Deepwater Horizon + Transocean + BP

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Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling unit on fire 2010.jpg
Deepwater Horizon, on fire after the explosion
Name: Deepwater Horizon
Owner: Transocean
Operator: Transocean
Port of registry: Marshall Islands Majuro
Route: Gulf of Mexico
Ordered: December 1998
Builder: Hyundai Heavy Industries
Cost: US$350 million
Laid down: March 21, 2000
Completed: 2001
Acquired: February 23, 2001
Maiden voyage: Ulsan, KoreaFreeport, Texas
Out of service: 2010 (exploded)[1]
Identification: IMO 8764597, Call V7HC9
Fate: Exploded[1]
Status: Sunk
General characteristics
Class and type: American Bureau of Shipping
Tonnage: 32588 tonnes
Displacement: 52587 tonnes
Length: 112 m
Beam: 78 m
Height: 97.4 m
Draught: 23.0 m
Depth: 41.5 m
Installed power: 42 MW
Propulsion: Diesel electric
Speed: 4 kts
Crew: 146
Notes: 8202 tonne Variable Deck Load, DP Class 3, 8 thrusters, 10,000 ft drilling water depth

Deepwater Horizon was an ultra-deepwater, dynamically positioned, semi-submersible drilling rig (oil rig) built in 2001. The purpose of this rig was to drill oil wells deep underwater, moving from location to location, as needed. Once the drilling was complete, pumping production was handled by other equipment.

Deepwater Horizon was owned by Transocean and leased to BP through September 2013. In September 2009, she drilled the deepest oil well in history. Deepwater Horizon sank on April 22, 2010, as the result of an explosion two days earlier.




Designed originally for R&B Falcon, Deepwater Horizon was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, South Korea. Construction started in December 1998 and she was delivered in February 2001 after the acquisition of R&B Falcon by Transocean. She was the second rig constructed of a class of two, although the Deepwater Nautilus, her predecessor, is not dynamically positioned. Since arriving in the Gulf of Mexico, Deepwater Horizon was under contract to BP Exploration. Her work included wells in the Atlantis and Thunder Horse fields, a 2006 discovery in the Kaskida field [2] and the 2009 Tiber oilfield.[3] On September 2, 2009, Deepwater Horizon drilled on the Tiber oilfield the deepest oil and gas well ever drilled with a vertical depth of 35,050 feet (10,680 m) and measured depth of 35,055 feet (10,685 m), of which 4,132 feet (1,259 m) was water.[3][4][5]

In 2002, the rig was upgraded with "e-drill", a drill monitoring system where technicians based in Houston, Texas receive real-time drilling data from the rig and transmit maintenance and troubleshooting information.[6]

Before the accident, Deepwater Horizon worked on BP's Mississippi Canyon Block 252, referred to as the Macondo prospect.[2] The rig was last located 50 miles (80 km) off the southeast coast of Louisiana.[7] In October 2009, BP extended the contract for Deepwater Horizon by three years, to begin in September 2010.[8] The lease contract was worth US$544 million, a rate of $496,800 per day.[9]


Deepwater Horizon was a fifth generation, RBS-8D design, ultra-deepwater, dynamically positioned, column-stabilized, semi-submersible drilling rig. This type of rig does the initial drilling, then other rigs are used to produce oil from the completed wells.[7] The rig was 396 feet (121 m) long and 256 feet (78 m) wide and according to Billy Nungesser, the president of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, was "one of the largest, deep water, off-shore drilling rigs."[10] She could operate in waters up to 8,000 feet (2,400 m) deep, and had a maximum drill depth of 30,000 feet (9,100 m).[10][11] The rig could accommodate up to 130 crew members.[11] The semi-submersible rig was floated to the drilling location; she had pontoons and four columns that partially submerged when the rig was ballasted down to drilling air gap. The rig was not supported by the sea floor but her pontoons.[12]


The rig was in the final phases of drilling a well in which casing is cemented in place, reinforcing the well.[7] On April 20, 2010, an explosion occurred on the rig and she caught fire. Eleven people were missing after the incident. Seven workers were airlifted to the Naval air station in New Orleans and were then taken to the hospital.[1] Support ships sprayed the rig with water in an unsuccessful bid to douse the flames. Deepwater Horizon sank on April 22, 2010, in water approximately 5,000 feet (1,500 m) deep, and has been located resting on the seafloor approximately 1,300 feet (400 m) (about a quarter of a mile) northwest of the well.[7][13][14] The oil slick being spread from the Deepwater Horizon accident threatens fisheries, tourism and the habitat of hundreds of bird species.[15]

