NYSE:KOS), the Transocean Marianas “was rendered inoperable following a reported anchor-handling incident” on the Offshore Cape Three Points Block as the rig readied to move to the Cedrela-1 exploration well site on the block.

The offshore rig was supposed to arrive at the Cedrela-1 location and begins drilling on July 10.

Kosmos has filed a force majeure notice with the government of Ghana and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation because of the delay.

The operator has initiated a search for another rig to drill the well in the interim. Should an alternate rig not be contracted before the Transocean Marianas is repaired, inspected and able to work, Kosmos plans to use the original rig for the exploratory drilling.

Kosmos is the operator of the West Cape Three Points Block. Project partners include Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Tullow Oil, E.O. Group, Sabre Oil & Gas, and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.

The west Cape Three Points Block is adjacent to the Tullow-operated Deepwater Tano license, which houses the Jubilee oil field that was recently brought into production.

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