Deepwater Nautilus

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Name: Deepwater Nautilus
Owner: Triton Nautilus Asset Leasing GmbH, a subsidiary of Transocean
Operator: Transocean
Port of registry: Panama
Route: Gulf of Mexico
Ordered: December 1998
Builder: Hyundai Heavy Industries
Way number: 89
Laid down: January 15, 1999
Completed: 2000
Acquired: January 15, 2000
Identification: ABS class no.: 0036567
Call sign: HP-9953
IMO number: 8764781
Status: operational
Notes: [1][2]
General characteristics
Class and type: ABS +A1 Column Stabilized CDS, P, PAS
Tonnage: 29051 GT
Length: 114 m (374 ft)
Beam: 78 m (256 ft)
Draught: 23 m (75 ft)
Depth: 41.5 m (136 ft)
Installed power: 4 x Wärtsilä 12V32D 6300 hp diesel engines
4 x ABB generators
Capacity: Drill water: 3,142 m3 (111,000 cu ft)
Potable water: 675 m3 (23,800 cu ft)
Fuel oil: 4,293 m3 (151,600 cu ft)
Bulk mud: 462 m3 (16,300 cu ft)
Bulk cement: 231 m3 (8,200 cu ft)
Notes: [1][2]

Deepwater Nautilus is an ultra-deepwater, semi-submersible offshore drilling rig. Built in 2000 in South Korea, she is owned by Transocean, registered in Panama, and leased to Royal Dutch Shell for drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico until December 2011.[3]


Deepwater Nautilus is a fifth-generation, RBS-8D design, ultra-deepwater, column-stabilized, semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit, designed to drill subsea wells for oil exploration and production.[4] She was design by Reading & Bates RBS-8M and built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in 2000 at the Ulsan shipyard in South Korea. Deepwater Nautilus can operate at water depths up to 8,000 feet (2,400 m) and has drilling depth down to 30,000 feet (9,100 m).[5]



In 2000, Deepwater Nautilus set the world water-depth record for an offshore drilling rig operating in moored configuration at 7,785 feet (2,373 m) at the Alaminos Canyon block 557 in the United State sector of the Gulf of Mexico.[6][7] In 2002, Deepwater Nautilus discovered oil at the Shell-operated Great White oil field in Alaminos Canyon block 813.[8] On 6 March 2002 she drilled a well in water depth of 8,009 feet (2,441 m) at the Great White field (Alaminos Canyon block 857).[9] At the same year, the new record was set at 8,070 feet (2,460 m) while drilling at the Alaminos Canyon block 813.[6] This record was surpassed in 2003 by waterdepth of 8,717 feet (2,657 m) at the Alaminos Canyon block 857.[10] In 2004, the water-depth of 8,951 feet (2,728 m) was achieved in Lloyd block 399.[6] In March 2009, Deepwater Nautilus discovered oil at the Appomattox prospect in Mississippi Canyon blocks 391 and 392.[11]


In 2004, at the time of Hurricane Ivan Deepwater Nautilus broke free from its location.[12] In 2005, as a result of Hurricane Katrina Deepwater Nautilus had drifted off location. All personnel had been safely evacuated abefore the approach of the storm.[13] The rig's mooring system revealed significant damage and the rig lost approximately 3,200 feet (980 m) of marine riser and a portion of the subsea well control system.[14] Less than month later, Deepwater Nautilus broke free during Hurricane Rita.[15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Fleet Specifications: Deepwater Nautilus". Transocean. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "ABS Record: Deepwater Nautilus". American Bureau of Shipping. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  3. "Transocean Wins Contract Extension for Deepwater Nautilus". Transcoean. Rigzone. 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  4. "Rig Data: Deepwater Nautilus". Rigzone. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  5. "Deepwater Nautilus Drilling Rig". Subsea.Org. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Deepwater Nautilus Breaks World Record for Moored Rig". Transcoean. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  7. "Fifth-generation semisubmersibles". World Oil (CBS Interactive Inc.). December 2004. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  8. "Analysis: U.S. to Reap Fruits of Deepwater Labor". Rigzone (Rigzone). 2010-03-26. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  9. Maksoud, Judy (2002-10-01). "Deepwater Nautilus sets another world record in the GoM". Offshore Magazine (PennWell Corporation) 62 (10). Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  10. "Deepwater Nautilus Team Sets Subsea Completion Record". Transcoean (Rigzone). 2004-05-07. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  11. "Deepwater Nautilus Team Sets Subsea Completion Record". Transcoean (Rigzone). 2010-03-19. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  12. "Transocean Inc. Semisubmersible Deepwater Nautilus Unaccounted For Following Storm.". Transocean (, Inc.). 2004-09-16. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  13. "Transcoean's Deepwater Nautilus Drifts Off Location". Transcoean (Rigzone). 2005-08-30. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  14. "Transocean's Deepwater Nautilus Damaged During Hurricane Katrina". Transcoean (Rigzone). 2005-08-31. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  15. "Deepwater Nautilus Breaks Loose in Heavy Hurricane Rita Seas". Rigzone (Rigzone). 2005-09-23. Retrieved 2010-06-19.