Transocean not too long ago suggested that its ultra-deepwater semi-submersible Leiv Eiriksson was now retired and held on the market.
Leiv Eiriksson was a Trosvik Bingo 9000 ultra-deepwater semi-submersible constructed at Dalian, China, by CSIS. The state-of-the-art drilling rig was delivered to its proprietor, Ocean Rig UDW, in 2001. Built on the identical shipyard, the sister vessel Eirik Raude was delivered to Ocean Rig in 2002.
The Leiv Eiriksson is simply the most recent on the lengthy checklist of the trendy offshore drilling items that haven’t survived the latest slumps the oil business has needed to deal with.
However, the quick life and historical past of the drilling rig have been outstanding from a number of factors of view.
It was named after a hero who was the primary European to set foot on the American continent
It was one of many first semi-submersibles designed for essentially the most hostile sea situations of the northern and southern oceans.
It was the primary semi-submersible constructed for Ocean Rig UDW, a younger and memorable firm that guess on technological progress and operations past identified borders.
Leiv Eiriksson performed exploration drilling in distant and hostile seas from Greenland to the Barents Sea and the Falkland Islands.
Massive, the indefinable gentle inexperienced coloration gave a singular contact to its hull. Darkening below robust situations it turned emerald below the slanting rays of the solar.
The semi was named after Leiv Eiriksson a Norse explorer from Iceland. He is assumed to have been the primary identified European to have set foot on continental North America (excluding Greenland), roughly half a millennium earlier than Christopher Columbus.
The lifetime of the Leiv Eiriksson drilling rig was wealthy in voyages and discoveries.
In July 2003, BP and the Leiv Eiriksson made the Saturno oil discovery within the ultra-deepwater Block 31, offshore Angola and some months later the Cesio 1 discovery in Block 18.
In 2011 Cairn secured the inexperienced semi-submersible for a drilling marketing campaign offshore Greenland. As quickly as launched by Cairn the Leiv Eiriksson headed south to the distant Falkland Islands to drill exploration wells for Falkland Oil & Gas (FOGL) and Borders and Southern.
In February 2012, Ocean Rig UDW signed a three-year contact with RWE DEA Norge for operations within the Norwegian North Sea. The unit was efficiently used offshore Norway by RWEW DEA, Total and Ithaca.
By the top of 2014 the rig was secured by Maersk Oil to drill offshore Norway. In 2015 it was Tullow’s flip to rent the rig.
In March 2016 the semi was on the Westcon shipyard to arrange for a brand new program within the Barents Sea with Lundin. Discoveries had been reported within the Joan Castberg space.
In 2017 the Leiv Eiriksson was nonetheless energetic within the Barents Sea.
Then got here the time when the sky started to darken over the world of offshore drilling. The frenzy of newbuilds that started within the early 2010s was already resulting in dramatic oversupply. Several corporations would merely disappear.
In September 2018 Transocean acquired Ocean Rig UDW for $2.9 billion. About 6 months later, the sister vessel Eirik Raude being stacked for 2 years was offered for scrap.
As for the Leiv Eiriksson, the semi’s final gig was a profitable one. It was contracted by ConocoPhillips to drill on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, serving to the US large strike massive fuel condensate and oil discoveries in November and December 2020, respectively.
Currently anchored in Aagotnes in Norway, the Leiv Eiriksson will most likely be offered for scrap.
(Sources: Ocean Rig/Transocean/IndisciplineRigs – Image: Leiv Eiriksson and northern lights in Norway/Westcon)


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