Another drill rig in Conception Bay

Published on December 7, 2012
The oil rig Henry Goodrich (left) has been joined in Conception Bay by a second rig. The West Aquarius (right) will be undergoing some safety alterations before drilling exploratory wells for Statoil. — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

The semi-submersible drill rig West Aquarius is now in Conception Bay.

The structure, used for deep-water drilling offshore, arrived overnight Wednesday.

Built in South Korea in 2009, the West Aquarius will be used by Statoil for exploration work.

The company is expected to take control of the rig in the coming days, following approvals by the offshore regulator.

“We have ambitious exploration targets offshore Newfoundland, and securing rig capacity is essential for reaching those targets,” Geir Richardsen, head of exploration for Statoil in Canada, stated in a news release May 14.

“We look forward to putting this rig’s capabilities into action.”

The rig can operate in harsh environments, up to 3,000 metres deep water, and has been taken on as an assignment from ExxonMobil Deepwater Rig Ltd.

The West Aquarius is expected to be used to drill a series of three exploration wells. Two of the wells will be in the Flemish Pass Basin and the third in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin.

The rig is now visible in the bay, along with the Henry Goodrich.

That rig, owned by Transocean, is undergoing changes to onboard equipment as a result of a safety evaluation by operator Husky Energy.

The safety review was a follow-up to a hydraulic cylinder being dropped onboard in late August.

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com