Chinese shipbuilder CIMC Raffles has started sea trials for the ultra-deepwater drilling rig Bluewhale II, following the completion of equipment testing.
CIMC started sea trials of the rig over the weekend and they are expected to last for three weeks, the builder reported on Monday.
Designed to operate in water depths of 3658 meters and drill to depths of up to 15,240 meters, the rig accommodates a dual activity drilling package.
The Frigstad D90 design unit is equipped with a dynamic positioning 3 system. It is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of this year.
According to CIMC, the sister rig Bluewhale I has just finished drilling its first successful deep-water well for methane hydrate in the South China Sea. This rig was named and delivered in February.
The two 7th generation ultra deepwater drilling units were initially ordered by Frigstad Deepwater Ltd, a company that was jointly owned by Frigstad Offshore Group and CIMC, until late last year Frigstad Offshore decided to exit from its investment in Frigstad Deepwater’s ordered newbuilds to position itself for the industry recovery.
As a consequence of the exit, Frigstad Deepwater Ltd became a wholly owned subsidiary of CIMC and was renamed CIMC Bluewhale Rig Ltd, while the operational management of the rigs was taken over by Bluewhale Offshore, another subsidiary of CIMC.
The two semi-submersible units ordered by Frigstad Deepwater, Frigstad Shekou and Frigstad Kristiansand, were then renamed Bluewhale I and Bluewhale II.
Offshore Energy Today Staff