Report: CNOOC charters giant Bluewhale I rig

The Chinese oil and gas company CNOOC has reportedly chartered one of the world’s largest semi-submersible drilling rigs – the Bluewhale I.

Blue Whale I
Bluewhale I / Image source: CIMC

Norwegian rig brokers Bassoe Offshore on Tuesday reported that CNOOC had hired the 42,000-tonne Bluewhale drilling rig on a 549-day contract with the contract expected to start on March 31.

Bassoe then on Wednesday downgraded the contract length estimate, with the contract now expected to be 365 days long plus options, and with the expected startup set for April 16. The brokers did not provide an estimated dayrate for the contract.

Offshore Energy Today has reached out to CNOOC seeking confirmation of the deal, and more info. We will update the article if we get a response.

The dynamically-positioned rig, built to Frigstad Engineering’s D90 design, is capable of operating in water depths up to 3658 meters and drilling to a total depth of 15,240 meters.

The rig was one of two ordered by Frigstad Deepwater Ltd, a company that was jointly owned by Frigstad Offshore Group and CIMC, until late in 2016 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 article, originally published on March 26, was updated on March 27, to reflect the changes in the estimated contract length following data update on Bassoe Analytics.


Offshore Energy Today Staff

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