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Offshore Driller News

Petrobras America, Inc. (PAI) received permit approval from the BOEMRE on September 2 to drill a well in its Cascade field in Walker Ridge Block 206. The company is the first non-member of the Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) to receive an approved drilling permit. The MWCC system can be made available to non-members on a well by well basis and allows the operator to cite the system in its permit applications. PAI has ENSCO, plc drillship ENSCO DS-5 under contract and has moved the rig onto location. Drilling and completion operations are scheduled to last 231 days, which will keep the rig on location to April/May 2012. Water depth at the site is 8,143 fsw.


Mexican state oil company Pemex will confirm recent jackup contract awards on September 15 for tender 521-11. In Part 1, a 612-day term starting October 22, 2011, Diamond Offshore was the low bidder with the Ocean Scepter. The rig is currently working for OGX in Brazil under a one-year contract that is not scheduled to end until February 2012. It is unclear as to how the rig will be freed up to mobilize to Mexico. The original day rate cap of $124,000 was increased to $135,000 for the work. No bids were received for Part 2, a 468-day program for a 350-IC unit starting in November and Noble Drilling was low bidder on Part 3 with the Noble Carl Norberg. The work is comprised of a 967-day term starting October 28, 2011, and the original day rate cap was also increased on the work from $60,000 to $68,800. The rig has been idle in Mexico since completing its last contract with Pemex in late July.


Energy Partners has picked up jackup Hercules 265 for a 30-day well plus an option in South Timbalier Block 41. The rig, which has an upcoming 65-day program with Stone Energy in November, had been stacked in South Timbalier Block 32 since late July. Jackup Hercules 150 completed its work in Eugene Island Block 28 for Rooster Petroleum. The rig is now under tow to Bollinger Shipyard’s facility in Fourchon where it will undergo 30 days of surveys. Upon completion, the rig currently has a 70-day available period but is scheduled to go to Arena Energy for a 45-day program in late December. Walter O&G completed operations in Ship Shoal Block 189 and released jackup Hercules 213. The rig is now on location in Ship Shoal Block 72 for a four-well contract with Petroquest Energy. ADTI will provide turnkey services for the work, which should last around 120 days into January 2012. On the inland barge front, Energy Partners has opted to keep the Hercules 17 for a 14-day well that now keeps it working through the end of the month. The rig owner also says it expects to have a follow-up contract for posted barge Hercules 49 signed shortly. Details will be reported when they become available. Jackup Hercules 212 will begin mobilization to High Island Block 205 on September 13 to begin a 30-day ADTI turnkey well for Hall-Houston. The rig had been on standby while the operator waited for permit approval. Finally, Phoenix Exploration has swapped jackups for its upcoming well completion in Main Pass Block 59. The operator will now take the Hercules 214 after it completes its current contract with Apache Corporation in Main Pass Block 68. Phoenix had originally contracted the Hercules 253 for the work. Hall-Houston and Tana E&P, both of which have contracts to use the Hercules 253, will now move their schedules on the rig forward, with Hall-Houston getting the jackup for its 120-day program in early October, followed by Tana’s 90-day contract in early February 2012.


Diamond Offshore says two of its rigs have completed contracts and are now undergoing preparatory work for international assignments. Jackup Ocean Titan will arrive at the AmFELS yard in Brownsville for a 45-day upgrade period before heading to Mexico for a 777-day contract with Pemex starting in mid-November. Meanwhile, semi Ocean Monarch is now in West Delta Block 18 where it is preparing to head to Vietnam for a 90-day program with BP. Departure is scheduled for the second-half of this month. The contract completions now leaves Diamond with only one working rig in the US Gulf at the moment, that being semi Ocean Victory working for ATP O&G in Green Canyon Block 300.


Blake International platform rig Blake 210 is now moving to South Timbalier Block 206 “A” for a one-well extension with Apache Corporation. It is understood the rig should be with Apache through the end of the year although the operator may have a window after the upcoming well.


Jackup ENSCO 81 is scheduled to move to location in South Timbalier Block 265 on September 14 to begin its 17-day P&A for Cimarex O&G. ENSCO was awarded the work about a week ago but maintenance work on the rig delayed the move until this week. Reports also indicate the company could be close to landing a contract for idle jackup ENSCO 99. Further information will be reported if and when a contract is signed.

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