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The ultra-deepwater drillship market will see another new vessel enter the growing rig fleet after offshore driller Seadrill signed a US $600 million deal with South Korea’s Samsung to build the unit.
Seadrill has entered a turnkey contract with Samsung to build the drillship. The work includes project management, drilling and handling tools, spares, capitalized interest, and operations preparations), with tail-heavy payment terms payable upon delivery. The rig is scheduled for delivery in 4Q 2014.
The rig contractor also has agreed to a fixed price option to build a further drillship at the yard, with delivery in 1Q 2015. Seadrill said in a statement that it believes, with current strong demand and limited availability of rigs in 2014, it is likely that the option will be exercised and it is currently discussing details of upgrades of that unit.
The new drillship will be of the same design as the existing six drillships under construction at Samsung and will have a hook load capability of 1,250 tons and a water depth capacity of up to 3,658 m (12,000 ft). All the units are being outfitted with a seven ram configuration of the blowout preventer (BOP) stack, and with storing and handling capacity for a second BOP.
The contractor’s current construction program now covers 19 units (7 drillships, 2 harsh environment semisubmersibles, 5 tender rigs, and 5 jackups). In addition it has fixed priced options for three ultra-deepwater/harsh environment units.
The initial installments for the new drillship will be funded by liquidity from a recent $1 billion bond offering.