Vantage Drilling Company has entered into a joint venture with an affiliate of Skeie Group and other investors to construct a high-specification drillship at the STX Offshore & Shipbuilding yard in South Korea. Vantage has invested US$31 million in the joint venture entity, Sigma Drilling, and will initially own approximately 42% of the equity in Sigma. Sigma was formed to construct a BT-UDS dynamically positioned ultra-deepwater drillship that will be capable of operating in 12,000-ft water depths, have a 25,000-metric ton variable deck load, a dual-activity derrick, two seven-ram blowout preventer units and be capable of storing up to 12 subsea Christmas trees. Delivery of the vessel is expected in November 2015.
“We view this high-spec drillship construction project as an excellent opportunity for Vantage to further grow our presence in the expanding ultra-deepwater drilling market, with only a small capital commitment,” Paul Bragg, chairman and CEO of Vantage Drilling, said. “Our partners have been some of the most innovative and successful in this industry. STX and our major equipment providers have excellent track records and technical expertise. We believe that the construction contract provides exceptional value, attractive terms and the high end of available technology.”
In conjunction with the investment, Vantage and Sigma are entering into a project management agreement where Vantage will provide construction oversight of the vessel, a marketing agreement, and a management agreement where Vantage will manage the future operation of drilling services.