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STX moves into the drillship arena

Seoul: STX Shipbuilding is branching out into the construction of drill ships. Noble Drilling Holding LLC awarded two contracts to South Korea's STX Shipbuilding and Dutch-based design and construction firm Huisman Equipment B.V. for the construction of a newbuild Globetrotter class drillship.

The drillship will be built on a fixed-price basis in two phases. STX's shipyard in Dalian, China, will undertake the hull construction and installation of the propulsion system. Construction on the hull will begin in November 2009 after the engineering work is complete. The drillship will then sail on its own power in December 2010 to the Netherlands where Huisman will complete the installation and commissioning of the topside equipment.

The delivered cost of the drillship, excluding capitalised interest, is estimated to be US$585 million, with delivery scheduled for the second half of 2011. Noble has also secured options for three additional Globetrotter drillships that are due to be exercised over the next 90, 120 and 180 days from the date of contract execution.

The Globetrotter drillships will be equipped to work in up to 10,000 feet (3,048 m) of water in benign and hostile environments around the world. The drillships will measure 620 feet (189 m) long and 105 feet (32 m) wide and will utilise Huisman's multi-purpose tower design with a drilling side and a pipe assembly side. The Globetrotter will be capable of drilling to a vertical depth of 40,000 feet (12,192 m) and will feature DP-3 station-keeping ability, 18,000 tons (16,363 tonnes) of variable deck load, and quarters for 180 personnel. [30/9/08]


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