China delivers the largest drilling rig in the world

The world’s most advanced ultra-deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig has been delivered by China’s Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore shipyard.

The DP3 rig Bluewhale 1 has an operating depth of up to 12,000 feet (3,658 meters) and a drilling depth to 50,000 feet (15,240 meters), making it capable of drilling in any waters around the world. It is 387 feet (118 meters) high, equal to a 37-story building.

CIMC Raffles says the 42,000 ton vessel uses 10 percent less fuel than comparable rigs.

The rig cost $700 million and will be operated by CPOE and Bluewhale and has been classed by DNV GL.

Bluewhale 1 is the ninth deep-water semisubmersible drilling rig delivered by CIMC Raffles.

Seven Chinese shipyards formed an alliance to share rig building resources late last year. The China Offshore (Deepsea) Industry Alliance includes Yantai CIMC Raffles, Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company, Cosco (Qidong) Shipyard, Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, China Merchants Heavy Industry (Shenzhen), Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Offshore and Cosco Shipyard.

The offshore and marine equipment sector is one of the 10 industries nominated in the country’s Made in China 2025 strategy.

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