The Discoverer Luanda is part of the Enhanced Enterprise class of Transocean. It’s owned in part by a joint venture company Angco Cayman Limited, with that firm holding a 35 percent interest. It was delivered in 2010 after being built at the Daewoo Shipyard in South Korea.
A double hull drill ship, its dimensions are 835 feet in length, a width of 125 feet and depth of 62 feet. It can travel up to 12 knots and has a maximum drilling depth of 30,000 feet.
Originally an oil tanker, the Discoverer Luanda was converted to its present status in Singapore. It uses a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel as well as a dynamic positioning system that allows for station keeping.
At present, Discoverer Luanda continues its drilling approximately 100 miles off the coast of Angola in West Africa and currently holds the flag of Marshall Island. At the time it was finished in 2010, it was contracted to work for BP for a period of seven years, with that contract ending early in 2017.
The drill ship eventually reached Angola in July 2010 but was unable to begin work on the Plutao, Saturno, Venus and Marte (PSVM) fields until December of that year. The reason was because of the surrounding controversy concerning the massive BP oil spill that had taken place in June 2010.
To avoid similar circumstances, the company instituted new safety standards for deep-water drilling. The delay in getting started helped push back prevented oil from being produced until December 2012. However, within a year, the operation had reached its barrels-per-day production plateau of 150,000.
The project encompasses four oil fields that are spread over an area that’s more than 21 miles wide. BP is paying $487,000 per day to lease the drill ship.