North Sea Operators Evaluating New Rig Concept For Long-Term Programs

A new jackup concept, capable of drilling and production operations in more than 100 meters (about 328 feet) of water, is being developed by the rig designer Marathon LeTourneau of Texas, with Christiann Kongsli and Normann Riksen, the Norwegian rig experts. Talks are under way with potential users and investors, with the ultimate goal of securing a long-term contract for the $100 million to $150 million unit.

Other concepts have been offered to the offshore industry before, but the designers feel that their rig has an upper hand over the competition because of the attention given new technical regulations and commercial requirements in Norway and the U.K.

Larger jackup concepts, dubbed TPG 500 and Seagull, respectively, have been designed by Technip Geoproduction in Paris, and Odfjell Drilling & Consulting Company in Bergen. These units are directed toward contract production work in water depths of as much as 160 meters (about 525 feet) The fabrication price for the Marathon rig, somewhere between $100 million and $150 million depending on final specifications, would be well below that of the Seagulf or TPG- 500, estimated to cost $250 million and $170 million, respectively, Mr. Riksen and Mr. Kongsli contend

offshore operations requirements LeTourneau contract company industry water drilling commercial operators regulations price norwegian