Valaris Drillship Suffers Minor Damage in Vessel Strike

The DS-16 is one of four Valaris rigs undergoing reactivation work for new drilling contracts.

The DS-16 and Akti collided after the drillship broke free of its moorings in a high-wind event in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
SOURCE: US COAST GUARD/Petty Officer 3rd Class James Hague

A Valaris drillship broke free of its moorings and collided with a bulk carrier near Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Valaris DS-16, formerly the Rowan Resolute, was undergoing reactivation work at ST Engineering Halter Marine and Offshore shipyard when it broke away during a weather event that included gale-force winds in the early hours of Saturday, 12 March. The rig drifted and struck the 57,900- dwt Akti.

Valaris said the rig was promptly secured and returned to its mooring location the same day. There were no injuries, no environmental impact, and only minor damage to the rig as a result of the event.

The US Coast Guard was called to the scene after receiving a report of a collision between two vessels from the National Response Center.

“The Valaris [drillship] is reported to have approximately 580,000 gallons of diesel onboard the vessel,” the Coast Guard said. “Both vessels reportedly have minor damage, with some damage to the pier.”

Valaris is working closely with the relevant authorities and its customer, Occidental Petroleum, and does not expect any delays to its 2-year contract set to begin in May.

It is the second time in a little over a year that Valaris had a rig break loose. In February 2021, drillship Valaris DS-4 broke free of moorings during heavy weather in Scotland. The rig was moored at Hunterston Terminal in Ayrshire. The rig drifted into the channel but was able to anchor and restart power without incident.

The DS-16 is one of four rigs Valaris is reactivating as the rig market begins to heat up. The contractor is also working to return semisubmersible Valaris DPS-1 and drillships DS-4 and DS-9 to service.

The DPS-1 has an upcoming job with Woodside offshore Australia. The contract is set to start this month and end in May 2024. The rig secured the 16-well job last July.

The 2010-built DS-4 secured a minimum 548-day contract with Petrobras in October 2021. It is expected to start in June 2022 and run until December 2023. The unit is currently in Las Palmas, Canary Islands.

Drillship DS-9, also located in Las Palmas, is preparing for its new job with ExxonMobil offshore Angola. The contract is set to start in June and run until May 2024.