Seadrill has entered into turnkey contracts to build four new ultra-deepwater drillships. Two drillships will be built at the DSME yard and the other two at the Samsung yard, in South Korea. The project value price is estimated to be below US $600 million per unit, including project management, drilling and handling tools, spares, capitalized interest, and operations preparations. Delivery of the four units is scheduled for the second half 2015. In addition, Seadrill has received fixed priced options for delivery of two further units for delivery in the first half 2016.
The drillships will have a hook-load capability of 1,250 tons and a water depth capacity of up to 12,000 ft targeting operations in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, and West and East Africa. These units will be outfitted with seven-ram configuration of the blowout preventer (BOP) stack and with storing and handling capacity for a second BOP. For two of the drillships, Seadrill has received options to include equipment, which makes the units prepared for 20,000-psi BOP systems.
Seadrill’s construction program now totals 22 units, including nine drillships, two harsh-environment semisubmersibles and 11 high-specification jackups. Seadrill’s board expects that the current order book for 2014 to 2016 of approximately 39 units will be fully absorbed, and utilization will continue at very high levels with solid dayrates for the modern equipment.
According to the company, the offshore drilling market has absorbed approximately 261 new units since 2005, and the utilization of the ultra deepwater fleet has been 100% since Seadrill was established in 2005. In the same period, offshore production has been estimated to be marginally down.