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Transocean newbuild drillships win decade-long contracts from Shell

Posted on 02 October 2012

Shell has awarded Transocean with 10-year contracts for four newbuild dynamically positioned ultra-deepwater drillships, with shipyard delivery for the first drillship beginning in mid-2015. The remaining three drillships are expected to be delivered from the shipyard at approximately six-month intervals thereafter. Contracts are expected to commence in 2015 and 2016, adding a total of 40 years of rig work to Transocean’s revenue backlog.

All four drillships have advanced capabilities: Each is designed to operate in water depths of up to 12,000 ft and drill wells to 40,000 ft, have dual-activity drilling technology, variable deckload capacity of 23,000 metric tons and enhanced well completion capabilities. In addition, each newbuild rig will be outfitted with two 15,000-psi blowout preventers. The four newbuild drillships will be able to accommodate a future upgrade to a 20,000-psi BOP when it becomes available. The rigs will also feature diesel engines configured to comply with anticipated Tier III IMO emissions standards.

The newbuild rigs will be constructed at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering facility at Okpo, South Korea, where Transocean’s five Enhanced Enterprise-Class rigs were built and where the company currently has two other ultra-deepwater drillships under construction. Construction on the first drillship is expected to commence during Q4 2013.

“We look forward to providing Shell with incremental value through the addition of these seventh-generation, ultra-deepwater drillships,” Transocean president and CEO, Steve Newman said.

Peter Sharpe, Shell executive VP wells, said, “Shell continues to develop its deepwater operations and modernize its contracted rig fleet at fair market rates. These state-of-the-art deepwater rigs, on which we are collaborating with Transocean to design, will comply with the highest industry standards for safety, operations and environmental protection for drilling deepwater wells.”

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