January 9, 1982 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

HUD Nears Completion Of $80 M i l l i on Conversion Of Bulk Carrier To Drillship For Australia

Hongkong United Dockyards' (HUD) largest ship conversion contract is nearing completion at the company's Tsing Yi Island yard.

The $30-million one-year contract, due to be completed in the third quarter of 1982, is for the conversion of an 18,949-dwt bulkcarrier into a sophisticated 9,215-dwt variable load drillship. The total value of the contract with the purchase of special drilling equipment is about $80 million.

Called the Energy Searcher, the vessel is owned by Pacific Supplier Inc. and will be managed by Atwood Oceanics on behalf of the owners, which include Offshore Oil NL, an Australian oil and gas exploration and production company. She will operate in Australian offshore waters and fly the Australian flag.

The conversion has involved more than 2,000 tons of new steel for extensive modification, rebuilding and extending the accommodation area and services for 110 personnel to meet Australian crew regulations; the fitting of a heli-deck to take Sikorsky S61N helicopters; the installation of a sophisticated eight-point mooring system and sponsons; and the fitting of hundreds of pieces of specialized equipment.

The 160-foot drilling derrick on the Energy Searcher was installed on its platform over the moon pool in just 22 days and with total accuracy.

When completed, the Energy Searcher will be capable of drilling to 20,000 feet in 1,500 feet of water.

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