The Sedco/BP 471, owned jointly by Sedco, Inc., of Dallas, Tex., and British Petroleum, has been selected as the drill ship for the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). The contract, with a specified initial term of 4 years with 10 1-year options after that, is expected to be signed by mid March by Texas A&M University, the ODP science operator, and Sedco, Inc. Texas A&M will develop the design for scientific and laboratory spaces aboard the Sedco/BP 471 and will oversee the ship conversion. Testing and shakedown of the ship is scheduled for the coming autumn; the first scientific cruise is scheduled for next January.
One year ago, the commercial drilling market sagged, opening up the option for leasing a commercial drill ship (Eos, February 22, 1983, p. 73). Previously, the ship of choice had been the Glomar Explorer; rehabilitating the former CIA salvage ship would have been extremely expensive, however.