Aker Drilling has placed an order for two Aker H-6e semi-submersible drilling rigs designed for operations under extreme offshore conditions. According to the company, Aker H-6e rigs represent something entirely new in the rig industry. These rigs are a size up from other sixth-generation rigs, and the 6e designation denotes that they have been designed for extreme offshore working environments such as ultra-deep Arctic waters, far from any existing infrastructure. They are configured for dynamic positioning to 3,000 m water depth.
The Aker H-6e rigs feature an expanded topside area and additional payload and storage capacity compared with similar rigs and are suitable for operation in rough seas. Vertical racking of risers and casing provides a low center of gravity that enhances stability. The rig‘s drilling system features advanced capabilities and include remote control of drilling and diagnostics from onshore facilities. The capacity of crew accommodations is greater than those on comparable drilling rigs and feature flexible design and layout, which can be easily adapted to suit customers‘ operational requirements.
The two identical rigs of the Aker H-6e type, designed and built by Aker Kværner, will each cost approximately NOK 3,800 million. The first rig will be ready for drilling by February 2008; the second rig will go into operation eight months later.