Discoverer Enterprise is known as the world's largest, most technologically advanced drillship designed for the reduction of ultra-deepwater well-construction costs with developments that elevate the process to a new level of operational efficiency. With more than 20 years of favorable deepwater experience behind them, Transocean's revolutionary drilling vessel has been engineered from the top of the derrick - to the thrusters - to optimize ultra-deepwater well-construction and field development performance.
Transocean Offshore owns
the vessel, which was constructed at El Ferrol, Spain. Supplementary to this is Ingalls Shipbuilding's test and trials contract with BP-Amoco Corporation. The Pascagoula-based shipyard completed the rigs outfitting and erected all of its major modules.
Both massive and multipurpose, Discoverer Enterprise can drill, test and complete wells to 35,000 ft. in water depths up to 10,000 ft. It is equipped to provide extended well testing and storage capabilities and allows a variety of subsea operations, including the potential for j-laying ultra-deepwater pipelines.
These capabilities were formulated with a cost-effective solution in providing sophisticated ultra-deepwater drilling operation on an international basis. With its patent pending, the dual-activity design allows drilling operations to perform concurrently in parallel - rather than in a sequential series - attacking the "flat times," which can consume up to 65 percent of well-construction time on ultra-deepwater wells. Results expected from this design provide a favorable concept - reduction in the amount of drilling days - leading to cuts in both drilling time and well costs.
Two full-capability, full-capacity drilling stations - specifically two separate drilling rigs - are located under the single derrick providing the conceptual simultaneous drilling operations. A drill floor, which is more than twice as large as one that is usually implemented, includes two-full sized rotary tables. Full integration of the two rigs is supplied by an automated pipe-handling system with each rig capable of running, pulling and standing back 135 ft. long stands of pipe (vs. the standard 93-ft. stands), thus decreasing the number of drilling and tripping connections.