Sembcorp Marine Delivers World's First Eighth-Gen Drillship

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Deepwater Atlas (Sembcorp Marine)

Published Jun 29, 2022 8:21 PM by The Maritime Executive

Sembcorp Marine has delivered what it describes as the world's first eighth-generation drillship, the Deepwater Atlas. 

The Deepwater Atlas is the first in a series of two high-spec vessels for Transocean. It has a hook-load capacity of three million pounds and can accommodate well control systems for 20,000 PSI-rated drilling, making it the first of its kind. 

The rig is contracted for Chevron's Anchor project in the Gulf of Mexico - the first deepwater high-pressure development to achieve FID. It will have dual 20,000 PSI blowout preventers for drilling in the extreme high pressure / high temperature conditions found tens of thousands of feet below the seabed, where no one has ever drilled for oil before. The design is capable of reaching a maximum depth of 40,000 feet, including up to 12,000 feet of water depth. 

“We are very pleased to achieve the delivery of Deepwater Atlas and to set many record firsts in the process. It gives us great pride to have designed and built for Transocean, the world’s first eighth-generation drillship of the highest industry specification," said Sembcorp Marine head of rigs William Gu. 

It is not the first attempt at a "20K" rig, but it is the first to succeed. Maersk Drilling placed an order for BOP systems rated at 20,000 PSI in 2014 for BP's Project 20K; little news has emerged from the project since the start of the offshore downturn in 2015.

The delivery is a milestone for Sembcorp Marine, which is in the home stretch of a merger deal with compatriot offshore yard Keppel O&M. Shareholders are set to vote on the proposal later this year.