Transocean Ltd. (NYSE:RIG) announced that the ultra-deepwater drillship Dhirubhai Deepwater KG1 has commenced operations in India under a five-year drilling contract with Reliance Industries Limited. The company currently expects that Reliance will sublet the rig for the first four years of the contract to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited, and that Reliance will operate the rig for the fifth year of the contract.
The Dhirubhai Deepwater KG1 is the first of two ultra-deepwater newbuild drillships owned by a joint venture company with Pacific Drilling Limited and scheduled to commence operations in 2009 and 2010. The second ultra-deepwater newbuild drillship Dhirubhai Deepwater KG2 is also contracted and is scheduled to commence operations in 2010.
The dynamically positioned, double-hulled drillship Dhirubhai Deepwater KG1 features National Oilwell Varco drilling packages that include advanced offshore drilling technology, with significant off-line tubular-handling and stand-building capabilities, advanced mud system designs, advanced systems for building, storing and running several subsea trees and efficient riser and BOP (blowout preventer) handling systems. The drillship has a variable deckload of approximately 20,000 metric tons, is equipped to work in water depths of up to 10,000 feet and is outfitted to construct wells up to 35,000 feet deep.
In addition, Transocean has another eight ultra-deepwater newbuild floaters, all of which have drilling contracts and are scheduled to commence operations in the next two years. These units are the Discoverer Clear Leader, Discoverer Americas, Discoverer Inspiration, Discoverer India and Discoverer Luanda, Deepwater Champion, Petrobras 10000 and Development Driller III.