The Board of Directors for Rowan Companies has approved the construction of three additional Tarzan class jack up rigs. The first of the four Tarzan class rigs to be built, the Scooter Yeargain, is currently under construction.
The Company initiated the development of the Tarzan class jack up last year in anticipation of greater emphasis on deeper drilling on the Gulf of Mexico's Outer Continental Shelf, following implementation of deep gas royalty incentives by the Minerals Management Service. The Tarzan class jack-up will provide more efficient drilling beyond 15,000 feet, operating in up to two hundred and fifty feet of water. Of the more than 50,000 wells drilled to-date within this water depth in the Gulf of Mexico, less than a tenth have reached a drilling depth greater than fifteen thousand feet. Over the past several months, Rowan jack-ups have increasingly been utilized on such shallow-water, deep gas wells.
Bob Palmer, Rowan Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "It has been one year since Rowan committed to the design and construction of a new class of drilling rig, specifically designed for wells to be drilled in the 15,000-30,000 foot depth range on the US Continental Shelf.
"The design is essentially complete and fabrication of numerous components is underway. We expect the Scooter Yeargain to be ready for service by mid-year 2004. The three additional Tarzan class rigs should be delivered by year-end 2006, and will have an aggregate cost approaching $300 million. Rowan is a niche player -- and the Tarzan class jack-up rig represents our newest niche."