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TransoceanSedcoForex (TSF) said it set another world record for ultra-deepwater drilling when the company’s Discoverer Spirit drillship spudded an appraisal well in 9,727 ft of water in the Gulf of Mexico for Unocal. The rig installed and tested BOP equipment October 28 on the Trident 2 well in Alaminos Canyon Block 903, surpassing the previous industry water depth record, also held by the same rig, for drilling in 9,687-ft water. The prior record was set in May 2001 on the first Trident well in the same block.
The Discoverer Spirit utilizes TSF’s proprietary dual-activity drilling process. Along with Unocal’s unique approach to low-cost drilling, dual activity is designed to reduce, by about 15%, the time required to drill exploration wells, and up to 40% for production wells. The time savings are achieved by performing drilling tasks in parallel steps, instead of sequentially, as with conventional offshore drilling rigs. To date, Spirit has drilled five deepwater exploration wells in the Gulf for Unocal, resulting in significant time savings.
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