The West Gemini is an ultra-deepwater drillship that was constructed at South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries Shipyard for Seadrill. It used the Samsung Heavy Industries S10000 design during its construction before being delivered in 2010. It stayed slightly under its estimated $600 million building budget and was built to accommodate a 180-person crew.
The dimensions of the Panama-flagged West Gemini show it to be 748 feet long, 137.8 feet wide and 39.5 feet deep. With its Kongsberg DP Class 3 dynamic positioning in place, the ship achieves its station keeping, while its 38,000-feet maximum drill depth can operate in depths up to 10,000 feet. Its gross tonnage is 59,626, its deadweight tonnage checks in at 61,122 tons and its transit speed allows it to move at a pace of up to 11.5 knots.
Prior to beginning a two-year contract with French oil power Total to drill for oil in Angola, the West Gemini went through a dry run in the waters of South Korea. Upon arriving in Angola in August 2010, it began preparations for the operational startup of Total’s massive CLOV project in the Block 17 area, making it the fifth unit for Seadrill in Angola. The CLOV is an $8 billion investment by Total that’s located 87 miles off the coast of Luanda, the capital city of Angola.
The two-year deal was for $345 million, with an option for an additional year. That option was picked up and preceded a new four-year deal in 2013 that took advantage of the then-thriving market.
However, like many others in the oil industry, the severe economic downturn that began in mid-2014 took a toll on Seadrill, which has sustained heavy losses since the price slide began. However, the West Gemini remains in operation in Angola through October 2017.