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EDrill-1 returns to the Gulf of Thailand

July 15th, 2020

Nothing comes easy during the COVID pandemic, least of all trying to activate a rig from one country to another, across international borders. The challenges are multi-folds; ranging from yard preparation in Singapore to towing the rig into the Arthit Field.

The travel restrictions imposed by nations meant that no crew were allowed into Singapore to help prepare the rig for mobilisation as was usually the case. The resourcefulness of the project team and willingness of the limited crew of 10 men to multi-task allowed for the timely departure of EDrill-1 on the 22nd of June as planned.

Meanwhile, the first set of crew entered into a 7-day quarantine organised by the client, PTTEP, in Songkhla on the 20th June in order to be ready to meet the rig offshore on the 27th June as envisaged. All these were organised with military precision. The first test chopper landed in the early hours of the 27th and over the day, the entire crew were mobilised via a mix of chopper flights and crew boat.

Smiling faces on the rig were everywhere as everyone was happy to meet old colleagues again and get back to work. It was a joyful reunion unlike previous start-ups due in part to the difficulties encountered by everyone because of the ongoing pandemic. It feels good to know your buddies are safe and the rig is ready to drill again.

The EDrill-1 has completed the rig up and all acceptance testing on the 8th of July. It is drilling ahead and ready to serve PTTEP again well into 2024.

We wish her and the entire crew the very best.
Keep the flag flying high guys!!!!!



A new chapter for the EDrill-1


The magnificent 10 men riding crew


Cleanliness is godliness, especially during the COVID pandemic


Alex Maroske, QHSE Manager, putting to good use his training as a HLO as part of the multi-tasking


Rig manager, Dave Sandall, having a pre-job safety meeting



Smiling faces going for a joy ride

Life during COVID - Perspective of Darcy Westfall about being stuck in Singapore

July 10th, 2020

When the EDrill-1 completed its maiden 5 year contract with PTTEP in December 2019 and sailed to Singapore to be warm stacked and prepared for the current 4 years contract again for PTTEP, nobody would have thought of how the world would have changed during this period.

The original plan of having two teams of mechanical and electrical supervisors working on a 28/28 rotation in the yard in Singapore quickly became unworkable due to the travel restrictions imposed by nations.

As fate would have it, Darcy Westfall (Electrical) and Graham Walton (Mechanical) were the ones on rotation in Singapore when the borders closed. What was supposed to be a 28 days work stay became a 5 months ordeal.

The company is fortunate to have them worked diligently through this challenging period. We interviewed Darcy about his unique experience and here is what he has to say...

How do you feel about working in Singapore for an extended period, given the circumstances of the pandemic with all the restrictions and being unable to go home?

Well, when I left Canada on Feb 15th and landed in Singapore on Feb 17, I would have never have believed my 28 day rotation would turn into what is has been.

That will be 154 days as of July 21st when I am scheduled to be going home. Then another two weeks of quarantine in Canada after that. Not being able to go home has been very hard.

It’s hard to say how I feel. No one knew this would happen, no one really knows what is happening day to day, and no one knows when this will all end so we can start getting back to normal living.

I never thought I would say it, but the biggest thing is I am homesick. I have gotten de-sensitized because of this…I don’t know how to describe it.


What have you done to keep yourself motivated and keeping healthy during the circuit breaker in Singapore while continue to work and maintain the rig?

The company had rented a nice condo with 3 major parks close to it. We were able to swim until circuit breaker closed swimming pools and gyms.

I would go for daily long hikes through the nearby parks, just to kill time mostly. Exercise was secondary to trying to keep my mind off home.

Motivation came from a few different sources. For starters as much as I want to retire, I am not ready to. Financially or physically. I wanted to make this contract my last one and end on a good note.

Secondly, it may sound like a bit too much, but feel because I was in stuck in Singapore I should and could make the best of it. I thought I could make a difference for a lot of people, including myself. I hoped that Graham and I staying on and foregoing some of the hardships and many days away from home, would finally pay off.

It could put colleagues and friends back to work and secure a few more years of employment for myself. I did not relish the idea of looking for work again.

We stuck it out, got on each other`s nerves a lot…him more on mine, lol… but here we are today with the rig back in Thailand rigged up. We both survived with no physical scars.

We are well into the drilling program with all of the top-hole sections completed. Neither of us felt that we could just walk away and feel “alright” possibly ending work for everyone including ourselves, so we stayed.

I arrived first mid-February & Graham at the end of February. As luck would have it, he left before me too on July 9th…. lucky SOB =) 

There are plenty of other people that fought hard behind closed doors to keep it all going as well. We just don’t know the details but banks, shareholders and management all fought hard too.

I was a first-hand witness to seeing what management faced during the circuit breaker in Singapore. They should be applauded for their efforts.