See also

Nautical portal


  1. ^ a b c McGill, Kevin (April 21, 2010). "Evacuated workers sought after oil rig explosion". Associated Press. The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Anadarko Petroleum (August 31, 2006). "BP & Partners Make Discovery at Kaskida Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico". Press release. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b TransOcean (September 2, 2009). "Deepwater Horizon Drills World's Deepest Oil & Gas Well". Press release. Retrieved September 2, 2009. 
  4. ^ "BP drills oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico". Offshore Magazine (PennWell Corporation). September 2, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2010. 
  5. ^ Braden Reddall (September 2, 2009). "Transocean says well at BP discovery deepest ever". Reuters. Retrieved April 22, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Monitoring system reduces rig downtime". Offshore Magazine (PennWell Corporation). November 1, 2002. Retrieved April 22, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c d Robertson, Cambell; Robbins, Liz (April 22, 2010). "Oil Rig Sinks in the Gulf of Mexico". The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Deepwater Horizon contract extended". Offshore Magazine (PennWell Corporation). November 1, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2010. 
  9. ^ "The Well". Houston Chronicle. October 17, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Robertson, Cambell; Robbins, Liz (April 21, 2010). "Workers Missing After Oil Rig Blast". The New York Times. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Search for Missing Workers After La. Oil Rig Blast". Associated Press. Fox News. April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  12. ^ "At least 11 workers missing after La. oil rig explosion". USA Today. April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  13. ^ Resnick-Ault, Jessica; Klimasinska, Katarzyna (April 22, 2010). "Transocean Oil-Drilling Rig Sinks in Gulf of Mexico". Bloomberg. Retrieved April 22, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Deepwater Horizon Incident, Gulf of Mexico". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Response and Restoration. April 24, 2010.,subtopic_id,topic_id&entry_id%28entry_subtopic_topic%29=809&subtopic_id%28entry_subtopic_topic%29=2&topic_id%28entry_subtopic_topic%29=1. Retrieved April 25, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Bird Habitats Threatened by Oil Spill". National Wildlife (National Wildlife Federation). April 30, 2010. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 

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Transocean LTD.
Industry Oil Equipment & Services
Founded 1973 as Sonat Offshore
Headquarters Zug, Switzerland
Key people Steven Newman, Chief Executive Officer
Products Drilling
Oil and Gas Exploration
Revenue $12.674 billion (2008)
Net income $4.202 billion (2008)
Employees 26,300 (2008)

Transocean LTD. NYSERIG is the world's largest offshore drilling contractor. The company rents floating mobile drill rigs, along with the equipment and personnel for operations, to oil and gas companies at an average daily rate of $142,000 (2006). Transocean's day rates extend as high as $650,000 for its deepwater drillships, which house dual activity derricks and can drill in ultra-deep ocean depths of 10,000 ft (3,000 m).[1]

The company was spun-off from its parent, Birmingham, Alabama-based Sonat, Inc. in 1993 and was originally called Sonat Offshore Drilling, Inc. Sonat Offshore acquired the Norwegian group Transocean ASA in 1996 and adopted its name. In 2000 the company merged with Sedco Forex, and was renamed Transocean Sedco Forex. In 2001 the company bought Reading & Bates Falcon. The name of the company was simplified to Transocean in 2003. Sedco Forex was part of Schlumberger until 2000 when it was spun off. Sedco Forex was formed from the merger of two drilling companies, the Southeast Drilling Company (Sedco) and French drilling company Forex.

Transocean employs 26,300 people, and has a fleet of 136 vessels and units (March, 2009). It was incorporated in the Cayman Islands, the principal office is in Houston, Texas. On December 8, 2008, shareholders voted to move its incorporation from the Caymans to Zug, Switzerland.[2] The company has offices in 20 countries, with major offices in Stavanger, Aberdeen, Perth, Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia.

On July 23, 2007, Transocean announced a merger with GlobalSantaFe Corporation. The merger was completed on November 27, 2007.

Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion

On April 21, 2010, a fire was reported on a Transocean-owned semisubmersible drilling rig named Deepwater Horizon, made by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, South Korea. The Deepwater Horizon is a Reading & Bates Falcon RBS8D design, a firm that was acquired by Transocean in 2001. The fire was at 10:00 p.m. CST in the US sector of the Gulf of Mexico. The rig was 41 mi (66 km) off Lousiana coast. The majority of the 126 member crew escaped from the rig but eleven were reported missing after the explosion. Seven people were critically injured and hospitalized.[3] The US Coast Guard launched a rescue operation after the explosion.[4]

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency Thursday April 29, as the oil slick grew and headed toward the most important and most sensitive wetlands in North America, threatening to destroy wildlife and the livelihood of thousands of fishermen. The head of BP Group told CNN's Brian Todd on April 28 that the accident could have been prevented, and focused blame on rig owner Transocean. [5]


  1. ^ Wikinvest:Transocean (RIG)
  2. ^ "Transocean shareholders OK Swiss move". 2008-12-08. .
  3. ^ "At least 11 missing after blast on oil rig in Gulf". CNN. 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 
  4. ^ Transocean Ltd (21 April 2010). "Transocean Ltd. Reports Fire on Semisubmersible Drilling Rig Deepwater Horizon". Press release. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  5. ^ CNN Oil slick just a few miles from Louisiana coast

See also

External links

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