The Ensco8500, one of the two Keppel FELS rigs to be given the green light to re-enter the Gulf of Mexico.
The new "fitness" certification requirement was introduced under the new regulatory framework following the BP oil spill in April and the subsequent ban on drilling activities until Nov 30 by the US government. These two units are now working again for Ensco's customers and are doing the owner proud with their excellent operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Ensco 8503 is slated to start a two-year primary term with Cobalt International Energy, L.P. in the Gulf of Mexico early next year. It is the fourth in a US$3 billion series of seven Ensco 8500 semisubmersible drilling rigs being built exclusively for Ensco. The remaining rigs are expected to be delivered through 2012.
[ Time flies, a few years on since the day I went to the Gulf to go on board and take a look at the E7500 in 2005 while our management was talking to ENSCO for the building of 8500 series. Some improvements made to the 7500 which was built in US yard F&G Texas, former TDI Halter yard. Long way from Houston to Gulf, drove all the way 7hours to Louisana and from there another 2 hours to Holma for a chopper flight to the rig .... ]