Transocean Offshore Inc.'s drillship Discoverer Enterprise has been accepted by BP Amoco and has begun work under a five-year contract with BP Amoco valued
at more than $360 million.
Dynamically positioned Discoverer Enterprise is the first of a new class of advanced, ultra-deepwater drillships employing the company's proprietary dual-activity drilling system. The vessel has completed equipment appraisal and testing in more than 6,100 ft. of water at BP Amoco's Neptune location in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico
. It is currently completing plug-and-abandonment work, and after that, it is expected to begin drilling an appraisal well in the Crazy Horse field.
With its dual-activity drilling capability, Discoverer Enterprise conducts drilling steps simultaneously, rather than in the sequential steps taken by conventional rigs. The vessel, which has two drilling stations housed in a single derrick, is designed to reduce the cost of a typical deepwater well by up to 40 percent. It has the capability to work in water depths of up to 10,000 ft.
Two ultra-deepwater drillships identical to Discoverer Enterprise - now in various stages of completion - are being constructed for Transocean Offshore for expected delivery in 2000. The vessels, Discoverer Spirit and Discoverer Deep Seas, are contracted for under five-year agreements with Unocal's Spirit 76 unit and Chevron, respectively.