Transocean's Big Move: Adapting Offshore Drilling Vessels to Install Wind Foundations

Credit: Ana/AdobeStock
Credit: Ana/AdobeStock

Transocean, best known for its deepwater drilling services in the oil and gas space, is looking to expand into the offshore wind sector and is planning to convert some of its offshore drilling vessels into wind foundation installation vessels.

The company said Wednesday it had executed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with offshore wind installation services firm Eneti with a plan to form a joint venture company that will engage in offshore wind foundation installation activities.

The formation of the joint venture is subject to the successful negotiation and execution of definitive agreements. 

The parties expect the definitive agreements would provide that the operations of the joint venture would be performed initially by personnel from both Eneti and Transocean.

The joint venture, with technical assistance from the joint venture partners, would be responsible for converting up to two fit for purpose floating vessels into offshore wind foundation installation vessels. Transocean operates both drillships and semi-submersible drilling rigs.

While Transocean itself did not say which vessels exactly would be converted, Eneti, in a separate statement, said the plan is to convert "at least two Transocean vessels into floating offshore wind foundation installation platforms."

"Upgrades to the vessels would include a 5200t crane and are expected to provide them with the capability to carry up to six 3,500t monopile foundations with 12m diameter and possess certain other environmentally responsible and efficiency-enhancing operating features. Eneti and Transocean have the right, but not the obligation, to invest in the joint venture along with other financial partners," Transocean said.

"The joint venture would benefit from the best-in-class experience of both partners across their respective core businesses providing offshore services. 

Transocean said its vast experience operating a global fleet of dynamically positioned offshore drilling rigs to a diverse base of energy-producing customers on long-term contracts will be combined with Eneti’s experience through Seajacks International Ltd., installing more than 500 wind turbine foundation components and executing “transport and Installation contracts” at wind farms including Akita & Noshiro (Japan), Meerwind (Germany), Veja Mate (Germany), and Moray East (Scotland)," Transocean said in a statement.

Transocean announced its quarterly fleet status report on Wednesday, in which it said it had secured $546 million worth of drilling contracts in the past quarter, bringing its total backlog to approximately $8.6 billion. Read More.

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