EARLY 1970’s: SUCCESS OF THE GUSTO MSC PELICAN CLASS DRILLSHIPS

After the launch of the Sedco 445, first drillship to operate in DP mode in 1971, the Gusto MSC Pelican went into service in 1972. The revolutionary vessel was designed in close co-operation with Total and the French offshore drilling contractor Foramer. The Pelican was able to operate in deeper water, up to 320 meters, under worse adverse conditions and was self-supporting for a longer time. The dynamic positioning was effectuated by two longitudinal propellers and five transverse propellers. The vessel could keep its station even under 45 knot winds and 5 meters waves. The Pelican drilled successfully during a 554 days drilling campaign offshore Labrador between 1973 and 1975. The five initial Pelican class units were built at IHC Gusto in Schiedam, Netherlands, 2 units were built at Scott Lithgow Uk and 2 more at Rauma Repola, Finland. The design of the Pelican series drill ships evolved over the years, Pelerin, Polly Bristol, Ben Ocean Lancer and Pacnorse 1 came with an enhanced design and capacity to drill in water depth of 1,500 meters. The design was further enhanced to construct the ice class drillships Mikhail Mirchink and Viktor Muravlenko. This versatile design has been a remarkable success for Gusto MSC. A few of them such as the Jasper Explore or the Sagar Bhushan are still active. (Image: Pelican drillship in the Sea of Iroise off the coast of Fremch Brittany, seen from the semi-submersible Pentagone 84 in June 1975 – Rene P./energy global news)