Seadrill to boost deepwater rig fleet

Seadrill is set to acquire the ultra-deepwater drilling semisubmersible rigs Seadragon I and Seadragon II, both under construction at the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore.

Offshore staff

HAMILTON, Bermuda -- Seadrill is set to acquire the ultra-deepwater drilling semisubmersible rigs Seadragon Iand Seadragon II, both under construction at the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore.

The price is estimated at $1.2 billion, including project management for the remaining construction period, drilling and handling tools, spares, operations preparations, and capitalized interest. The rigs should be delivered during 1Q and 4Q 2011.

Seadragon I has a five-year contract, although due to late delivery this is subject to further negotiations. Seadragon II has no contract at present.

Both are based on the Moss Maritime CS50 Mk II design. Seadrill describes them as high specification, new generation drilling units, providing a wide range of operational capabilities, a larger operating area, a high load carrying capacity, and improved safety and working environment.

The DP3 class rigs are equipped with NOV drilling equipment, can operate in water depths of up to 10,000 ft (3,048 m), and drill to total vertical depths of up to 35,000 ft (10,668 m). Each has a single derrick with dual pipe handling and offline stand building capabilities. The subsea well control system includes a six-ram 15,000 psi (1,034 bar) BOP stack with two 10,000 psi (689 bar) annulars. In both cases, the variable deck-load specification is 6,200 metric tons (6,834 tons), with accommodation for 192 personnel.

Alf Thorkildsen, CEO of Seadrill Management, said:” We expect the demand for ultra-deepwater units to strengthen over the next years. This investment increases our exposure to this growing market segment at an acceptable price and a manageable risk. Furthermore, we are well familiar with the design of and equipment on the rigs…"

John Fredriksen, chairman, added: "The cash break-even cost per day for each rig including operating cost, tax, interest expenses and scheduled debt instalments, is expected to be around $385,000.”

01/03/2011

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