Deep Value Driller drillship; Source: Deep Value Driller

With reactivation out of the way, Saipem takes delivery of drillship destined for ops off Africa

Italian oilfield services provider Saipem has taken delivery of a recently chartered seventh-generation drillship, which is expected to work for Eni off Ivory Coast in West Africa, following a deal worth $400 million.

Deep Value Driller drillship; Source: Deep Value Driller

Saipem entered into a three-year firm bareboat charter agreement with Deep Value Driller for the Deep Value Driller drillship. This contract may be extended by up to approximately a further one-year period. In February 2023, Deep Value Driller confirmed the start of reactivation activities for the drillship at Westcon Yard in Ølensvåg. These activities were expected to be completed during the summer of 2023 upon which the drillship would be delivered to Saipem.

The company confirmed the delivery of the drillship to Saipem on Friday, 8 September 2023. Deep Value Driller outlines that its representatives will remain on board the drillship for the duration of the contract although the daily operational and maintenance responsibility for the rig has passed to Saipem.

Svend Anton Maier, CEO of Deep Value Driller, commented: “We are very pleased to have completed the reactivation project for the Deep Value Driller drillship and to have successfully delivered the drillship to Saipem. We expect the drillship to be a key contributor to Saipem and their customer’s drilling activities in the years to come.”

The Deep Value Driller drillship is of GustoMSC P10000 design. It is capable of operating in water depths of up to 10,000 ft and its maximum drilling depth is 40,000 ft. This drillship can accommodate 210 people.

Saipem will use the drillship for the development of the Baleine oil and gas field offshore Ivory Coast, thanks to a deal with the joint venture comprising Eni Côte d’Ivoire and Petroci. The Italian giant contributed to the discovery of the field with the drilling activities of the Saipem 10000 and Saipem 12000 vessels.

The Baleine East 1X well was drilled using the Saipem 12000 drillship. The well reached its final depth of 3,165 m measured depth, in a water depth of about 1,150 m. Eni started production from the Baleine field at the end of August 2023, less than two years after the discovery in September 2021 and less than a year and a half after the final investment decision (FID) was made.

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The Baleine field extends over blocks CI-101 and CI-802. In April, the FPSO Firenze – to be renamed Baleine upon its mooring – sailed away from Dubai to the Baleine field in Côte d’Ivoire. This FPSO has been refurbished and upgraded to increase its processing capacity up to 15,000 bbl/d of oil and around 25 mmcf/d of associated gas.

The start of Phase 2 is expected by the end of 2024 and will increase field production to 50,000 bbl/d of oil and approximately 70 mscf/d of associated gas. The third development phase aims to elevate field production to 150,000 bbl/d of oil and 200 mscf/d of gas.

Eni is working on multiple projects in Africa. Last month, the company handed out a rig conversion deal to Saipem for the conversion of the Scarabeo 5 semi-submersible drilling rig into an FPU, which is a semi-submersible production platform that receives the production fluids from wellheads riser platforms, separates the gas from liquids and boosts the gas to feed the nearby floating LNG (FLNG) unit.

The FPU deal is part of Eni’s Congo LNG project, the country’s first natural gas liquefaction project that is expected to reach an overall LNG production capacity of 3 million tons per year – approximately 4.5 billion cubic meters per year – from 2025.