What are the challenges you faced in Singapore and getting the rig re-activated?
How did you overcome these challenges?

There were so many challenges and changes from one day to the other. We didn’t know when we were going to work, which days of the week we could, who could, & who couldn’t.

To overcome a lot of the uncertainties, and challenges, I just started blocking things out or tell yourself its out your control and to live with it. What are the alternatives when it is out of your control?


What was your immediate feeling for being able to get the rig ready for departure from Singapore to Gulf of Thailand and riding the tow?

Well my immediate feeling was one of pride and accomplishment. It was a great feeling, plus it was relaxing to be leaving Singapore. It was an even better feeling landing the first few choppers and greeting people I had not seen since November. There were a lot of familiar faces, handshakes, and smiles that were wanting to get back to work.

It was a good feeling that we had made it. We are back drilling again, but there are still lots of hurdles to jump during Covid. Hopefully we can all get back to a normal life soon. Last, I can say I am very excited to finally be going home on July 20th or 21st. I am proud of what we all accomplished in Singapore and in the Gulf of Thailand.

 

Mission accomplished! - Darcy on the EDrill-1 after the successful start-up on the Arthit Field

EDrill-2 at Kerisi Platform for MEDCO Energi

April 12th, 2020

On Good Friday, EDrill-2 completed the heavy lifts for erecting the DES at the Kerisi platform in the Natunas Seas for her contract with Medco Energi. She mobilised from Singapore on 25th March 2020, for the 2+3 wells contract over 4 platforms which is estimated to last till the end of the year.

The team under the leadership of Rig Manager, Graeme Bain, and OIM, Gary Bunn, did a praiseworthy job of motivating the crew in getting the heavy lifting done safely in challenging conditions due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team from Medco Energi lead by Arie Septiantoro, Manager Well Operations Offshore, is also very professional and co-operative all the way from the word go.

“I am very grateful and proud of the crew for getting the job done under these stressful conditions. These are no ordinary days, every aspect from crew change to logistics poses serious challenges and I can’t thank the team enough for their dedication and determination to get the job done safely. We are also thankful for the co-operation and understanding from Medco in this difficult period.”, said Marcus Chew, the CEO of Energy Drilling.

 
 
EDrill-2 days before departure - Photo courtesy of Gary Bunn, OIM


EDrill-2 setting anchor buoys shortly after arrival on location - Photo courtesy of Mark Boerner, Barge Master


One of four heavy lifts - Photo courtesy of Mark Boerner, Barge Master

A Year End Reunion

December 24th, 2019

October 2014 was the last time we saw both the EDrill-1 and EDrill-2 alongside each other at COSCO Guangzhou yard. Fast track 5 years later in the last quarter of 2019, we welcome them at POE Marine yard in Singapore. Both rigs with their crew led by rig managers, Dave Sandall and Graeme Bain, faced challenges at start but with resolve, dedication and support, have achieved many firsts and commendable milestones that we can all be proud of.

During their short stay in Singapore, both rigs undergo planned preventive maintenance and re-certification in preparation for their new contracts in 2020. EDrill-1 will start on a new 4 year contract with PTTEP in Thailand and EDrill-2 will start on a new contract with Medco Energi in the Natuna Seas, Indonesia, with a startup date in March 2020.

 


Rig EDrill-1 arrives alongside her sister rig, EDrill-2, at POE Marine yard, Singapore

 

EDrill-1 chartered for Arthit Asset Drilling Campaign

December 09th, 2019

Energy Drilling has been awarded a contract by PTT Exploration & Production International (PTTEP) on the 4th December 2019 to provide drilling services on the Arthit field in Gulf of Thailand. This contract secures employment for the high specification tender rig EDrill-1, for a firm term of 3 years and 4 months with an option period of 7 months.

The Arthit field is located 230km offshore of Thailand’s Songkhla province in the Gulf of Thailand. The field lies at a water depth of 262ft (80m) and commenced production in 2008.

EDrill-1 has worked continuously for PTTEP on the neighbouring Bongkot field since its delivery in 2014 and has just successfully completed a 5 year drilling programme in December 2019. Commencement on the Arthit field will take place in June 2020 and prior to this the rig will undergo regular maintenance work in Singapore.

The crew of EDrill-1, under the leadership of rig manager, Dave Sandall are looking forward to returning to Thailand and PTTEP.

Marcus Chew, CEO of Energy Drilling, commented that, “We are pleased to extend and cement our relationship with premium client PTTEP. This award clearly demonstrates our operational excellence in the Gulf of Thailand as a premium provider of tender assist drilling.”

 


EDrill-1 in the Gulf of Thailand, making history since 2014



OIM Dave W. with PTTEP Co. Man K. Nuttapol and Dave S., Rig Manager after rigging down at last platform

 

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