June 15, 1976 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

Bethlehem Builds Drill Rig For Norwegian Group, With GE Credit Furnishing First Mortgage, To Work Off Louisiana Coast For Shell Oil

The Fjelldrill (shown on the cover), an offshore mat-supported jackup drilling platform designed and built by Bethlehem Steel Corporation's Beaumont (Texas) shipyard, was recently commissioned.

The vessel is owned by the Olsen and Ugelstad group of Oslo, Norway. Construction of the Fjelldrill was managed by Houston Offshore International, Inc., as part of its joint venture with Olsen and Ugelstad.

Sponsor of the vessel was Mrs.

Marit Helene Ugelstad, wife of Paul Ugelstad, executive vice president and director of A/S Olsen and Ugelstad. Ralph Leaf, general manager of the shipyard, was master of ceremonies. Guests attending the commissioning included a number of persons from Europe. Officials attending included Kristoffer Olsen, chairman of A/S Olsen and Ugelstad; Ole Lund, president and chief executive officer of A/S Olsen and Ugelstad, and Jerry Chiles, president of Houston Offshore International.

Designed for drilling in up to 250 feet of water and with a drilling capacity of 25,000 feet, the Fjelldrill is built to meet both American Bureau of Shipping and Norwegian regulations. The unit has air-conditioned quarters for 60 men, constructed with U.S.

Coast Guard approved materials.

Quarters can be converted to accommodate 80 men when the rig is in foreign service.

The mat is 270 feet long and 170 feet wide. The platform is 166 feet long and 109 feet wide.

Each of the three columns is 12 feet in diameter and when the upper sections are erected, will be 312 feet high.

Operation of the new rig will be managed by Houston Offshore International, Inc. The rig will be initially under contract to Shell Oil Company for work offshore Louisiana.

Financing for the new rig consisted of a first mortgage of $8 million held by General Electric Credit Corporation, and a second mortgage of $10 million arranged by Continental Illinois Bank & Trust Company in conjunction with Fellsbanken of Oslo, Norway.

This $10 million will be guaranteed by the Norwegian Guarantee Institute — a quasigovernmental institution similar to the U.S. Maritime Administration which makes similar guarantees for U.S. vessels under Title XI.

The Houston investment banking firm of Rotan Mosle Inc.

acted as agent for Olsen & Ugelstad in arranging the first mortgage.

Financing of the Fjelldrill is the first major financing in the foreign sector of the marine industry by GE Credit, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Electric Company and the world's largest lessor of industrial and transportation equipment.

Other stories from June 15, 1976 issue


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