Driller Prospector says China yard pauses jacking system work until after tests
Houston (Platts)--7Dec2012/718 pm EST/018 GMT
Premium shallow-water rig contractor Prospector Offshore Drilling, which
is building four jackup rigs in a Dalian shipyard in northeast China, said
Friday the yard has been asked by the engineering firm that designed the rigs
to temporarily suspend work on their jacking systems until they are tested.
Friede & Goldman Marketing has supplied the rigs' entire jacking systems
through its own sub-suppliers, Prospector said in a statement.
The F&G notice to the Dalian yard follows a recent incident involving
contract driller Noble F&G design on a jack-up rig currently under
construction at a Singapore shipyard (See story, 1840 GMT).
Prospector's first two rigs in Dalian are scheduled to debut in the first
quarter of 2013, with the second two rigs following in the third quarter of
The Dalian yard had previously experienced issues with some of the
components of the jacking systems of the rigs currently under construction at
its yard, and was investigating the jacking systems before receiving the
letter from F&G, Prospector said.
Prospector said it believes the jacking systems issues, to the extent
they concern its rigs, are "limited in scope" and added the driller is
cooperating closely with the shipyward, F&G and independent classification
society American Bureau of Shipping to resolve the issues.
The driller's first rig, Prospector 1, was previously slated for
delivery at the end of January and mobilized to the North Sea for a long-term
drilling contract. Prospector was not available for comment on the identity
of its client in the North Sea.
But "at this time [we] cannot estimate any impact on the delivery date
of Prospector 1 until the evaluation of the jacking system is complete, which
is anticipated to be within the next few weeks," the driller added.
Prospector said it is currently developing a number of alternative
solutions that would replace any components that might be found
non-compliant, and to minimize potential delivery schedule delays.
"We appreciate the prudent steps taken by F&G and [Dalian] to ensure
safe delivery of a very high quality drilling unit conforming to our
specifications and the highest industry standards," Prospector President and
CEO Bill Rose said.
He said the F&G JU2000E jack-up is a "proven design" and noted it has
operated in areas like the North Sea. "We expect a quick resolution," Rose
Prospector, domiciled in Luxembourg but with corporate offices in
Houston, is building a total of six JU2000E high-specification,
Four are being built in Dalian, while the other two are built being by
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, also in China, and slated for delivery in
the the first and second quarter of 2014 respectively. All six rigs are of
the F&G JU2000E design.
Prospector was also not available for comment on whether jacking system
work had been temporarily suspended at the Shanghai shipyard.
According to Prospector's website, the JU2000E design is capable of
operating in water depths of a maximum of 400 feet, has a 2 million lb
hookload capacity (the amount of hoisting capacity), can drill in
high-pressure, high-temperature environments down to 35,000-foot total depths
and contains accommodation for 140 people.
--Starr Spencer, email@example.com
--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, firstname.lastname@example.org