The Ensco DS-5 is a drill ship that began its operational life as the Deep Ocean Mendocino. With a dynamic positioning system in place, it accommodates a crew of 200 people. It was the last of three ships from the Deep Ocean fleet that were ordered by Pride International. The first two ships, the Ascension and Clarion, were delivered in 2010, with the Mendocino following in January 2011.
With a length of 751 feet, a breadth of 138 feet, a depth the Ensco DS-5 possesses a gross tonnage of 60,105 tons and a deadweight tonnage of 60,663 tons. Marshall Island-flagged, it was constructed at Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea.
It has an active fluid storage and handling system that can accommodate 6,000 barrels of oil. With respect to the maximum depths the drill ship can handle, the water depth tops out at 10,000 feet, while the drilling reaches depths of 40,000 feet.
After Pride International accepted the drill ship, it was sent to the Gulf of Mexico to begin work on a five-year contract in July 2011 with Petrobras America, a subsidiary of the Brazilian oil giant. Things abruptly changed in June 2012, when the ship was re-christened the Ensco DS-5, which came one year after Ensco had acquired Pride International.
Work progressed on the Petrobras project at a rate of $435,000 with little fanfare over the next few years until the steep drop in oil prices began in mid-2014. By the following year, the Ensco DS-5’s sister ship, DS-4, had ended its contract early.
An ugly legal battle ensued in January 2016, when Petrobras cancelled their contract, citing corruption charges against Pride International. As a result, the Ensco DS-5 has been cold stacked since May 2016, with Ensco taking Petrobras and Samsung Heavy Industries to arbitration.