Ocean Apex rig; Source: Diamond Offshore

Diamond Offshore rig starts drilling work off Australia

Following the completion of a special periodic survey (SPS) in Singapore, a semi-submersible rig, which is owned by Diamond Offshore Drilling, has kicked off the first drilling assignments on its list in Australia. 

Ocean Apex rig; Source: Diamond Offshore

Diamond Offshore’s Ocean Apex semi-submersible rig, which underwent a five-year special periodic survey at the Seatrium shipyard in Singapore, has mobilised to Australia. While the rig has several drilling jobs lined up in Australia, the first one on this list is the two-well drilling campaign with Woodside, which is now underway.

The rig owner explained: “A big thanks to the rig crews and Woodside teams, along with our respective service providers, who are excited to get back to drilling after safely delivering the rig following its five-year special periodic survey performed at Seatrium in Singapore.

“Following the Woodside work, there is a long line of work secured across multiple operators in Australia that will see the rig committed into the late first quarter of 2025, and potentially through the third quarter of 2025 if options are exercised.”

The assignment with Woodside is anticipated to last until October 2023 when the rig will start work for Inpex, which is slated to end in July 2024. Afterwards, the rig is scheduled to begin its gig with Santos, which is expected to last until February 2025. The Australian oil and gas giant also has five priced option wells at its disposal with an estimated duration of 160 days.

Once the assignment with Santos is over, the rig is expected to work for Chevron. Currently, this work is scheduled to end in March 2025. The U.S. oil major’s deal with Diamond Offshore comes with a one priced option well with an estimated duration of 40 days.

The 2014-built Ocean Apex rig has a maximum hook-load capacity of 1,000 tons, 15k five-ram preventer, water depth capabilities of up to 6,000 feet, drilling depth capabilities of up to 30,000 feet, variable deck load of 7,000 long tons, and crew quarters for 140 personnel.

Encouraged by new contracts and extensions for its rig fleet in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the UK, and Senegal during 2Q 2023, Diamond Offshore is expecting a further boost in day rates and fleet utilisation in the foreseeable future. 

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