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Drilling (Mobile Drilling Units)

Drillships (Moored Vessels)

Early drillships were moored on location using 4 to 8 mooring lines leading to anchors or preset buoys. In 1963, the industry developed a design which permitted the drillship to rotate 360 degrees around an integral turret so it could always head into the seas thus reducing rolling motion.

The evolution of moored drillships follows:

Year Vessel Company Location Remarks
1956 Submarex CUSS Group California Over-the-side coring rig
1956 Wn. Explorer Standard Oil California Center mounted coring rig
1956 CUSS I CUSS Group California Full oilwell capability with center moon pool
1957 D-1 The Offshore Co. Gulf of Paria 1st oil discovery from a floating vessel
1959 NOLA 1
Zapata Offshore Gulf of Mexico Converted YF Barges with over-the-side catilever rigs
1962 Glomar II Global Marine Inc. Cook Inlet 1st new construction purpose-built drillship
1962 C. P. Baker Reading & Bates Gulf of Mexico Catamaran formed by joining two YF hulls
1963 Discoverer I The Offshore Co. Gulf of Mexico 1st center turret mooring system


Recognizing the pioneering efforts of the following people and companies who contributed to the development of this technology:

CUSS Group [Continental Oil Co. (Conoco), Union Oil Co. (Unocal), The Superior Oil Co. (ExxonMobil) and Shell Oil Co. - Robert Bauer and A. J. Field.
Global Marine Inc. (GlobalSantaFe) - John R. Graham.
The Offshore Company (Transocean Inc.) - F. "Tim" Pease, George T. Richardson, George M. Savage, and Joe Scruggs.
Reading & Bates (Transocean Inc.) - George Temple
Standard Oil of California (ChevronTexaco) - Glen Schurman and Ken Nicholsen
Zapata Offshore Co. (Diamond Offshore) - George H. W. Bush


2011 Call for Nominations
2011 Industry Pioneer Nomination Form 
2011 Technology Pioneer Nomination Form

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