Deepwater Frontier Drills First- Ever Offshore Well in Timor Leste


Transocean recorded another company “FIRST” in December 2010, when crews on our drillship Deepwater Frontier drilled the first-ever well offshore Timor Leste for customer Reliance.

The 3,400-nautical-mile mobilization from India to Timor Leste last November was just one small part of the journey to make Transocean the very first drilling contractor to come to this country, where the team began operations on December 1, 2010.


DWF Crew Visited by Timor Leste President

The excitement surrounding the historic Timor Leste operation was made even more exciting on December 15, 2010, when Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta, President of Timor Leste and a past recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, made a visit to the rig.

Dr. Ramos-Horta was escorted by Captain Rafal Tymcik and OIM Mike Tully down to the rig’s bridge where he was greeted by Reliance Company Man Albie Higgins. Albie conveyed the honor and privilege felt by the whole DWF team, both offshore and onshore, to receive such a distinguished guest.

Dr. Ramos-Horta and his staff received the Transocean safety induction, and then met with Reliance, Transocean and third party supervisors to get an overview of well operations and a brief summary of their role on the rig. The President then was invited to participate in a brief ceremony to commemorate his visit to the Deepwater Frontier.

Amandeep Singh, who led the team working on the ground in Timor, said that everyone worked diligently to ensure Transocean delivered outstanding customer service underpinned by safe, reliable and compliant operations. This meant tackling many challenges before anyone even arrived into the country, getting organized to achieve the logistical feat of moving crew members safely in and out of the country, anticipating and addressing all the necessary health and security issues, and ensuring the company would be fully compliant with all local laws.

As always, the Transocean team proved that they could go the distance. Hundreds of employees worked together to deliver a smooth and incident-free well campaign, making a great first impression in Timor. The initial campaign ended successfully in February 2011.

“I believe this project was our opportunity to establish Transocean as the nation’s preferred drilling contractor,” said Amandeep, noting that Timor, which is believed to have significant oil and gas reserves, plans to form their national oil company within a few years. “Our entire team went above and beyond to show this country, and our customer, our spirit of innovation and excellence.”



Timor Leste, located in Southeast Asia near Indonesia, was only recently recognized as an independent state in May 2002. After centuries of colonization and foreign occupation, the country today is working to develop its infrastructure, grow its economy, reduce poverty and create job opportunities for young people. The development of oil and gas resources in offshore waters has supplemented government revenues and according to an Economist Intelligence Unit report, the country’s 2011 budget contained plans for a huge rise in spending, primarily on basic infrastructure like electricity and roads. In a January budget speech, the country’s Prime Minister, José Alexandre "Xanana" Gusmão, said that it was his government’s intention to use its petroleum wealth “now and in the future” to build the nation and invest in its people.


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