Santa Fe International Corp. announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the construction of two deepwater semi-submersibles and up to four high performance jackup drilling rigs.
The authorization is contingent upon successful negotiation of contracts for construction of the rigs which meet the parameters and conditions established by the Board.
The Company anticipates that the rig building program will be funded through existing cash balances plus cash flow to be generated over the program's duration; however, the company may borrow some of the required funds if conditions warrant.
While definitive construction schedules have yet to be agreed, both the semi program and the jackup program will have approximately the same start date and are expected to proceed simultaneously with follow-on jackup construction starting at twelve month intervals and the second semi starting approximately eighteen months after the first.
It is anticipated that the first jackup will be delivered in late 2002 and the first semi in late 2003.
Construction of two deepwater semi-submersibles, designed primarily for development drilling in up to 7,500 feet of water in benign environments, begins to fulfill Santa Fe's often stated goal of extending its recognized expertise in floating drilling to the deepwater arena.
These new rigs will be outfitted to achieve the most efficient and cost effective performance possible in drilling multiple well, deepwater development programs.
Santa Fe owns and operates three semis currently equipped to drill in up to 2,400 feet of water and operates, in the Caspian Sea, two additional semis owned by Santa Fe's partner in the Caspian Drilling Company joint venture.
The planned jackup program anticipates an increasing requirement for high performance jackups capable of drilling deeper and more difficult wells in various areas of the world.
The new rigs will have the approximate drilling capability of Santa Fe's heavy duty harsh environment jackups and will be capable of drilling in 350 to 400 foot water depths in benign areas.
These rigs will be equipped with 75 foot extended reach cantilevers, 7500 PSI pumps, and large volume mud storage and deck load capacity available on only a handful of jackups in the world fleet.
Though the rigs are not initially being equipped for work in the central North Sea, they will be capable of working in harsh environments in up to 300 to 350 feet of water depending on specific site assessments.
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