Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) (SIX: RIGN) announced that the newbuild ultra-deepwater drillship Discoverer India has commenced operations for Reliance Industries in India under a minimum five-year drilling contract. By December 31, 2010, Reliance can choose to extend the term of the contract to either seven or 10 years.
One of 25 ultra-deepwater floaters in the Transocean fleet, the double-hulled Discoverer India features the most advanced offshore drilling equipment. The rig is equipped to drill wells up to 35,000 feet total depth in water depths of 10,000 feet and, with additional equipment, can be upgraded to drill up to 40,000 feet total depth in water depths up to 12,000 feet. The rig's features include Transocean's patented dual-activity drilling technology that is designed to save time and money in deepwater well construction through parallel drilling operations. Other features include an enhanced top drive system, a high-pressure mud system and a variable deckload of more than 20,000 metric tons.
In addition to the Discoverer India and seven other newbuild units placed into service in 2009 and 2010, Transocean has two ultra-deepwater newbuild drillships, Discoverer Luanda and Deepwater Champion, and a high-specification jackup in various stages of construction or completion.