16 October 2013 – Transocean has ordered a seventh ultra-deepwater drillship that has been signed to a five-year contract with Chevron.
The work booked with the US supermajor is expected to bring in $1.1 billion in revenue while the rig is estimated to cost $725 million to build, the Switzerland-based drilling contractor said Tuesday.
Upstream confirmed on Wednesday that the unit will be built at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea, where Transocean already has six ultra-deepwater drillships under construction.
The latest unit will begin construction in the fourth quarter of 2014 and wrap in the second quarter of 2016. It will be stocked with 15,000-psi blowout preventers that will be able to upgrade to 20,000 psi units when available.
The twin BOPs will be set up with “dual activity drilling” technology aimed at cutting downtime between wells.
Transocean had said in March that the company was in “advanced talks” with a major integrated oil company for a new floater for scheduled delivery in 2015 capable of upgrade capacity to 20,000 psi.
“The addition of this latest newbuild drillship demonstrates the execution of our asset strategy and commitment to increasing our exposure to high-specification floaters with industry-leading capabilities,” chief executive Steven Newman said.
The vessel will be able to operate in up to 12,000 feet of water and drill to 40,000 feet, comparable cababilities to the other new units being built.
Other specifications include “an industry-leading 2.5-million-pound hook load capacity, a variable deckload capacity of 23,000 metric tonnes, enhanced well-completion capabilities and diesel engines configured to comply with anticipated Tier III International Maritime Organisation (IMO) emissions standards,” according to Transocean.
Four of Transocean’s newbuilds under construction are DSME 12000 drillships under 10-year contracts to Shell, a $7.6 billion deal revealed last September. Those jobs start in the fourth quarter of 2015, second quarter of 2016, fourth quarter of 2016 and second quarter of 2017, all at day rates of $519,000.
Another newbuild drillship, the Deepwater Invictus, will work for Australia’s BHP Billiton in the US Gulf of Mexico starting in the third quarter of 2014 through the second quarter of 2017. That work will be completed at a day rate of $595,000.
The remaining newbuild, the Deepwater Asgard, is scheduled to head to Indonesia on a three-year contract starting in the first quarter 2014 at a day rate of $600,000.
While Transocean has not divulged its customer, a prior Upstream report identified the company as Chevron, which plans to use the unit to drill its operated Gendalo Gehem development.
Chevron has also signed Transocean’s remaining newbuild, the Ao Thai jack-up, to a four-year contract off Thailand starting in the fourth quarter of 2013. That job is set for a day rate of $135,000.
*Kathrine Schmidt, Upstreamonline