Deepwater Nautilus

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Deepwater Nautilus.jpg
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
Status: operational
Notes: [1][2]
General characteristics
Class and type: ABS +A1 Column Stabilized CDS, P, PAS
  • 29,051 GT
  • 8,715 NT
Length: 114 m (374 ft)
Beam: 78 m (256 ft)
Draught: 23 m (75 ft)
Depth: 41.5 m (136 ft)
Installed power:
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 currently leased through August 2017 to Royal Dutch Shell at the rate of $531,000 per day for drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico.[3]


Deepwater Nautilus is a fifth-generation, RBS-8M design, ultra-deepwater, column-stabilized, semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit, designed to drill subsea wells for oil exploration and production.[4]

She was designed 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]

In 2002, Deepwater Nautilus discovered oil at the Shell-operated Great White oil field in Alaminos Canyon block 813.[7]

On March 6, 2002 she drilled a well in water depth of 8,009 feet (2,441 m) at the Great White field (Alaminos Canyon block 857).[8]

In 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.[9]

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.[10]


In 2004, at the time of Hurricane Ivan Deepwater Nautilus broke free from its location.[11]

In 2005, as a result of Hurricane Katrina Deepwater Nautilus had drifted off location. All personnel had been safely evacuated before the approach of the storm.[12]

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.[13]

Less than a month later, Deepwater Nautilus broke free during Hurricane Rita.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Fleet Specifications: Deepwater Nautilus". Transocean. Archived from the original on 2010-06-16. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  2. ^ a b "ABS Record: Deepwater Nautilus". American Bureau of Shipping. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  3. ^ Transocean Fleet Status Report: February 2016
  4. ^ "Rig Data: Deepwater Nautilus". Rigzone. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  5. ^ "Deepwater Nautilus Drilling Rig". Subsea.Org. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  6. ^ a b c "Deepwater Nautilus Breaks World Record for Moored Rig". RigZone. May 27, 2004. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  7. ^ "Analysis: U.S. to Reap Fruits of Deepwater Labor". Rigzone. March 26, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  8. ^ Maksoud, Judy (October 1, 2002). "Deepwater Nautilus sets another world record in the GoM". Offshore Magazine. 62 (10). PennWell Corporation. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  9. ^ "Deepwater Nautilus Team Sets Subsea Completion Record". Rigzone. May 7, 2004. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  10. ^ "Deepwater Nautilus Team Sets Subsea Completion Record". Rigzone. March 19, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  11. ^ "Transocean Inc. Semisubmersible Deepwater Nautilus Unaccounted For Following Storm"., Inc. September 16, 2004. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  12. ^ "Transocean's Deepwater Nautilus Drifts Off Location". Rigzone. August 30, 2005. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  13. ^ "Transocean's Deepwater Nautilus Damaged During Hurricane Katrina". Rigzone. August 31, 2005. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  14. ^ "Deepwater Nautilus Breaks Loose in Heavy Hurricane Rita Seas". Rigzone. September 23, 2005. Retrieved 2010-06-19.