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Seadrill has received a commitment from a major oil company for contracts on ultra-deepwater newbuild...

Seadrill secures $4 billion commitment on three ultra-deepwater units

Seadrill has received a commitment from a major oil company for contracts on ultra-deepwater newbuild drillships West Auriga, West Vela and a third unit currently in operation, to be named later. The combined three-rig package involves 19 rig years and a potential contract value of $4 billion, including mobilization fees.

West Auriga and West Vela are under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea. The newbuilds will mobilize to the Gulf of Mexico upon delivery, which is scheduled for late February 2013 and May 2013. Start-up of operations are scheduled for September and December of the same year. The West Auriga and West Vela will be the fourth and fifth drillships delivered to Seadrill by Samsung within the past five years. Each rig will be equipped with 1,250-ton load capacity, an active heave compensated subsea construction crane and two 7-ram blowout preventers.

“The breadth and depth of this commitment from a major oil company is the result of our track record of delivering rigs on time, operating with a competent work force and having the availability of a modern fleet,” Alf C Thorkildsen, CEO of Seadrill, said. “We are excited about the opportunity to further grow our fleet and operations in the US Gulf of Mexico, which we consider as one of the most cost effective drilling regions.”

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