November 24, 2019

On November 8, 2015, the Houston-based drilling contractor Diamond Offshore advised that the ultra-deepwater drillship Ocean Clipper had been released by Petrobras, and will be sold for scrap. Data from Rig Logix and Diamond Offshore said at that time, that the drillship, a Wodeco/Mitsubishi design was delivered in 1977, at the Kobe Japan Shipyard.
This is just a part of the drillship history.
All started in 1954 in the US port of Newport with the launch of the W. Alton Jones tanker. Owned by Grand Bassa Tankers, the unit was later on renamed Service Valley Forge. The tanker had a long career through the oceans of the world. In December 1969 the vessel came briefly into the spotlight when she collided the tanker M/V Esso Colon in the straits of Singapore.
According to the British Ship Research Association, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Kobe used the forebody of the Cities Service Valley Forge to build a modern drillship, the Wodeco IX capable of drilling in a water depth of 300 meters. The tanker forebody represented two-thirds of the total length of the new ship. In 1996 Diamond Offshore began converting the drillship renamed to Ocean Clipper, into an UDW vessel in preparation for contracted drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The start of a successful deepwater career with no one to remember or know that most of the ship hull was built in the 1950’s.
(Image: W. Alton Jones tanker tanker and later the Diamond Offshore Ocean Clipper)