Stena Drilling Takes Delivery of Stena Evolution Drillship

Stena Evolution (Credit: Stena Drilling)
Stena Evolution (Credit: Stena Drilling)

Offshore drilling contractor Stena Drilling has taken delivery of its 7th generation Stena Evolution ultra-deepwater drillship from Samsung Heavy Industries.

After a decade in the making, Stena Evolution drillship has finally been completed and is ready for its first job.

The technologically advanced drillship is capable of operating at water depths of up to 12,000ft (around 3,500 meters) and drilling depths up to 40,000ft (over 12,000 meters).

The drilling unit utilizes riser storage in hull to offer extensive deck space with a 24,000MT VDL.

In addition, the vessel is a prime candidate for upgrading for 20,000 psi well operations, according to Stena Drilling.

Stena Drilling took delivery of the unit at Samsung Heay Industries’ shipyard on Wednesday, January 17, 2024.

The drillship is scheduled to leave South Korea on Friday, January 19, to head for its first assignment with Shell in Gulf of Mexico, via Singapore and South Africa.

In 2023, Shell and Stena Drilling agreed a long-term scope of work for Stena Evolution, for a primary term of 5 years, and with an option to extend the contract upon completion.

Erik Ronsberg, CEO of Stena Drilling, has confirmed for Offshore Engineer that the drilling unit is expected to start operations with Shell this April.

To remind, the drillship was originally ordered by Ocean Rig in 2014. 

After agreeing on the newbuild rig delivery delays with Samsung in 2016, the drilling firm was then bought by Transocean in 2018, which subsequently canceled orders for two drillships originally submitted by Ocean Rig - the Ocean Rig Santorini and the Ocean Rig Crete.

The first of the two drillships was acquired by Saipem in 2022, following a charter deal with Samsung Heavy Industries with an option to buy that was signed in 2021.

In December the same year, Stena Drilling entered a purchase option agreement with Samsung Heavy Industries as well for the Ocean Rig Crete drillship, that was later renamed to Stena Evolution.

Currently, Stena Drilling's fleet consists of five drillships (Stena Evolution, Stena Carron, Stena Drillmax, Stena Forth, and Stena Icemax) and two semi-submersible drilling rigs (Stena Don and Stena Spey).

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