Friede Goldman Halter announced the departure of the "Leiv Eiriksson," the first of two world-class, fifth-generation deepwater semisubmersible drilling units under construction by Friede Goldman Offshore for the Norwegian company, Ocean Rig ASA. The "Leiv Eiriksson" and the "Eirik Raude" are the largest and most complex rigs ever built in the United States. They are designed to drill to 30,000 feet below the earth's surface in water depths up to 7,500 feet and to keep drilling even in force 8 gales and while experiencing 40-foot waves.
The unit is being towed from Friede Goldman Offshore's Pascagoula facility to undergo final outfitting, including the installation of the dynamic positioning thruster system. "We are extremely pleased to complete the shipyard portion of work on the "Leiv Eiriksson," said John Alford, President and chief executive officer of Friede Goldman Halter. "This program has been a challenge to all parties involved and we are exceptionally proud of the workmanship that went into these rigs." The second semisubmersible, the "Eirik Raude," is still under construction and is expected to leave the Pascagoula yard by the end of the year.