Astano, the Astilleros Españoles offshore construction yard, has sent off Discoverer Spirit to American owner and operator Transocean Offshore.
The second of a trio of ultradeep waters dual-drilling monohull vessels, Spirit departed on October 6 for the Gulf of Mexico
. The vessel joins Discoverer Enterprise - the first member of the series. The last part of the series, Discover Deep Seas
is currently under construction.
Scheduled for operation in the Gulf of Mexico
by Transocean for U.S.-based Unocal, Discover Spirit boasts the cost-effective Astano design, which is identical to Discover Enterprise. The vessel measures 837 ft. (255 m) and has a breadth of 125 ft. (38 m) with a crude oil storage capacity of 144,000 bb/d. The unit provides a total variable deck load of 20,000 tons for the drilling equipment and topsides modules.
All three units in this series, which are capable of working in 9,842 ft. (3,000 m) of water in tough conditions up to 70 km/h winds and 15 ft. (4.6 m) waves, also have the operational capacity and position in harsh environments up to 150 km/h winds and 39 ft. (12 m) waves.
Classified by Det Norske Veritas, Discoverer Spirit complies with the U.S. Coast Guard regulations for the Gulf of Mexico.
The Astano-designed two-deck layout consists of the riser rack on top of the engine and power generation rooms on rear of the upper level, with the lower level comprised of water and ballast tanks.
With a dynamic positioning system driven by six thrusters, each with an output of 5.5 MW, the units house dual activity drilling - twin derricks and two complete drillstrings. Power generation is granted by six diesel sets, four outputting 7.5 MW and two 5MW. With the series designated for 20 years service, Astano installed all above-mentioned equipment at the rear of the vessel.