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A NEW MILESTONE has been reached in the offshore drilling industry. The first circular drilling rig prepared for drilling at a water depth of almost 4,200 m was named at COSCO Shipyard Groups Qidong Shipyard on June 28.

A grand naming ceremony was held at the site to celebrate the successful completion of the Sevan Driller.

"The successful construction of the Sevan Driller is a milestone for the COSCO Shipyard Group. It is also a milestone for China in the offshore industry. Offshore newbuilding has been clearly recognized as one of the focus areas for the Chinese shipbuilding industry to develop in the years to come. By this naming ceremony, China has demonstrated its capability and expertise," said Jorg Beiler, the vice president and regional manager of DNV China.

The Sevan Driller is the world's first of its kind, with the most advanced deep-water drilling capabilities that allow it to drill wells of up to almost 13,500 m in water depths of up to nearly 4,200 m and an internal storage capacity of up to 150,000 barrels of oil.

The owner is Sevan Marine. The construction of this rig started at COSCO Nantong Shipyard in May 2007 and was relocated to COSCO's Qidong Shipyard in April for derrick erection and final commissioning activities. The rig is due for delivery in the third quarter of this year and will be deployed by Petrobras in the Santos Basin, off the Brazilian coastline.

DNV is the Sevan Driller's class society. "COSCO Shipyard has demonstrated its unswerving pursuit of technology and quality during the construction. The yard took two years to construct the world’s first offshore unit. That’s a significant achievement which shows to the offshore sector that Chinese shipyards can deliver a major offshore drilling rig on time and within budget," said DNV project manager Kevin Church.