Diamond Offshore to upgrade semisubmersible "Ocean Baroness"

Aug 07, 2000 02:00 AM

Diamond Offshore Drilling announced that an agreement has been reached with Keppel FELS Singapore, which provides for the significant upgrade of Diamond Offshore's semisubmersible "Ocean Baroness" to fifth-generation capabilities. The planned deepwater upgrade will be a greatly enhanced version of the Company's highly successful "Victory"-class upgrades.
Initial outfitting will be designed to include stability enhancements and self-contained chain/wire mooring for operation in water depths to 6,000 feet with approximately 6,200 tons operating variable deck load, 15,000 psi blow-out preventers and riser with a multiplex control system. Additional features including a high capacity deck crane, significantly enlarged cellar deck area and a 25' by 90' moon pool will provide enhanced subsea completion and development capabilities.

Water depths in excess of 6,000 feet are readily achievable utilising pre-set taut-leg mooring systems. The "Ocean Baroness" will commence mobilisation from the Gulf ofMexico within 30 days to a Keppel FELS facility in Singapore. The cost of the "Ocean Baroness" deepwater upgrade is estimated to cost approximately $ 180 mm and is anticipated to take approximately 18 months, including mobilisation to the shipyard.
Larry Dickerson, president and COO of Diamond Offshore, stated, "We believe the economics, nature and timing of this latest 'Victory'-class upgrade will provide substantial benefits. The financial strength of the company enables us to embark on this major upgrade program that will reposition another of our 'Victory'-class units from the intermediate water-depth range to the challenging deepwater arena. Furthermore, this latest configuration demonstrates the inherent capability and versatility of this hull design. We believe this will be one of the most capable and complete development tools available in the industry."

Diamond Offshore is a leader in deep water drilling. The Company's fleet of 45 offshore drilling rigs consists of 30 semisubmersibles, 14 jack-ups and one drillship. The fleet operates in the waters of six of the world's seven continents.

Source: Business Wire via Newspage
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