Photos: Giant ‘Blue Whale II’ Drilling Rig Nearing Completion in China

CIMC Raffles started the final series of sea trials for the ultra-deepwater drilling rig Blue Whale II in preparation for its delivery later this year.

Together with its award-winning sister rig Blue Whale I, which was completed in February, the two rigs are among the most advanced offshore drilling rigs in the world – designed to operate in 12,000 feet of water and drill to a depth of 50,000 feet.

The rigs were constructed based on the Frigstad D90 design and are equipped with a dynamic positioning 3 system.

They were originally ordered by Frigstad Offshore, but in 2016 the company decided to sell the newbuilds to a subsidiary of CIMC amid the prolonged downturn in the offshore oil and gas industry. 

Blue Whale I recently finished drilling its first successful deep-water well for methane hydrate in the South China Sea on behalf of China National Petroleum Corporation.

Blue Whale II rig
Photo: CIMC
blue whale II drilling rig
Photo: CIMC
Blue Whale 1 drilling rig
Blue Whale I. Photo: CIMC

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